Saturday night’s latest entertainment show featuring Olympic diver Tom Daley kicked-off at Luton’s Inspire Centre as 5.6 million people tuned in to watch well-known faces take the plunge and dive straight into the deep end – all on live TV.
ITV’s Splash! coincides with my diving debut, as I take on a ten-week challenge for a feature to discover how I fare learning a completely new skill and be trained by talented Active Luton diver, David Jenkins.
And it was, quite literally, like taking a leap of faith, as I dived head-first into something I never thought I would attempt, never mind plan to commit to in order to become the next (female) Tom Daley.
Well, you’ve got to have high hopes, haven’t you?
I have to admit that in my first taster session I didn’t exactly take to it like a duck to water, especially when I was faced with tackling ‘dry diving’ in their specialised facility that sent my mind hurtling back to PE lessons at school.
But after a few bounces on the trampoline to practice ‘tuck’ positions I was ready to step onto the diving board for the first time to jump into a pool of foam.
After clambering out (which believe me, is hard to do gracefully) it was time to get into the pool and see if I could get to grips with my newly learnt skills in the water.
And from that moment on I was hooked.
The buzz I got from progressing from being scared from even just jumping into the foam, to then being able to dive from the one metre board using the skills I had learnt in my first lesson was incredible.
Of course that feeling can’t be anything like that of the celebrities taking part in Splash!
I was lucky enough to get tickets for the programme that had a superb atmosphere and a crowd that reached the same noise level as an X Factor show. Although that may have been the ‘superfans’ I was sat next to who had been queuing since 5am for the chance to catch a glimpse of Tom in person.
One young girl got more than she bargained for when Tom came over to give her a hug at the end of the show – and she became envied by thousands!