Chemmy Alcott relishes dream Ski Sunday presenting role

Ski Sunday presenter Chemmy Alcott
Alcott twice finished 11th at the Winter Olympics and had five World Cup top 10 results in her racing career

"If I could have mapped out my life, then this is pretty much how I would have done it," says Chemmy Alcott.

"Becoming a ski racer, a mum of two and now Ski Sunday presenter, I've pretty much achieved all my goals - apart from winning an Olympic medal."

The four-time Great Britain Winter Olympian has been a regular on Ski Sunday since she hung up her race skis in 2014. The new series starts this weekend and she steps up to be lead presenter with Ed Leigh.

Graham Bell, who has been involved in the show for more than 20 years, will miss this series as he will be seen on our television screens taking part in ITV's Dancing On Ice instead.

The long-running winter sports programme has been part of Alcott's life since she was a small child.

"It was the time in the week the whole family would come together to watch it as we all loved the ski racing," said the 38-year-old.

"I have vivid memories of being squished on the sofa with my two older brothers and my mum while my dad sat in a comfy, burgundy-coloured chair. Then the iconic theme music would come on."

The coronavirus pandemic means only Alcott, Leigh and cameraman Chris Kirkham will be on location. They are staying at the Swiss resort of Laax and will not be able to travel to races. All other production is being done remotely from the UK.

"We did debate whether we presented from a studio at MediaCity in Salford but I was already out in Switzerland and coming from New Zealand, it was safer for Ed and Chris to head here rather than the UK," said Alcott.

"We want the show to provide escapism for all those who are desperate to go skiing but can't. We're bringing the mountains to them."

Watching Bell tackling the tough courses on the World Cup circuit always proved a firm favourite with viewers. Alcott was all set to take over the popular feature but that has been put on hold for this season.

"I had been training because I wanted to do the course runs and empower females - to show that even after two kids and with a metal leg, I could do it. But I've got another year to prepare now," she said.

The only downside to her new role in these times is that she may not be able to see her two sons and husband for the best part of two months.

She will miss Locki's fourth and Cooper's second birthdays as they are in the French resort of Flaine with their dad, Dougie.

"The longest I've ever been apart from them is three nights so it will be difficult but it is a sacrifice I know I've got to make for my dream job so I'm not complaining," she added.

BBC TV coverage

All times are in GMT and subject to change.

Sunday, 10 January

18:15-19:00 - BBC Two

Sunday, 17 January

18:15-19:00 - BBC Two

Sunday, 24 January

18:00-19:00 - BBC Two

Sunday, 7 February

17:45-18:30 - BBC Two

Sunday, 14 February

19:00-20:00 - BBC Two

Sunday, 21 February

17:00-17:45 - BBC Two

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