Exmouth's Christmas Day swim live on TV as Gordon Ramsay and Iwan Thomas link up
By PGStrange | Thursday, December 20, 2012, 11:30
CELEBRITY CHEF Gordon Ramsay and Olympic 400m sprinter and Celebrity Masterchef Iwan Thomas are to link up live on Channel 4 for Exmouth's Christmas Day Swim. The live TV link will show Iwan cooking a Christmas meal at The Octagon on Exmouth's seafront and taking part in this year's swim...
Exmouth's famous Christmas Day swim will be featured live in Gordon Ramsay's Christmas Cookalong Live on Channel 4. Olympic and Commonwealth sprinter Iwan Thomas will present the live link
Splashback: last year's Exmouth Christmas Day Swim
News of the live TV link to the town's famous annual event broke in last week's local press, although it was unclear who would be presenting the link from Exmouth.
Yesterday (Tuesday 18 December) a Channel 4 spokeswoman confirmed that the TV presenter would be Iwan Thomas MBE, the Olympic and Commonwealth 400-metre sprinter who has also been a contestant on Celebrity Masterchef.
The live link will be during Gordon's Christmas Cookalong Live (10am, C4, 25 December). Iwan will begin the programme from inside The Octagon with volunteer lifeguards from the Exmouth Beach Rescue Club.
"During the show, Iwan will tell Gordon that he's decided to spend this Christmas down the coast from his usual residence in Bournemouth to join in with Exmouth's Christmas Day swim," said the Channel 4 spokeswoman.
"While he's there, he's also going to reward the local lifeguards who regularly give up their Christmas year after year to patrol the beach event, by cooking them a Christmas dinner to remember."
Carrots and potatoes
The spokeswoman also said that Iwan may ask some of the lifeguards to help him chop carrots and peel potatoes throughout the morning. It's likely that Nigel Snowshall, a local firefighter and founder of the Beach Rescue Club, will be a key contributor on the day.
At 11am, Iwan will be joining the revellers on Exmouth beach and will lead them in the countdown before sprinting into the sea for his first-ever Christmas Day swim.
A later link in the programme will show Iwan serving soup – "a very welcome warmer for the lifeguards".
Last year's Exmouth Christmas Day swim was an enormous event, with around 500 people taking part, watched by hundreds more. Many participants raise money for charity by doing the swim.
For more photos of last year's event, see Exmouth People's two galleries: