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Simon Duke

ITV's The Games contestants as Max George, Olivia Attwood, Ryan Thomas and more do battle

Get ready to see famous faces become ultra competitive as The Games takes over ITV all this week.

Those of you old to remember the Channel 4 version in the 2000s will know that, while it's never been on ITV before, it's not a new concept, with old series featuring the likes of Phillip Olivier, Kirsty Gallacher, MC Harvey and Boyzone's Shane Lynch.

The Games will take over ITV every night this week at 9pm, the slot that has been occupied by new drama series in recent weeks. It will be hosted by Holly Willoughby, Freddie Flintoff, Alex Scott and Chris Kamara, with Holly missing This Morning all week to move to the new role.

READ MORE: Ant and Dec in Britain's Got Talent 'break up' after audition snub

And, as well as having so well known presenters at the helm, there is also plenty of celeb spotting to be done in the line-up, with popstars, reality TV stars and famous celeb children among those taking part.

The Games contestants on ITV

Phoenix Gulzar-Brown, 23

Phoenix is the daughter of Spice Girl Mel B and her ex Jimmy Gulzar. Talking about being on the show, former basketball player Phoenix said: "“I’m excited about everything, the challenge, the whole competition. It’s something I’ve never done before. I love sport, so this is kind of my field. I’m going to be competitive in all the events. I’m a competitive person!

"Friendly competitiveness is healthy, so I’m really excited. Everyone is great, everyone is so nice. I’m not super fit but I’m very active and I really enjoy it. It’s something I’m glad to be back out, doing sports again.”

Ryan Thomas, 37

Ryan is best known for playing Jason Grimshaw on Coronation Street and winning Celebrity Big Brother in 20128, after the controversial false allegations made against him by Roxanne Pallett.

Commenting on being a contestant on The Games, Ryan said: "I think this is an amazing opportunity to give myself motivation, focus, keep fit mentally and physically, meet new people and learn new skills. I’m totally taking myself out of my comfort zone which is why we are all here I think.”

“I think my favourite event will be the hammer. Least favourite will be the diving because I’m worried about doing belly flops and hurting myself! But they are all really difficult sports."

Rebecca Sarker, 46

Rebecca has had viewers on edge in her role as Manpreet in Emmerdale and, and on the very different role presented to her on The Games, she said: ""I feel this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. I was very honoured and surprised to be asked to be involved and my children would probably never forgive me if I didn't take part.

"It's an opportunity to learn new skills and new disciplines, increase my fitness and challenge myself."

Wes Nelson, 23

Wes shot to TV fame on Love Island in 2018, before competing in Dancing on Ice a year later.

Discussing his chances on The Games, he said: "“I think my strongest events will be the sprints but I’m more excited for the diving because it’s something I’ve never done. I love learning new things, so the thought of jumping off a 10-metre board to me sounds sick! I want to do handstands and flips off it.

" I’ve been watching Tom Daley and it looks amazing. I can walk on my hands, so we’ll see!”

Chelcee Grimes, 29

Chelcee is a footballer, Grammy nominated songwriter and TV presenter, having fronted some of the BBC's Eurovision coverage last year

When quizzed on how she thinks she'll do in each event, Chelcee said: "“The thing I’m most confident in is track, 100m, 400m and also hurdles - I think I’ve got a good shot even though I’ve never done them before. But on track I think I’m pretty comfortable, anywhere else, it’s anyone’s game. I’m not looking forward to cycling, I’m not one for speed, my friends laugh at me how slow I drive, so me on a bike, I think I’ll be crawling round the track!”

Kevin Clifton, 39

Kevin won Strictly Come Dancing alongside Stacey Dooley in 2018, before going onto star in hit musicals Rock of Ages and Singing in the Rain.

He highlighted two events as the ones he is looking foreard to, saying: "I don't know what I'm going to be best at. For some reason I'm looking forward to the 400m. In the 100m you've just got to be quick, and I'm not that quick, but with 400m it's about keeping up and going quick for as long as possible. That and canoe slalom because it's another thing to try. I never thought I would do anything like that. They're the two I'm looking forward to the most."

Olivia Attwood, 30

Another Love Island star on the line-up. Quizzed on why she's doing The Games, Olivia said: "“When I was younger, I loved sport and I was so sporty, but over the years I’ve become so distanced from it. So when this show came up I thought, ‘When would I ever get the chance to do sport on this level with these amazing facilities and all these amazing athletes and coaches training us?’ I just thought it was too good a chance to pass up.”

Josh Herdman, 35

Josh is best known for playing Gregory Goyle in the Harry Potter films. When asked which events he doesn't rate himself in, the 35-year-old commented: "“I’m least confident in the diving. I don't like jumping off things. I'm not scared of heights, I like flying, as long as I know I'm safe. But I don't like throwing myself off things, I'm not great with that. So that's what I'm least looking forward to. And the swimming. I've never been a strong swimmer."

Christine McGuinness, 34

Former Real Housewives of Cheshire and The Real Full Monty star Christine McGuinness joins the line-up and has teased she's already been doing well in some of the sports. She commented: "My favourite event so far has been weights. I think I'm most comfortable with things that are slow and steady and quite strong. Speed is not my thing at all. I don't like anything too fast! So I am absolutely dreading the running.

"I know I am not a fast runner. It's hard to be enthusiastic about something that you know you struggle with. I know that's my biggest weakness but I’m here to give it my best shot."

Colson Smith, 23

Colson is known to millions of soap fans as lovable copper Craig in Coronation Street. Staying very realistic about his chances on The Games, Colson said: "“It's a tough one to choose my best event because they're all so varied. Everyone thinks I'm all about the running, but the running that I usually do is so different to this style of running, that it's almost alien. I'm looking forward to learning new skills and learning from the best coaches, in the best venues, that I can.

“I’m least looking forward to the hurdles. The hurdles are high and it just doesn't feel like it's going to end well on the hurdles! And we get on the diving boards soon and I'm not sure that's going to be the most fun experience of my life."

Lucrezia Millarini, 46

As well as being an ITV news reader, Lucrezia has been a contestant on Dancing on Ice. She rather fancies her chances in the running disciplines, but recognises she has competition, saying: "When it comes to running, I’ve got some competition! There are a lot of speedy people among us girls. I enjoy running but the hurdles will be a challenge. I’m 5ft1, I’m little and so is Rebecca and we’ve talked about this.

"When you see those hurdles in real life you realise just how high they are! I’m hoping the ones we’re jumping might be a little bit shorter than those used by the professionals?!”

*As well as the main contestants, there are two reserves: Love Island's Chloe Burrows and TV and radio presenter Will Njobvu.


*Has The Games been on before?

*Holly Willoughby off This Morning as she lands high profile job

*Martin Lewis hit with instant regret on return to GMB

*Simon Cowell taken in by Britain's Got Talent act audition lie

*Britain's Got Talent survives ITV cull as shows axed for sport

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