New Channel 4 reality TV show Sink or Swim will see celebrities take part in an English Channel relay in aid of Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C). The celebrity line-up includes Linford Christie, Coronation Street star Sair Khan, The Last Leg’s Alex Brooker, TOWIE stars James ‘Arg’ Argent and Georgia Kousoulou, Blue singer Simon Webbe, Love Island’s Wes Nelson, Hollyoaks actress Rachel Adedeji, television presenter Diane Louise Jordan and Linford Christie’s fellow Olympic gold medallists, Tessa Sanderson and Greg Rutherford.
The celebrities are all non-swimmers, either with a fear of open water or who have been taught to swim as children but now struggle to do so for health reasons. Channel 4 say the show “attempts to erase the stigma of being a non-swimmer” and that the show will push the celebrities “to their absolute limits.”
“Some of us could not even swim a few meters when we first started but due to hard work & dedication we have gone from the swimming pool to the lake & now to sea swimming!” said James Argent on Instagram.
The celebrities are being coached by the team from SwimQuest Holidays, working alongside Olympic open water silver medallist Keri-anne Payne and adventurer Ross Edgley (the first person to swim around Great Britain).
“I’m hoping it will show that anyone can swim,” said Keri-anne Payne of the ambitious challenge. “There are still a huge number of adults in the UK that can’t swim and I’m hoping that celebs putting themselves forward and saying ‘I can’t swim, can you teach me’ will inspire a lot of other people to do the same.”
Each of the four episodes will culminate in a challenging qualification swim and the celebrities left standing (or in this case, swimming) at the end of the gruelling training process will come together as a relay team to attempt to swim the English Channel.
“We can’t wait to guide this fabulous group of celebrities in their quest to achieve their goals and face these swimming challenges”, said Alice Todd of SwimQuest.
The first episode of Sink or Swim airs on 27 August on Channel 4.