Celebrities choose the TV moments that have shaped their lives. In this episode, host Brian Conley is joined by Olympic medallist Rebecca Adlington.
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Telly, that magic box in the corner.
It gives us access to a million different worlds,
all from the comfort of our sofa.
In this series, I'm going to journey through
the fantastic world of TV with some of our favourite celebrities.
They've chosen the precious TV moments that shed light...
I loved this.
..on the stories of their lives.
Listen, this looks smashing.
-# Right on time... #
Some are funny...
HIGH PITCHED: # ..became of the people... #
-Just like that.
I'll let you into a secret I've never told anyone before.
Some are inspiring...
I wanted to be a Miss something.
The best TV transports you.
-Did George Orwell get his predictions right?
It's all so dramatic.
-..are deeply moving.
'The death of John F Kennedy...'
This takes me back.
-It makes me want to cry.
-Oh, you can have a cry if you want.
So come watch with us as we hand-pick the vintage telly
that helped turn our much-loved stars
into the people they are today.
Welcome to The TV That Made Me.
My guest today is an international sports champion
who's had a swimming pool, a pub and a train named after her.
She even managed to withstand the horrors of the
I'm A Celebrity jungle.
Yes, she's Britain's most decorated female Olympian,
Rebecca Adlington, and the TV that made her includes
the TV legend who brought us a lorra, lorra love.
And Carmelo from Manchester.
And the cooking show that offered us a little bit of afternoon delight.
It's up to you now to decide who's going to be the winner.
Green peppers or red tomatoes? Would you please vote now?
It can only be the one and only Rebecca Adlington is here
with a pillow.
LAUGHING: Yeah. I haven't stuffed my dress, don't worry.
-So, do you get much time to watch TV?
-Yeah. I love TV.
-TV... Especially, like, when I was an athlete, it's how you
switch off, it's how you relax, how you unwind.
So, I'm such a TV girl.
Today is a celebration.
What we've done, we've picked some TV highlights,
well, you've picked some TV highlights that probably made you
into the person you are today.
But first up, we're going to have a look at a very young Rebecca.
In 1989, Rebecca Adlington entered the world.
Or to be more exact, the town of Mansfield in Nottinghamshire.
And just three years later, her parents enrolled her for
swimming lessons, a decision that will ultimately lead Rebecca to win
a staggering 17 international medals - including seven golds -
making her one of our most successful athletes,
something she says she could never have achieved without her mum,
dad and two older sisters.
It must absolutely engulf your world, your life.
It does your whole family. It was a case of Mum
was getting up at 4.30 in the morning with me.
She'd take me to the pool. I'd swim two hours before school.
She'd then take me straight to school.
I'd go straight from school back to the pool in the evening
and wouldn't get home till about 8.00 at night.
And it was a whole family effort,
it was something that we just joined together
and really worked as a team,
just enabled me to live out my dream.
So, Rebecca, TV - your first, your earliest TV memories?
I think, cos I've got two older sisters,
it was kind of like one of those things that I kind of dipped
into the really early stuff like Postman Pat and things like that.
But then I was kind of like forced to watch the older programmes.
So I never really went through the whole, kind of,
Peppa Pig that's nowadays and all the Teletubbies and that sort of stage.
Me and my sisters used to love programmes kind of like
Art Attack and things like that.
But they were just dead arty and they're dead creative
whereas I was just sat there going,
"Really? I'm too young for this." I wanted something like Scooby-Doo on
and things like that, I absolutely loved.
So, this is it, Rebecca. Bit of Art Attack.
Now, to make a funky frame,
you need a large round tray or plate
and just place part of it...
Is this something you would have made?
It's something I'd tried to have made.
Now, to make it even more funky,
you need to glam it up in
a really garish, groovy way. So...
While Art Attack was hardly big budget telly,
the ideas were genius
and the series proved that any child could be good at arts and crafts.
Couple of wobbly lines down there like that.
Well, almost any child.
-I'm not creative or arty at all.
