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24 September 2014
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Celebrities featuring on Only Fools on Horses

Stars saddle-up for Only Fools On Horses - premiering on 7 July at 7.30pm on BBC ONE

From show business to show jumping, 12 celebrities are champing at the bit to raise money in BBC's Sport Relief presents... Only Fools on Horses.


Angus Deayton and Kirsty Gallacher will be on hand to giddy up the pack of celebrity show jumpers when the show will broadcast nightly in the week leading up to Sport Relief Day on 15 July.


The live grand final will be one of the main highlights in The Night of Sport Relief show on BBC ONE.


The line up of celebrity Show Jumpers is as follows:

  • Sara Cox, broadcaster
  • Sally Gunnell, athlete and TV presenter
  • Jenni Falconer, TV presenter
  • Suzi Perry, TV presenter
  • Anna Ryder-Richardson, interior designer and TV presenter
  • Ruby Wax, comedienne
  • Nicki Chapman, TV presenter and music industry guru
  • Matt Baker, Blue Peter presenter
  • Diarmuid Gavin, gardener and TV presenter
  • Matt Littler, Hollyoaks actor
  • Paul Nicholas, actor and theatre producer


They will have to compete in the physically and technically demanding sport of show jumping, with the added pressure of it being in front of a live audience. The competitors are riding professional show jumping horses, which they have to name, bond with and muck-out.


Trainer and celebrated British show jumper Tim Stockdale and his team will help the celebrities get to grips with their horses, the likes of which even the most experienced riders among them will never have ridden before.


They are true show jumping horses - strong, tall, slightly scarey and they certainly don't tolerate fools.


Sport Relief presents... Only Fools on Horses will be primetime on BBC ONE and BBC THREE, with an early evening competition, followed by a results show later in the evening on BBC ONE.


Hosted by June Sarpong and Dave Berry, Only Fools on Horses on Three will bring viewers all the latest action from Braintree immediately after the main show on BBC ONE and catch up with the latest show jumper to be hoofed off the event.


How the show will work


Starting today all of our celebrities will be introduced to their horses, which they will quickly name. But that's the easy part.


Over the next month our show jumpers must get themselves to the level needed to compete nightly over jumps that will become increasingly difficult.


For the duration of the show the celebrities will live on-site at the stables in Braintree. Within the stables are: a living/dining room; bedrooms; a tack room; a trainers room, which will be their classroom; the show jumpers kit room, and a training area.


Come Friday 7 July, our show jumpers will jump-off against each other on BBC ONE every night. They accumulate points for each jump successfully cleared. Judges from the cream of the show jumping world will appraise their performances. The viewers will then vote for who they want to save. Both viewers vote and riders scores will be added together.


The viewers will then vote for who they want to save. The viewers' votes and riders' scores will be added together.


The three riders with the lowest scores/votes will do a jump-off and the judges will save one of them. All the saved riders then vote for who they want to save and the rider with the least number of rider votes will be hoofed off the show.


By Saturday 15 July, the 12 riders will have become four. The Grand Final will take place into the flagship Sport Relief show, The Night of Sport Relief. There won't be any horsing around, this is going to be serious fun.


For interviews, news and updates visit


BBC Controller of Entertainment Commissioning, Jon Beazley said: "It's great news that these 12 celebrities are giving their time for no fee to help raise money for Sport Relief.


"It's a big commitment, spending over a week living on site with the horses and working with them all day before the show is on air each night.


"They have been training hard already, and it's been particularly tough for the ones who can't already ride or haven't ridden a horse for years!


"The commitment required to take part in the show shouldn't be under-estimated; this will be a real test for all of them. We're looking forward to an exhilarating show, and want to encourage people to vote to raise funds for this great cause."


Chief Executive of Sport Relief, Kevin Cahill commented: "We're really excited about this programme, it's going to be hugely entertaining throughout the nine days and one of the many highlights of Sport Relief Saturday.


"Not only will it be a whole lot of fun, but the money raised from votes is really going to make a huge difference to people's lives, here in the UK and in the poorest countries of the world."


The nine-day event is being produced by the team behind Comic Relief does Fame Academy, under Executive Producer Louise Rainbow. She adds: "It's going to be a whole new world for this lot - a world of rosettes, shiny brass, squeaky leather and horse manure."


The show will be broadcast nightly from an arena in Braintree in Essex. Members of the public will be able be part of the audience at these shows.


The hotline number for ticket info is 020 7610 5572 and the email is


Sport Relief presents... Only Fools on Horses is produced by Initial (part of Endemol UK).


The Celebrities


The twelve celebrity show jumpers taking part are:


Sara Cox (31)


Sara presents Radio 1's afternoon show (1.00-4.00pm) on Saturdays and Sundays. She was born in Bolton and grew up on a dairy farm and used to dream of the horse she could buy if she had all the money in the world.


Sally Gunnell (39)


Essex-born Olympic gold medallist Sally hasn't ridden for four years. Before that she spent two years riding, hacking and having a few lessons.


