ITV producers axe pool game show after it fails to make a splash

But while this made an almighty splash, Cannonball itself did not.

I’m told that after just one series the ITV show fronted by Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff has been axed. It saw 24 contestants of all shapes and sizes take on four games to win gold, silver and bronze medals.

But given the often dodgy UK weather, they had to be flown to Malta to do so and bosses have decided the cost was not worth the underwhelming ratings.

Bosses were also paying five hosts, pictured, because while ex-England cricketer Freddie was the main presenter, Radzi Chinyananya, Frankie Bridge, Maya Jama and Ryan Hand also did stints poolside.

A source said: “It was an ambitious one from ITV and, while really good fun, didn’t quite prove a hit with viewers. When you factor in the costs of all the contestants’ flights to and from Malta, hotels, the games — as well as paying the presenters — it all added up. It was worth a punt but didn’t quite work.”

An ITV spokesman told me: “The show looked great and was ambitious in scale but just didn’t quite resonate with our audience so we’ve put it on hold. We thank everyone involved.”

It saw punters go up against the Blob, Knockout, Skimmer and Jump challenges — and the final saw them swing into a giant pool as far as they could.

I tried one of the games myself last year — the Blob, where you jump from a tower on to an inflatable “blob” — and it left me battered and bruised. I’ve always loved Total Wipeout and thought this cross between that and Ninja Warrior would fill a gap on Saturday night telly.

But there’s only so many times you can see someone crash into water before it gets boring.

Bizbit

LOVE Island’s Amber Davies tried to show ex Kem Cetinay what he was missing by kissing new boyfriend James Hawkins on the night of her former flame’s birthday – and then tastefully bragging about it on social media.

Aleks' tot performance

AS far as sob stories go, this one is new to me. Aleksandar Mileusnic, the star of Saturday night’s Britain’s Got Talent, said he applied for the show because of a dodgy condom.

The singer, dubbed the “hipster Michael Buble” after his performance at the weekend, fancied a shot at cracking music while he can.

Aleksandar, who has also appeared on rival show The Voice, told me: “My reason for auditioning was because last year I unexpectedly found out I was going to be a dad. So I basically said to myself, ‘I think I’d like to give music one last shot when he’s still young and I’m able to do stuff’.

“Sometimes protection doesn’t work. That’s a bit deep but yeah, that’s what they mean about that two per cent. That was unfortunately us.”

Forget the jazz and swing – he should have sung Chuck Berry’s Johnny B. Goode.

A strife line for Jeremy

IT made a triumphant return on Saturday night, but Jeremy Clarkson’s first few shows on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? haven’t been completely hiccup-free.

I’m told that in tonight’s episode, the tables are turned on Jeremy as one contestant opts to use their Ask The Host lifeline. And unfortunately the host gets it wrong, costing the poor punter thousands.

An ITV source said: “It was only a matter of time before Jeremy had to answer a question he didn’t know the answer to. When the stakes are low that’s fine, but when it’s big money it’s a bit different.

“He ended up costing the poor sod thousands. He felt genuinely terrible.”

Ask The Host is the new fourth lifeline added to the show as Jeremy, replaces Chris Tarrant in the 20th anniversary episodes.

The quiz’s comeback was well-received by viewers. Despite the warm weather, it still managed to pull in a peak audience of 5.4million. ITV should give it a full series like it deserves.

And try to convince Jeremy to stick about longer than just a week.

must avoid

WHAT? The £100k Drop, Channel 4, 4pm.
WHY? Cheapskates at C4 are feeling the pinch as this show returns with just a tenth of the old prize money. Can you imagine ITV renaming Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

Soapbox

AIDAN Connor begins to say his heartbreaking goodbyes in this Coronation Street double-bill, which never veers far from the impending suicide storyline.

A distant Aidan, played by Shayne Ward, gifts his dad Johnny an expensive golf membership in final scenes between the father and son.

Later, he makes a surprise visit to Eva’s cottage where he apologises for the way he reacted to her pregnancy. And then Eva discovers Aidan has purposely left her engagement ring at the house and she tells Toyah she thinks he wants to get back with her.

But it’s clear the tortured businessman has reached the point of no return. He sits on the sofa with tears streaming down his face marking the end of his battle with depression.

In no Roch to be ninja

THERE were so many injuries during filming for the current series of Ninja Warrior that ITV had to suspend shooting.

Presenter Rochelle Humes said: “There was one episode we were filming where so many people had hurt themselves that we had to pause the show for a couple of hours because we didn’t have enough paramedics.

“There was one poor guy who came down on his 21st birthday, he was so excited bless him. It was like a badge of honour that he was in his sling afterwards.”

And it’s so risky that Rochelle and her co-host Ben Shephard have been banned from giving it a go.

She added: “They won’t let us. We are not insured.”

Sounds as if she’s had a lucky escape.

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