I still draw stick people, even now.
My sisters were dead good and theirs would look exactly like Neil's
and mine would just be this pile of mush that was just rubbish.
But they absolutely loved it, and I think being the baby of a family,
-you just, you have to go with it.
-You're young. Yeah.
-You just get told what to do.
-They're much older than you,
-so they're bound to create something probably a little bit better.
Paint it using real crazy colours.
Use poster or acrylic paint but make sure you use nice bright colours.
And, of course, for the sake of entertainment,
even Art Attack was guilty of taking the occasional television short cut.
They used to come out with "Here's one I made earlier."
-Did they ever do that?
-Oh, yeah, of course.
-"This just dried earlier." Oh, OK then.
And when you've painted the whole of your frame,
you'll end up with something that looks like that.
-Oh, see, here you go.
-There you go.
-One I made earlier.
One that someone else made earlier maybe if you were more honest,
-but let's not go there.
On she goes.
My pin-up, don't tell anyone.
And there you have a fantastic funky frame.
Would your frame turn out like that?
LAUGHING: No! Mine just came out like a blob.
-I loved it, though.
Your sisters, who are older than you,
-did you go to bed at the same time as them?
-HE GASPS No.
-Did it upset you?
-Does it still upset you?
I always had to go to bed first and it was just...
So, they'd be watching the telly, be watching a programme.
Yeah, yeah, all the time.
It was always things like on a Saturday night and it was just
kind of like, it was a case of I was allowed to watch some
things like Gladiators or a few of them shows.
But then as soon as it started getting a little bit older TV -
Man O Man, Blind Date, all them sorts of shows - it was kind of like,
"Rebecca, it's your bedtime now."
And I'd be like, "No, Mum, just ten more minutes!"
And just was dying to stay up and watch it.
Back in the early '90s, when Rebecca was being sent to
bed, some of the most popular Saturday night shows included
a reboot of The Generation Game, allowing Bruce Forsyth and
his new sidekick, Rosemarie Ford, to give away even more cuddly toys.
In Big Break, hosted by comedian Jim Davidson,
we found out what happens when you combine snooker with a game show.
And Noel's House Party gave us a superstar like no other -
the one and only Mr Blobby.
But there was one show
and one entertainer Rebecca was desperate to see, our Cilla.
Well, I'm sorry you were sent to bed,
-so we've got a little clip from Blind Date.
Thank you, thank you. Hello and welcome to Blind Date.
Go on, Cilla!
-Yes! Yes, indeed.
Look at the shoulder pads!
But look at the legs, she's... Oh, good set of pins on her, Cilla.
-Look at that.
-Yeah, she does.
We have Jason from London,
Matt from Wiltshire
and Carmelo from Manchester.
Like its host, Blind Date is legendary.
It ran for 18 years
and attracted audiences of up to 17 million.
-Did you ever want to be on the show?
-No. God, no.
-No, I'd hate it.
All the cheesy... I don't know, I think it's different
if you were the one picking the guys or
if you were one of the three girls, that'd be hard.
I'd prefer to be the one that gets to pick the guys.
Well, I could do an impression of an owl, you see, I'm very wise,
I can stay up all night
and you'd be a twit-to-woo not to pick me tonight.
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
So, would you play this at home?
I was... We always used to guess which one they were going to pick.
-Or go "Oh, no, I would have picked that one"
or "I would have picked this person."
You can see her knickers through that.
-Not quite sure what she's wearing there.
This is the reaction, this is the pay off.
Stand by for the thrill of the evening cos you're going
away on your blind date with Carmelo from Manchester.
Come in, Carmelo.
So, Rebecca, if I was on Blind Date,
what sort of questions would you ask me?
-I'd have three, yeah?
So, I'd ask you what your perfect weekend would be.
My perfect weekend would be with you.
Well, no, that's what they say though, isn't it, you know?
With some sort of rude connotation, sort of, in there.
I'd be an owl and I'd twit-to-woo, how, oh, dear.
-Involve food and you've got me.
