Splash swimsuit ordeal for Strachan

A raft of celebrities will take the plunge tonight as they line-up on the diving board in the new series of TV diving contest Splash.

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Left to right: Perri Kiely, Gemma Collins, Michaela Strachan, Tom Daly, Ricky Groves and Gemma Merna, who will be appearing in the first heat of ITV celebrity dive show Splash. (ITV)

A raft of celebrities will take the plunge tonight as they line-up on the diving board in the new series of TV diving contest Splash.

Dancer Perri Kiely from Diversity, The Only Way Is Essex's Gemma Collins, former EastEnders actor Ricky Groves and Hollyoaks star Gemma Merna and TV presenter Michaela Strachan are among those taking part.

Hosted by Olympian Tom Daley, the celebrities are hoping to emulate the success of Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards, who won the first series of the ITV contest a year ago.

Autumnwatch host Strachan claims the pain of a disastrous plunge on TV diving contest Splash is not as terrifying as being seen in a skimpy swimsuit.

She added that she had already been hurt and likened the dive to being spanked with plywood.

But she said she feels most uncomfortable about being paraded in her swimwear for the programme, in which the stars are coached by Daley to plummet from several metres up.

Strachan, 47, said: "The scariest thing was having to do a photocall in a swimsuit. I don't do glamour. I'm an outdoor person who is more comfortable in khaki and a woolly hat.

"Over the years, I've had to do loads of swimming things - I once swam with dolphins in a two-piece swimsuit and I didn't think anything of it. But it's very different when it's for light entertainment. Being glammed up in a swimsuit is slightly out of my comfort zone.

"I'm fairly happy with how I look and do a lot of fitness training. All the same, when you're a little bit older, you know people will be critical of what you look like. You have to be hardened to that. I have to brace myself."

She was left in pain after a mistake going in from three metres high during her second day of training.

"I smacked my behind, and I can't tell you how much it hurt. It's like someone getting a piece of plywood and smacking your bottom with it.

"The awful thing is, I know that in order to get it right, I'll have to get hurt again, and that prospect is not terribly appealing. Even going off the three metre board takes huge courage - it's high enough."

The programme will be shown on ITV at 1920.