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Eternal Glory line up revealed

Published: Wed 09 Sep 2015

Eternal Glory line up revealed
 
It’s war of the champions for James Cracknell, Matt Le Tissier, Fatima Whitbread, Jade Johnson, Liz McColgan, Shane Williams, Gail Emms and Christian Malcolm on new ITV series
 
Sporting legends battle it out as their endurance is tested in a new six-part entertainment show, Eternal Glory, which will be on ITV in October.  Eight sports stars compete against one another, taking on tough physical and mental challenges in a bid to prove which sport and which athlete is the ultimate champion.
 
Rower James Cracknell, footballer Matt Le Tissier, javelin thrower Fatima Whitbread, long jumper Jade Johnson, middle distance runner Liz McColgan, rugby player Shane Williams, badminton player Gail Emms and sprinter Christian Malcolm will be tested to the max as they are assessed for psychological endurance, reaction speed, agility, hand-eye coordination, strength, stamina, visualisation, strategy, adaptability, and recovery time.
 
Richard Bacon hosts the series, and world renowned sports scientist and two time Olympian Professor Greg Whyte OBE, who has trained, motivated and successfully coached celebrities including David Walliams who swam across the English Channel and Davina McCall who completed her ‘Beyond Breaking Point’ 506-mile ultra-triathlon, will be providing an insight into the sports science behind each challenge.
 
The series has been filmed in the beautiful setting of Croatia and the competitors will be seen living together as well as taking on challenges in various locations in the Eastern European country.  They’ll be hanging over the open waters of the Adriatic and searching for objects submerged in the deep sea.  At other times their feet will be firmly on the ground and they’ll be tested for hand-eye co-ordination, reaction and strategy.
 
Eternal Glory follows the eight stars, all prize-winners in their own sport, but how will they fare when pushed beyond their area of expertise? Each episode comprises of four tough physical or mental challenges. One athlete goes home in each episode, determined by the ‘night duel’ where the two sports stars with the lowest scores will go head-to-head in a battle of focus and reactions. Finally only one will emerge triumphant and achieve Eternal Glory.
 
The competition is fierce as all of the sporting heroes are determined to win. Professor Greg Whyte (OBE) said: “Even on early tests, they (the sports stars) were absolutely going for it.”  He continued, “It’s one of those age old pub debates – who is the best athlete? This show can prove scientifically, with evidence, who is the best all rounder of them all.”
 
Ahead of the competition, the sports stars said…
 
Matt Le Tissier: “It’s been 13 years since I retired and I’ve realised that I’ve been very comfortable and not done anything I don’t want to do, so I thought it was about time I put myself outside my comfort zone for a change and give myself a bit of a challenge.”
 
Fatima Whitbread: “This show is probably more up my street than most things and I like to think I’m crazy enough to want to do it.  It’s a challenge, it’s different and it’s like-minded sportsmen and women so you know it’s going to be competitive.  I love being competitive – to me it’s something that made me the champion I was.”
 
James Cracknell: “I knew what we were doing every day for four year cycles in my career, and I’d embraced that, so there’s an appeal to doing something where you don’t know what you’re going to be doing.  It’s a real mix of challenges in terms of what we’re going to do, but also the different people.”
 
Christian Malcolm: “The opportunity to do this came up and it seemed different and fun.  At the same time, I don’t know what I’m getting myself into because I have a fear of deep water!”
 
Liz McColgan: “I wanted to do this show to challenge myself again, to see if I can get back into that competitive mind-set.  When I go into a competition I’m in it to win it.  I hope that kicks in when this competition starts.”
 
Gail Emms: “As an ex-athlete these kind of things still appeal to you.  Straightway something goes off in your brain, competition, yippee!”
 
Shane Williams: “Since I finished playing rugby I do miss the competitiveness, competing against people and going one on one against people.  I do miss that, so when this opportunity came up it was an easy decision.”
 
Jade Johnson: “This show appealed to me because I love the fact that it’s got a sports element with Greg, and also a bit of wanting to understand what athletes are really like.”
 
Eternal Glory has already achieved strong success throughout Europe. It recently completed its sixth season for NRK Norway, where it regularly attracted a 65% share, and Sweden’s series 7 concluded on 31st May 2015 with a 61% share and 2.58 million viewers.  Other European versions include three series in Belgium, as well as series for Denmark, Finland and Holland.
 
The 6 x 1 hour series is commissioned by ITV’s Entertainment commissioner editor Kate Maddigan. It is exec produced by Melanie Leach, Andrew Mackenzie and Cat Lawson with Stephen Lovelock series producing for Twofour.