-Oh, right. Yeah.
My perfect would-be weekend would be with you, and pie and chips.
-I like that. Northern girl.
-OK. Next one.
If you were an Olympic sport, what would you be and why?
If I was an Olympic sport, I would be the shot put.
Because I would put it there...
THEY BOTH LAUGH
I'm not going any further.
Time out. Have you got another one?
-I don't think I'd pick you.
THEY BOTH LAUGH
And if I was sad, how would you cheer me up?
I would cheer you up with my shot-putting, there you go.
God. I don't think I'd choose you.
No, I don't think you would.
I think I'm far too old for you as well.
-You would get...
-You had me with the weekend.
Your next choice is something they don't normally show on BBC,
it's a commercial break, and it's one of my all-time favourite ads.
I just think it's genius.
In 2007, this commercial premiered during the Big Brother
finale and it proved to be a game changer in the world of advertising.
For a start, viewers felt compelled to watch it.
-It's such a good advert, though, isn't it?
# And I can feel it coming in the air tonight... #
The novel idea of a gorilla playing the drums teamed with
the perfect choice of music absolutely fascinated the public,
making it one of the first ads to go viral.
It attracted half a million YouTube hits within a week of its launch.
# I can feel it coming in... #
Do you think it's the music? It's just everything about it, isn't it?
It's just everything, isn't it?
It's just something that's totally not related at all to chocolate,
for starters, it's just the music,
it's the fact that they've used a gorilla, which is really random.
-Just the whole thing.
But normally, especially nowadays, I don't know about anyone else,
I kind of skip adverts. I flick to a different channel or
I fast-forward or whatever. Whereas this, you just sit
and watch the whole way through, you just absolutely loved it.
# ..all my life... #
The incredibly realistic costume took three months to make
and the convincing performance is courtesy of an actor who
previously worked on Planet Of The Apes.
His performance and the high production values made this
campaign a huge success, boosting sales
and improving public perception of the company itself.
But what really makes this ad
so effective is the almost unbearable build-up.
HE MIMICS DRUMMING
# Oh, Lord
# And I can feel it coming in the air tonight
# Oh, Lord... #
The energy. And I think, when you're at home, you just cannot help
-HE MIMICS DRUMMING
-I think as well...
-Or is that just me?
That's...no, totally get that. The song was perfect and it was just,
it's something that everyone spoke about
and it was just like, "Have you seen that advert?"
And it's more about, like, the just remembering an advert
and that was what was so great about that
is that you instantly think of Cadbury's chocolate.
-And it's just something so random...
..but absolutely brilliant and it was, yeah, it was so clever.
-So clever but it was just, yeah.
-In some way, it's just that...
..that silence, that cos as a viewer we know that big drum
break's coming in but the way he's just, just preparing himself for it.
-Simple but effective.
-Very, very effective.
Rebecca, your next choice is TV fear.
Now, this is something you used to hide behind the sofa,
but we don't want to stress you out too much.
We've got a pillow if you want to hide behind this.
-OK. Thank you.
-Do you know what I'm on about?
-Do you know the show I'm talking about?
-It used to terrify...
-..the life out of me.
I just don't like anything like horror.
I haven't really seen any horror films or like anything scary.
So, you assume that Midsomer Murders is like a horror film?
Well, it was like the anticipation, the tense, and it
was only cos when I was really young I should have gone to bed,
my parents were constantly telling me to go to bed.
But the one episode that I watched was that the person died
from somebody hiding in their bedroom.
Well, that terrified the life out of me. I then was not able to go
upstairs and I dragged my mum upstairs with me to check my bedroom
was all clear and that there wasn't someone hiding in the wardrobe.
Did you end up sleeping in that bedroom or did you go
and sleep with your mum and dad?
-Well, I shared a room with my sisters.
But because I had to go to bed first, it was always the case
they had to then, for literally probably about a good year,
walk me to bed and walk upstairs with me.
And why did I watch that one of all things?
-Well, you can hide behind your pillow.