Sally feels confident walking, trotting and cantering on a horse. Sally has previously owned what she describes as "a retired old nag in the field!"


Jenni Falconer (30)


Jenni presents Entertainment Today on GMTV. Born in Glasgow she now currently lives in south-west London. Jenni learnt to ride as a child but after taking a fall, gave it up for a number of years.


Jenni got back on a horse whilst filming for BBC Scotland show The Big Country, but again, took a tumble and broke her thumb and wrist. She has ridden little ever since.


Suzi Perry (36)


Suzi is currently presenting Moto GP for the BBC and The Gadget Show for Channel 5. Suzi, who lives in west London, has been on a horse a couple of times and feels comfortable walking and trotting. She has never had any lessons.


Anna Ryder-Richardson (42)


Interior designer Anna is best known for presenting the hit BBC shows Changing Rooms and House Invaders.


She lives in Glasgow and learnt to ride when she was 7-8 years old. By the age of 13, she had her own pony but she never show-jumped with it because it was very badly behaved!


At the age of 16, Anna sold her pony and has only ridden on hacks a couple of times a year ever since. Anna is confident walking, trotting and cantering.


Ruby Wax (53)


American comedienne and presenter Ruby is best known for her chat show Ruby, The Full Wax and Ruby Wax Meets... Ruby is married to Television Producer and Director Ed Bye and lives with him and her two daughters and son in London.


Nicki Chapman (39)


Nicki rose to fame as a judge on the television series Popstars and Pop Idol. She currently works as a presenter of lifestyle programmes for the BBC, as well as maintaining her position at 19 Entertainment.


Nicki used to go horse riding as a child and started again two years ago. She admits she's not very good but I really enjoys it.


Josie D'Arby (29)


Josie is most famously known for being a children's TV Presenter and her role as PC Jodie Finn in Mersey Beat. In 2003 she competed in the first series of The Games, where she came third and receive a bonze medal.


Josie enjoys riding and has ridden on holiday for the last seven years. She admits she's very much a novice but can walk and trot. The four male celebrity show jumpers taking part are:


Matt Baker (28)


Matt became the 28th Blue Peter presenter in 1999 and is a bit of a dare-devil. Not only was he British sports acrobatics champion but he's still a current hang-gliding world record holder.


His horse experience with Blue Peter includes racing at Newmarket, rodeo in Wyoming and cross-country jumping and swimming the Queen's horses on their annual summer camp.


Matt feels confident that he can walk, trot, canter and gallop on a horse and has tried jumping once. Matt grew up on the family farm in Durham.


Diarmuid Gavin (42)


Irish television garden designer and presenter Diarmuid is most famous for presenting a number of BBC gardening programmes, the best known being Gardener's World.


Diarmuid, who was born in London but grew up in Dublin, feels confident that he can trot but says he only goes horse riding about every 10 years! That said the last time he was on a horse was but about 15 years ago.


Matt Littler (24)


Actor Matt plays Max Cunningham in the Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks. Matt was recently nominated for Best Actor category at The Soap Awards 2006.


Born in Bury, Matt sat on a horse only a few times when he was a child. He had had no professional training until he began his training for Only Fools On Horses"


Paul Nicholas (60)


Actor and theatre producer Paul is perhaps most fondly remembered for his role as Vince in the BBC comedy Just Good Friends.


Paul began his showbiz career in musicals and has his own production company that next year will take the musical Grease to Broadway.


North Londoner Paul has had very little involvement with horses in the past and says he used to be able to trot but hasn't ridden for many years.


The trainers are:


Tim Stockdale, head trainer


Tim has represented Great Britain on 34 occasions on Nations Cup Teams, and was also on the World Equestrian Games Team in 2002. Tim is ranked eighth on the British Show Jumping Association list, 1 May 2005-30 April 2006.


When Tim is not competing, the majority of his time is taken up with private tuition and demonstrations and he runs his own yard in Northamptonshire.


Fredrik Bergendorff, show jumping trainer


As a rider, Fred's 2006 season has begun positively and he and his eight year old Baretto are one of show jumping's most promising pairs.


The Swede has his own centre of excellence which has developed a strong reputation for the quality of its training of both horses and riders alike. Fred also studies sports psychology in relation to coaching methods.


Mia Korenika - show jumping trainer


Mia is both a top-quality rider and trainer. She continues to compete at national and international level and successfully produces top quality show jumping horses for the national circuit.


Mary-Anne Trevor-Roper, flat trainer


Mary-Anne has been training and teaching for over 25 years and now concentrates on teaching at show jumping and eventing clinics across the country at various Eventing Centres and Agricultural Colleges.


Jenny Ward, flat trainer


Jenny has her own riding school, Brampton Stables, which she has been running and teaching at for the past 23 years. Jenny specialises in dressage and trains riders in balance and position. She is still a dressage rider and trainer. She is BHSI accredited, which is one of the highest accreditations a trainer can achieve.


