Jonny Wilkinson joins forces with Bear Grylls for new show Wild Weekends

HE spent the Noughties getting soaking wet and covered in mud on rugby pitches.

Now retired England legend Jonny Wilkinson has gone back to roughing it — after joining forces with Bear Grylls.

The telly adventurer has rebooted the format for his Wild Weekends show, which was first screened in 2011, and is bringing the special episodes to ITV.

He signed up the former Newcastle Falcons and British and Irish Lions fly-half for the first instalment of the show and the pair filmed together in Devon last weekend.

An insider said: “Jonny signed up to take part in Wild Weekends earlier this year and his stint with Bear was a triumph.

“Jonny’s a hugely interesting character and he and Bear had a huge amount to talk about.

“It was quite emotional at times and really celebrated all that Jonny had achieved during his career.

“Bear knows how to get the best out of people, all while pushing them to their physical and mental limits.

“They filmed together in Dartmoor and it was pretty tough out there, given how cold it was.

“But everyone working on the show was really happy about the result and it was clear Jonny loved every second of being out in the wild with Bear.

“You’d think some sportsmen might be a bit pampered, but not Jonny. He was ready for anything and game to give everything a go.”

The special, called Bear & Jonny Wilkinson’s Wild Adventure, will air in the summer.

Bear previously launched Wild Weekends as two special episodes starring comic Miranda Hart and TV host Jonathan Ross ten years ago.

He also went on to film an episode with actor Stephen Fry in 2013 and then had two specials, featuring Hollywood stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Ben Stiller, the following year.

After spending months in lockdown, I can’t remember my last wild weekend — so I am definitely looking forward to this.

Celebs' last date night

THE Celebs Go Dating finale is tonight – and judging from this happy snap of the romance hopefuls in the mansion spin-off everyone appears a winner.

Sophie Herman, Tom Zanetti, Karim Zeroual, Wayne Linekar, Curtis Prtitchard, Kimberley Hart-Simpson and Chloe Ferry will decide whether to take their relationships into the real world.

The E4 show’s love guru, Anna Williamson, revealed: “We shot literally for 30 days consecutively, 12 hours a day. I mean, that is an intense period of time to be together, all of us.

“But actually, we saw results a lot faster.”

All talk is of Joe and Jem

ANTICIPATION for the follow-up to BBC drama Normal People has grown after some stellar castings.

The show, Conversations With Friends, will star Taylor Swift's boyfriend Joe Alwyn as the male lead, Nick.

Meanwhile, his on-screen wife Melissa will be portrayed by Girls actress Jemma Kirke.

The 12-part BBC1 adaptation of the novel by Sally Rooney, who wrote Normal People, will start filming this year in Dublin and Belfast and air in 2021.

Joe and Jemima will be joined by newcomer Alison Oliver, who plays the narrator, a college student called Frances, and Sasha Lane as her friend and former lover Bobbi.

The characters’ relationships become dangerously intertwined.

Normal People, which was a global hit for BBC Three last year, boosted the career of Daisy Edgar-Jones and turned Paul Mescal into a huge star.

No pressure having to follow those two. 

Bowing out

SIAN REESE-WILLIAMS has confirmed she has now left BBC1’s medical drama Holby City.

The former Emmerdale actress bowed out after viewers saw her character Jodie Rodgers sectioned in Tuesday night’s episode.

Sian wrote on Twitter: “Thanks, Holby. I had an absolute blast.”

Fergie's time set for film

A NEW documentary on former football manager Sir Alex Ferguson is due to be released in May.

Amazon and Universal are to launch Sir Alex Ferguson: Never Give In about the iconic ex-Manchester United, Aberdeen and Scotland boss.

The film, directed by Sir Alex’s son Jason, will feature him recounting the most important aspects of his life, both in and out of football.

It includes stories about his family and upbringing, along with the sporting triumphs and disappointments.

Fergie made the film while recovering from the life-threatening brain haemorrhage he suffered in 2018, when he became aware his memory might go.

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