-OK. Thank you.
I'm a bit worried about showing you this episode.
-But here we have a little moment.
See, even that's a bit creepy.
With a homicide rate that would make it the murder capital of the UK,
this fictional county is a precarious place for its residents.
Why is everywhere dark? You'd have streetlights.
Well, to add to the suspense.
Yeah, but it's just someone would have a light on.
Turn a light on! Yeah. Get a bigger torch, get a spotlight.
-Don't go... They're always on their own,
they're always wandering into woods on their own.
-Get a group of people.
Why was that guy out in the woods anyway? What was he doing?
I'm a bit suspicious of him. And finding him.
-You're getting anxious, aren't you?
Seriously, my husband's going to have to walk me to bed
every night for like a year now.
-I still can't watch it.
-I still can't watch it.
-Oh, come on, I've got to press pause.
So, you're telling me, Rebecca Adlington,
a lady in her mid-20s, still cannot watch Midsomer Murders?
No. Terrifies the life out of me.
Anything like that I just stay away from.
I mean, with Midsomer Murders, it's all set in the West Country.
-I mean, do you...do you get anxious?
-Don't go there.
Don't go there.
LAUGHING: I do. But, yeah.
Oh, let's put you on edge just a little bit more. Here we go.
And while it's a dangerous place to buy a character cottage,
if you do meet a grisly end, it will at least be interesting.
One week, it's a man tied to a tree,
smothered in expensive truffle oil and left to be eaten
alive by a wild boar, and the next...
-What have we got here?
-Dead for five or six hours.
Cause of death - head separated from the body.
Now, that's where we benefit from having an expert on the job.
That's enough from you.
Head separated from the body?
-I don't want to go to bed dreaming about this.
But would it worry you, I mean, because, you know, this village,
there were so many murders?
I would not be living there, if that was...that was me.
It always happens in these tiny villages and you're just like,
"Really?" It is a bit unrealistic
but, at the same time, still a bit scary.
So, a realistic crime show it's not
but what this much-loved series does do is put an enjoyable spin
on the rules of the great British murder mystery.
Seriously, I'm going to have nightmares for like a week now.
It's going to make me go into labour.
Can I take that cushion away from you to reveal that one? OK.
Rebecca, we're moving on to your guilty pleasure.
You shouldn't like it,
but somewhere deep in there, you just can't help yourself.
-This, for you, is Ready Steady Cook.
Whoa, we've got big flames over here. 45 seconds.
For 16 years and more than 1,700 episodes,
Ready Steady Cook challenged two celebrity chefs to whip up
something fabulous out of five quid's worth of random ingredients.
Are you a keen cook then?
I love, I love food. I'm such a foodie.
But, yeah, I think, cos I didn't cook much growing up,
it was always like my sisters helping out my mum, so I kind of
didn't really get into cooking until about 19, 20, where I tried
everything. But I've actually been on Ready Steady Cook with my mum.
And when we went on - and I am nowhere near as good
as a chef as my mum, without a doubt -
but I took my medals with me and
I showed it round the audience and then they all voted for me, so I won.
I was like, "Yes!" It was a brilliant result,
and my mum was like, "What?!" My mum was outraged because she just,
she is obviously the family cook, she's the one that makes
everything and, to be fair, I love my mum's cooking.
It's my favourite food.
If I had to pick one meal I could have, I would have me mum's cooking.
And while even this show couldn't interrupt Rebecca's
it's another demonstration of how her family are always there for her.
Your parents have to be your nutritionist,
they have to be your physios, they literally have to be everything,
and it was a case of my mum just...
I kind of always enjoyed cooking and so did my sisters,
it was always a case of I never really had time to cook.
And even by the time I was 18, 19, living on my own,
it would have to be quick.
I was cooking things that you could eat within 20 minutes
cos you were starving after training.
So, it's just like posh chicken and chips really.
And the best thing about Ready Steady Cook,
not only were the contestants well-fed,
they also stood to win a life-changing 100 quid.