The Presenters


BBC ONE presenters


Angus Deayton


Kirsty Gallacher


Radio Five Live Presenter Kirsty Gallacher is no stranger to sport. Showing her sporty prowess Kirsty triumphed in Channel Four's The Games in 2005 before going on to co-presenter this years series.


She has also presented celebrity golfing show, the All Star Cup for Sky One, live from Celtic Manor. Utilising her sporting knowledge Kirsty co-hosted the Laureus World Sports Awards in Lisbon.


Born in Edinburgh in 1976, Kirsty relocated to Surrey with her family. After graduating from the London College of Fashion, Kirsty pursued a career in broadcasting, where she worked as an editorial assistant for Sky Sports.


Her natural talent and ability were soon spotted, and led to presenting stints on Sky Sports News and Soccer AM, as well as being one of the original presenters of RI:SE for Channel 4.


BBC THREE presenters


Dave Berry


Dave Berry has recently hosted The Deadly Knowledge Show on Channel 4, The Brits Red Carpet and Party On for ITV2. Dave presented TRL on MTV.


Having joined MTV three years ago he hosted Hit List UK and did some general continuity for the channel, before becoming the first presenter of TRL in the UK, a daily live show with music, big name guests and a studio audience.


Dave is a very confident and quick-witted presenter who is relaxed whether in a studio environment or out on location.


He is experienced in both live and prerecorded presenting and is an accomplished interviewer who is able to get the best out of his guests.


June Sarpong


June is probably best known as the fabulous face of Channel 4's weekend youth strand - T4. She, along with her partner in crime Vernon Kay, have been waking us up every Saturday and Sunday morning for the past 6 years with her trade mark lip glossed smile!


June started her career working for the record company BMG - leading to a stint on MTV, from where her laid back, cheeky and sexy persona was spotted and she was offered a job on T4.


Since then she has presented various shows for Channel 4 from the naughty and bitchy Your Face or Mine - to the more serious youth discussion show Dirty Laundry.


She has written for The Guardian and appeared on serious topical shows like The Daily Politics as well as hosting an in-depth interview with Tony Blair When June Met Tony for Channel 4.


She was recently seen hosting Strictly Dance Fever on Three for BBC THREE.


The Judges


Jodie Kidd


The 27-year-old Supermodel and sports enthusiast is passionate about horses. Her hobbies include polo, horse riding, golf and motor car racing. Jodie's brother is a polo champion and her father was a member of the English Olympic Equestrian team.


She's been riding since she was very young and was a serious show jumper at 15. By 22 she was representing Great Britain and became part of the winning team in the Polo Women's World Championships.


Jodie regularly attends equestrian events including polo matches and Horse of the Year show (where she presented an award in 2005).


Jessica Kurten


Jessica is currently World No.2 show jumper and World No.1 female show jumper in the FEI World Ranking List, for which over 1600 international riders compete for places. Jessica is 36 years old and originally from Co. Antrim and is an Irish International Show Jumper, although she now lives in Germany.


She believes the key to success is a born talent and then it is both the rider and trainer's job to develop it. Jessica says the highlight of her career so far has been winning the Gold Medal at the European Championships 2001.


Robert Smith


Robert is the eldest son of the legendary Harvey Smith and currently British no. 3 show jumper. Robert's major achievements include: Great Britain representative at 73 Nations Cups, winning 14, 3 times winner of the King George V Cup, Leading Rider of the Show Trophy at Olympia (2002) and the only British rider qualifying for World Cup Final in Las Vegas (2003) on youngest horse ever to have qualified for the event.


BBC THREE programming


Only Fools on Horses on Three is the exciting, exclusive and sometimes cheeky, behind the scenes show that will scrutinize and celebrate all the action of the nine-day BBC ONE contest.


Hosted live on BBC THREE by June Sarpong and Dave Berry, the programme will be packed with up to the minute analysis, comment and extra access to the horses and their celebrity riders.


The show will go out twice a night throughout the competition from its prime location overlooking the main showjumping arena in Braintree, Essex. Each night it will follow immediately on from the showpiece BBC ONE programme as well the later results show.


Only Fools on Horses on Three will include: interviews with the riders as they are hoofed off; live 'streamed' coverage of the rider's village; features on the many important 'unseen'characters (the rider's grooms for example) and lots of top celebrity guests.


It will ask the questions that no-one else does and dig deeper into the stories that matter.


Notes to Editors


  • Sport Relief was set up by Comic Relief and BBC Sport to tackle poverty and disadvantage here at home and overseas.
  • Since its launch in 2002, Sport Relief has raised over £30 million.
  • Half of the money raised will be spent in the UK to help give those living in disadvantaged and divided communities a better life; the other half will help children and young people in the world's poorest countries, faced with the daily reality of extreme poverty, abuse and exploitation.
  • Sport Relief is an initiative of Comic Relief, registered charity 326568, in association with BBC Sport.










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Category: Sport Relief; TV Entertainment
Date: 08.06.2006
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