Freddie Flintoff is joining Holly Willoughby as the host of ITV’s Olympics show The Real 2020 Games – The Sun

HE has put pedal to the metal on BBC for the past year – but now Freddie Flintoff is preparing to move over to ITV.

The Top Gear presenter and former England cricketer has been lined up as co-host on Holly Willoughby's Olympics-themed show The Real 2020 Games, which will be screened later this year.

The new series, following celebrities as they try their hand at a variety of Olympic events, hopes to tap into excitement during the aftermath of the Tokyo Games taking place this summer.

A telly insider said: “Freddie’s a fantastic presenter and bosses thought he would be the perfect fit working with Holly.

“They know each other anyway and on screen they really bounce off one another. Freddie’s cheeky personality is the perfect match for Holly and bosses think they are going to prove a ratings hit.”

Freddie has impressed TV executives since starting on Top Gear last year with Paddy McGuiness and Chris Harris. The trio’s second series together has been praised by fans, with many saying it has returned to its glory days under Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.

Filming for The Real 2020 Games starts later this year and the names being lined up to take part are being finalised. I exclusively revealed details of the new show last month.

A source said: “There is a real buzz around it and everyone is hoping it looks as good on screen as it does on paper. A number of big-name stars are being signed up to take part. They’ll be split into teams and trained to compete in certain sports, like shot put and synchronised swimming.”

The series is very similar to Channel 4’s reality show The Games, which ended after four series in 2006 when viewers became tired of the format. But I think a one-off series could be a massive hit, depending on which stars they manage to get in the starting block.


JUDGE Rinder has been offered the chance to dance as part of a same-sex pairing on Strictly Come Dancing’s Christmas special. The TV judge said: “I’d do anything. Ultimately a same-sex couple is inevitable.”

Boxer Tyson is the daddy and don't forget it

GIVEN Tyson Fury spends his life being hit round the head you might think he has memory problems – but it’s actually his youngest son who forgets who the fighter is.

In Tyson Fury: The Gypsy King, the heavyweight’s wife Paris tells how their toddler Prince Adonis Amaziah does not remember who his dad is when he comes back from fights.

Tyson spent several weeks away from his family at a training camp to ensure he was the correct weight and on top form before his bout with otto Wallin in LA last September.

Paris says in tonight’s episode, which airs on ITV at 9pm: “Adonis won’t remember his dad when he comes back. When they’re this age, they forget after two or three weeks and it takes them a while to get used to him again.”

Paris tries to protect their five children from the brutality of their father’s job – but daughter Venezuela, ten, and four-year-old son Prince Tyson Fury II ask to stay up and see their dad fight Wallin.

Paris explained: “The big ones ask to watch now and I let them.”

During the fight, Tyson suffers two dangerous cuts above his right eye, leaving Venezuela in tears and Tyson II screaming: “Do not hurt my dad.”

Earlier in the episode, Tyson trains with his eldest child Venezuela on a four-mile run. Despite his aggressive ringside persona and inability to remember his children’s birthdays, the boxer is a devoted father who will do anything to see them achieve their goals.

Tyson said: “Whatever all of the kids want to do I’ll just be happy that they’re following their dreams because I hate dream-killers. ‘You can’t do this, you can’t do that’ – who is anybody to say you can’t do anything?”

He’s a nice guy really.


JILL Halfpenny will star in new Channel 5 thriller The Drowning. She is playing Jodie, who becomes fixated with a teenager she believes is her son who went missing eight years ago. Jonas Armstrong will play Jodie’s brother.

Gem role kis-toric

GAME Of Thrones’ Gemma Whelan has won another role that involves her kissing a girl.

The actress played Yara Greyjoy in the fantasy drama and had a series of same-sex snogs. She is now starring in historical comedy The Upstart Crow on the West End stage, opposite David Mitchell as William Shakespeare.

Her character, Kate, is caught in a love triangle between puritan Dr John Hall (Mark Heap) and Prince Des, who is a girl disguised as a boy.

Speaking to The Sun after opening night, Gemma said: “I get to kiss another girl. Every single thing I do, there is a lesbian touch to it. Long may it continue, if that’s the way it goes.”

If it’s working, why change it?

Jo takes offence

JOANNA Scanlan is not happy with Channel 4 for axing cop drama No Offence. The actress, who played no-nonsense detective Viv Deering, says she gets begged three times a day to bring the Manchester-based show back.

She believes No Offence, which aired between 2015 and 2018, was a victim of C4 not knowing what audiences outside of London really liked.
Joanna, who appears in new ITV crime series McDonald & Dodds, which starts on March 1, said: “No Offence is a show that plays better outside the

M25 than inside. Most of the decision-makers are inside, though I know they’re supposed to be moving to Leeds, or whatever.”

I hope McDonald & Dodds enjoys a longer life.

must watch

WHAT? First Dates, Channel 4, 10pm.
WHY? Maître d’ Fred Sirieix welcomes a semi-pro footballer, funeral director and Ann Summers party planner into the restaurant to help them find love.

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