Oh, I'd like to take you home with... Sorry.
If my wife wasn't here, I'd like to take you home with me.
-This is wonderful. It really is wonderful.
It's up to you now to decide who's going to be the winner.
Green peppers or red tomatoes? Would you please vote now?
Any cookery show just makes you absolutely starving.
You just watch it and you're like, "I need food now!"
You weren't hungry before you watched it, then you go into the kitchen
and make something dead plain and boring and you're like,
"Oh, great(!) I get this for my tea now." Just watched something amazing,
-but it never turns out the way they do. Well, mine doesn't anyway.
When did it suddenly dawn on you that you were
good in the swimming pool, exceptionally good?
Not till I was about 13, not till I was a little bit older.
I'd kind of joined a club around eight and started competing
around nine or ten, but it wasn't until I got into my teenage years
that I took it seriously. It was just a hobby before and it,
kind of, I still saw it as a hobby, it just became a more intense hobby
that I did. And I just constantly wanted to be at the swimming pool.
My mum tried me with other things, I just wanted to be at the pool
all the time, just felt at home being in water.
Rebecca's big break came at the age of 19
at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing,
where she won two gold medals, set a new world record
and made her mum and dad the proudest parents on the planet.
In 2010, Rebecca went on to win a gold
and a bronze at the European Championships.
Then, just a few months later, came her next triumph -
the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, where she added another four medals,
including two golds, to her collection.
'Now she's Commonwealth champion of the women's
'800 metres freestyle, Becky Adlington of England.'
I always get asked, "What does it feel like to win a gold medal?"
It's so hard to put into words cos it's so personal.
It's like your life, like, you flash back to everything, to the
times where you got out of the pool crying your eyes out
cos you're in so much pain,
where you can't even, like, walk down the stairs without
holding on to something cos your legs are burning.
Like, you've literally pushed yourself to the limit every
single day for about ten years, it's such a relief that it has been
worth it as well that literally you feel every single emotion
from happiness to overwhelmed to literally every emotion possible.
It is one of those incredible things that you'll never forget either.
-I'll never ever forget that.
It feels like it was yesterday,
that I can remember it that clearly in my head.
Two years on, she competed at the London 2012 Olympics
as one of our most decorated athletes, going into the
competition with a staggering 15 international medals to her name.
This time, she came away with two bronzes,
something she initially felt disappointed with.
There is this tiny 1% of you that is like...
Cos you didn't get that gold medal that obviously
everyone wants to get.
-But then, at the same time, you give it 100%.
-That's all you can ask for.
That you just, kind of, have to accept that on the day
it's not good enough, that your best isn't good enough.
-And it was just that...
-You don't now, though?
-No, no, no.
-No. Good. Yeah.
But it was, kind of, that initial thing
and I just couldn't stop crying cos the first thing I said
to my coach, I had been with the same coach since I was about 12, 13,
it was Bill, and obviously, he had taken me through Beijing.
You have such a close connection with your coach and the first thing I said
to him was, "I'm sorry." And I just felt like I'd let him down.
And he just went, "Bec, don't ever say that to me again."
He was like, "You've got nothing to be sorry for, I'm so proud of you."
And it, kind of, all disappeared
once I realised I hadn't let anyone but myself down.
And actually, that was the major turning point.
You have not let yourself down.
And, I mean, you're talking about that moment,
-but you don't feel like that now?
-No, definitely not.
I look back now and I'm...
The one thing that a lot of people ask me about retirement is,
"Oh, do you miss it? Do you miss being in a pool?"
And I'm, "No, because I can honestly say I gave my career 100%."
Yeah. Oh, without a doubt.
There isn't a stone left unturned,
there isn't that "What if?"
-"Oh, what if I'd done that?"
There's nothing because I can honestly say I gave everything 100%.
So, how can I be disappointed with two bronze medals
where I gave it my all, it just...that was it.
-And two golds.
-And two, yeah, exactly.
-Don't forget them.
So, I gave everything the best shot I could.
