Freddie Flintoff presents a new thrills-aplenty challenge show on ITV, but says his wild risk-taking days are over
Former England cricket legend Freddie Flintoff will be hoping to make a splash when he hosts a new, adrenaline-fuelled game show on ITV...
Freddie, what's the premise of Cannonball? "I think the premise of the show is to make people smile. There’s a tacky trophy at the end of it, we can’t wait to get rid of it and the contestants don’t really want it! It’s just fun, the contestants enjoy taking part, everybody enjoys watching them and it’s for no real purpose whatsoever! Its bonkers."
What was it about this show that appealed to you? "It looked fun and I enjoyed the trip to Malta! It’s a show I can sit down and watch with my kids. Most of the stuff that I do I can’t really watch with them whereas with this show I can imagine us all sitting around on a Saturday night together watching it. The kids will be my worst critics, they’ll never say I was great, they’ll hammer me all the way through and that’s fine I expect that."
The games look scary, how did the contestants fare? "Some of the contestants couldn’t wait to get going and some of them were just enjoying their moment on TV. I think the ones who don’t think they’ll do well and then end up doing great are the best ones to watch as they really surprise themselves. You look at some of the contestants and you wonder why they are doing this, but they just get on with it and are great fun to watch."
Would you have a go on any of the games? "I would like to have had a go at Skimmer or Blob, but I’m not sure they would have had big enough Blobbers to catapult me into the air."
Did you have a favourite game? "I liked watching the end game, Swing To Win. It looks dramatic as its filmed at night, but I wouldn’t want to have a go."
Who do you think would come out best if you all took part, you or your fellow presenters, Maya, Radzi, Freddie or Ryan? "Radzi, he’s competitive and he loves everything. He even had a go on one of the games."
How did you find filming away from home? "To be honest I’ve done it all my career whilst playing cricket. Of course you miss your family, but I was only in Malta for a couple of weeks. I’m such a creature of habit the whole time I was there I had the same meal every night."
How well did you all get on? "It's good, I get on well with all of them, but it did make me realise how old I am. They are all so young, I sometimes had to take myself off and catch my breath for a few minutes."
Which celeb would you like to see have a go at the course? "Piers Morgan. I really like Piers. I’ve known him for about 15 years but I’d like to see Piers face-plant and embarrass himself in the water. I reckon he’d be up for it as well."
Are you an adrenaline junky or do you have a fear of heights? "As I’ve got older I’m not. Playing cricket, you lived on adrenaline. I did a TV show for ITV4 and I went through America and did extreme sports for six weeks, from bull riding to cliff diving, and I think I got my fix. Now I’m just happy at home with a cup of tea!"
Cannonball premiere on ITV on Saturday, September 2
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Sean has been writing about all things telly for over 10 years and in that time he's been lucky enough to interview stars like Ian McKellen, Tom Hardy and Kate Winslet. His favourite shows are The Great British Bake-Off, People Just Do Nothing and Succession and in his spare time he enjoys drinking tea, doing crosswords and watching football.
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