The Games




Jamie Theakston (2003-6)

Holly Willoughby and Freddie Flintoff (2022)


Jayne Middlemiss (2003-5)
Kirsty Gallacher (2006)
Alex Scott (2022)

David Goldstrom (2003-6)
Chris Kamara (2022)
Simon Brotherton (2022)

Steve Bunce (2003-6)
Yung Filly (2022)

E4 coverage (Live at Trackside (Live at the Heats / Inside Track in 2006)):
Dougie Anderson (2003)
Jamie Atiko and Darren Malcolm (2004)
Justin Lee Collins and Caroline Flack (2005-6)


Endemol UK Productions for Channel 4, 7 September 2003 to 2 April 2005 (23 episodes in 3 series)

Initial West for Channel 4, 17 to 25 March 2006

Initial for ITV, 9 to 13 May 2022


Quite good celebrity reality format where ten celebs spend six weeks training in six different sporting disciplines which are then put to the test live every night for a week.

The men and women compete in a different sport every night and the live nightly show is when the final of an event is held (the qualifying heats, if any, are usually shown live in the afternoons on E4). Contestants score five points for winning an event, three for second, two for third, one for fourth and zero for coming last with a bonus point if they beat their personal best on the night. Later series awarded five, four, three, two and zero respectively, plus that oh-so-crucial potential bonus point, to shift the emphasis from winning to not losing.

The money raised from ticket sales, viewer polls and telephone competitions goes into a big pot and the celebrities take a cut for their charities in proportion to the amount of points scored during the week.

A wide variety of events is on offer from swimming, judo, the floor and speed skating for the women to diving, weightlifting, the horse and curling for the men. The final day features the track and field events from the Don Valley stadium in Sheffield and the crowning of the champions.

The athletes spend the week living in the "athlete's village" at the Don Valley Stadium, and this being a reality show, a reasonable amount of time is given over to gossip from the night previous.

Play it again

The Games finished after four series on Channel 4, they'd signed a new and expensive contract for Big Brother, and had to economise elsewhere. The format continued to be shopped around, and was eventually bought by ITV for summer 2020. The pandemic had other ideas, and the show was deferred until spring 2022.

There were new hosts - Holly Willoughby and Freddie Flintoff split the role of Jamie Theakston - and a cast of modern celebrities. The mixture of events had changed a little, the bonus point for a personal best had been lost, but the heart of The Games was still present. Sport can be fun, and even a little training can produce great results. Ratings were modest - a little over two million - and that wasn't enough to earn a second series.


Boys: Harvey
Girls: Azra Akin and Terri Dwyer (joint winners)
Boys: Shane Lynch and Jarrod Batchelor (joint winners)
Girls: Lady Isabella Hervey
Boys: Philip Olivier
Girls: Kirsty Gallacher
Boys: Jade Jones
Girls: Javine
Men: Wes Nelson (also overall champion)
Women: Chelcee Grimes

Champions of Champions

Following the second series, a special Champion of Champions event was held each year in which a selection of participants from different series competed against each other in a special short-form competition, contested across a single episode, and comprised of track and field events. The winning teams were as follows -

2004: Team 2003 (Contested by Team 2003 and Team 2004)
2005: Team 2005 (Contested by Team 2003, Team 2004, and Team 2005)
2006: Team 2006 (Contested by Team 2004, Team 2005, and Team 2006)



  • Harvey (So Solid Crew singer)
  • James Hewitt (ex-Army officer)
  • Bobby Davro (comedian and presenter)
  • Lee Latchford-Evans (ex-Steps singer)
  • Jean-Christophe Novelli (chef)
  • Azra Akin (Miss World)
  • Teri Dwyer (ex-Hollyoaks actress)
  • Mel C (Spice Girls singer)
  • Gail Porter (presenter)
  • Josie d'Arby (presenter)


  • Shane Lynch (Boyzone singer)
  • Jarrod Batchelor (Mr Gay UK)
  • Pat Sharp (DJ and presenter)
  • Romeo (So Solid Crew singer)
  • Charles Ingram (Millionaire cheat)
  • Lady Isabella Hervey (socialite)
  • Jodie Marsh (glamour model)
  • Charlie Dimmock (TV gardener)
  • Katy Hill (presenter)
  • Linda Lusardi (ex-glamour model)


  • Philip Olivier (ex-Brookside actor)
  • Craig Charles (Red Dwarf actor)
  • Chesney Hawkes (singer)
  • Jonathon Morris (actor and presenter)
  • Kevin Simm (Liberty X singer)
  • Danny Foster (ex-Hear'Say singer) (replacement for Jonathon Morris)
  • Kirsty Gallacher (presenter)
  • Lisa Maffia (So Solid Crew singer)
  • Mel Giedroyc (presenter)
  • Her Royal Highness Princess Tamara Czartoryski-Borbon (princess)
  • Anna Walker (presenter)


  • Peter Duncan (ex-Blue Peter presenter)
  • Jade Jones (Damage singer)
  • Jason King (DJ and presenter)
  • Marcel Somerville (Blazin' Squad singer)
  • Goldie (actor)
  • Adam Rickitt (ex-Coronation Street actor and singer) (replacement for Goldie)
  • Bernie Nolan (Nolans singer and actress)
  • Javine (singer)
  • Michelle Gayle (singer and ex-EastEnders actress)
  • Amanda Lamb (presenter)
  • Julia Goldsworthy MP (Member of Parliament)


  • Chelcee Grimes (singer and footballer)
  • Christine McGuinness (actress)
  • Colson Smith (Coronation Street actor)
  • Josh Herdman (Harry Potter actor)
  • Kevin Clifton (Strictly dancer)
  • Lucrezia Millarini (newsreader)
  • Max George (The Wanted singer)
  • Olivia Attwood (Love Islander)
  • Phoenix Gulzar-Brown (Mel B's daughter)
  • Rebecca Sarker (Emmerdale actress)
  • Ryan Thomas (Coronation Street actor)
  • Wes Nelson (Love Islander)
  • Reserves:
  • Chloe Burrows (Love Islander)
  • Will Njobvu (The Masked Singer: Unmasked)

Key moments

Bobby Davro's belly flop in the diving.

Harvey from popular beat combo So Solid Crew proving to be the fastest man in the entire world ever.

Lucrezia Millarini going down like a sack of spuds in the 400m.

Theme music

2003-06: Dobs Vye

2022: A-Mnemonic


ITV scheduled the second episode of the revival against the fifth episode of another of Holly Willoughby's shows, Freeze the Fear with Wim Hof, on which Chelcee Grimes also featured.

Chris Kamara's careful enunciation in the 2022 revival (and need for Simon Brotherton as co-commentator) was a result of him suffering the speech disorder apraxia.

Web links

Wikipedia entry

Off the Telly review

Bother's Bar review

See also

Weaver's Week reviews: 2003, 2004, 2006, 2022


To correct something on this page or post an addition, please complete this form and press "Send":
If you are asking us a question, please read our contact us page and FAQ first.

Name: E-mail:   
A Labyrinth Games site.
Design by Thomas.
Printable version
Editors: Log in