And now you're commentating on the next generation of swimmers.
Yeah. It's nice to see the younger ones come through.
-Do you get nervous for them?
So nervous cos you just, you realise every little step
they're going through, it's relatable, you can relate to them
and how they're feeling and it's just such an amazing thing to be part of.
I think we've got a moment here.
We've had a few moments in this pool,
but that is the first one that's made Rebecca Adlington cry.
I'm so pleased for Adam.
Invited to be an ambassador for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games,
Rebecca's move into the world of punditry got emotional
when friend Adam Peaty won gold.
I'm just so pleased for him.
These are good tears, they're good tears. And it was...
It's going to make me cry again.
-You can't show this to a pregnant lady.
He comes from a club.
Adam comes from a club, and I love that.
City of Derby, they're absolutely...
They will all be crying and bawling their eyes out.
I know how much this means to the whole club.
And actually, a really good reminder that...
Why did it get to you like that when it's not even you out there?
I think you just realise everything that goes into it,
you realise the dedication,
the amount of hours that he's trained for this one moment.
You just relate to everything they're going through and it's such
an honour to just pass on a little snippet of their life to people.
And that's what I love about the punditry is that you can just
give a little bit of an insight to what it is to be a swimmer.
So, it's nice to just pass on that knowledge to other people
-and just share what these guys have gone through.
Especially for Adam Peaty, he's just gone from strength to strength,
he's just broke the world record a couple of weeks ago
and he's just one definitely to watch for Rio.
Rebecca has successfully made the transition from sports
to telly and she is in fine company.
And here are a few other famous women who've succeeded
in doing the same thing.
Starting with Clare Balding, who before coming
one of our favourite presenters was once an amateur jockey.
Meanwhile swimmer Sharron Davies has been
presenting television since the '90s, appearing
on everything from Gladiators to Channel 4's Big Breakfast.
Then there's Denise Lewis,
who after winning a gold medal in the heptathlon,
has gone on to even greater success as a pundit in athletics.
And last but not least, tennis player Sue Barker, who,
after winning 11 WTA singles titles, moved into commentating and of
course has now spent the last 18 years hosting A Question Of Sport.
Rebecca Adlington, what are you watching now?
Loads of different things. I love the new Sherlock.
Absolutely love it.
I'm addicted, and that's only got three episodes.
I'm like, "No, make it longer!"
And you have to wait ages in between the series as well.
I love property shows, all that sort of stuff.
Like, your Grand Designs, The Restoration Man,
anything kind of property.
Food shows, again, I love, kind of, my cookery shows
and things in the day, so a real mixture.
And then the comedy stuff.
The same as well, like The Big Bang Theory,
stuff that you get boxsets to.
-Have you enjoyed today?
-I've loved it.
No, it's been really nice remembering stuff,
maybe not the murder - Midsomer Murders.
-Midsomer Murders. Ah, I can't...
-That's going to terrify me.
-You can't even say it. Maybe not the m-m-mur.
Well, I want to thank you.
So, hopefully we'll forget that one.
But the rest of them, no, it's been really nice.
So you won't play out with that theme tune.
You get a choice now - you can choose any theme tune,
any one you wish to play out on.
It'll have to be my favourite, Fawlty Towers.
-Absolutely love it.
You've been one of my favourites. Thank you so much.
-Aw, thank you.
-Good luck with the baby.
-Oh, thank you.
Ladies and gentlemen, my thanks to the lovely Rebecca Adlington
and my thanks to you for watching The TV That Made Me.
We'll see you next time, bye-bye.
MUSIC: Fawlty Towers Theme
Brian Conley is joined by Olympic medallist Rebecca Adlington. Among the TV shows that Rebecca loved growing up were the original dating show, Blind Date, and one of the first adverts to go viral, the Cadbury's gorilla. Rebecca also reveals her tactics for winning at Ready Steady Cook, discusses getting in on the Art Attack action with her sisters and talks about what it takes to become Britain's greatest ever distance swimmer.