Gethin Jones has reached the semifinals of ‘Celebrity MasterChef’, which airs tonight (July 29), and will need to flex his creative culinary skills to remain in the competition. The BBC star, 42, made a name for himself as a TV presenter in Wales before he appeared on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ spin off ‘It Takes Two’, ‘Doctor Who’ as a Dalek operator and other shows. But during an interview about his early career, the small screen celebrity revealed a ‘Blue Peter’ challenge led to him being relentlessly attacked.
Gethin Jones recalled his small victory over a rugby player who kept “punching [him” in the face” during a segment on the popular children’s show, which he joined in 2005.
The host was taking part in a ‘Blue Peter’ challenge, which required him to train and play a match with the first team of Blackbrook Amateur Rugby Club, in Merseyside, Liverpool.
The intention was to see if a “Team GB selector” could work out which member of the team was a host rather than a sportsman.
Gethin recalled the 2006 experience on the podcast ‘Out of Your League’ last year and revealed that someone who was desperate for attention resorted to violence.
He said: “I believe it’s a feeder side for St Helens [professional rugby club]… so I basically had to train to get into the side.
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“I trained and managed to get into the first team squad for the first round for Blackbrook… I made the bench, I came on and did alright.
“What’s really funny is that the opposition knew what was going on (for ‘Blue Peter’) and… one of them kept punching me in the face.
“I was like, ‘Stop punching me in the face’ after being tackled, he goes ‘I might get on the telly’, ‘But mate it hurts you know!’
“Anyway, so we got to the end of the game and the GB selector of the time… had to work one of us [was] the ‘Blue Peter’ presenter.
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“He chose the hooker, and he was gutted, I don’t know if he ever played again.
“He was absolutely gutted to lose out to this sort of little skinny Welshman running around the pitch yelling, ‘Not the face! Not the face!’”
The TV star revealed he only played that one game – but in the past was part of the rugby union team while he studied at Manchester Metropolitan University and for a short while after he graduated.
Tonight he joins semifinalists Judi Love, Thomas Skinner, Sam Quek, Phil Daniels, Gethin Jones, Amar Latif, Riyadh Khalaf, and Sir Matthew Pinsent to battle it out for a spot in the final