WE’RE just two days away from the next episode of Splash! – and terrified contestant Penny Mordaunt is feeling the tension.
But the Portsmouth North MP is ready to show off her skills and make a big impact on the ITV diving programme.
And she hasn’t ruled out jumping off the 10m board at the event, which is held at Inspire: Luton Sports Village.
As previously reported, Penny is taking part in an effort to raise funds for Hilsea Lido, and is giving away her £10,000 appearance fee towards efforts to reopen it.
She’s also welcoming donations for The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund and Give Us Time.
This week, Penny has been putting in some last-minute training in Southend-on-Sea.
‘I am getting very, very nervous,’ she said.
‘I just want to do well.
‘I have had lots of support and lots of people wanting me to go off the 10m diving board.
‘I don’t want to let them down.
‘I will be going for it, but I will be terrified.
‘I am aiming to go for 5m or higher.’
Sabrina Richards is chairwoman of Hilsea Lido Pool for the People Trust, which owns the lido and hopes to reopen it for a limited period this summer.
She said Penny’s involvement has helped tremendously in raising the profile of its work, and hopes it will lead to a long-term fundraising programme.
And while Sabrina won’t be rooting for Penny from the audience in Luton, she’ll be watching it on TV and putting in her vote.
‘She is doing a fantastic job,’ said Sabrina.
‘We definitely need to have working capital.
‘The diving boards will come later.
‘This is our first year of opening and we need the resources to do that.
‘I will be watching on Saturday.
‘When we look at the work she has put in, it’s like someone is putting themselves on the line for the lido.
‘It’s also a huge personal challenge.
‘It will encourage other people to support the lido.
‘People have kindly donated, for which we are very grateful, and people realise that there is a big story behind what she is doing.
‘With Penny being so high profile, it will encourage businesses to support us.
‘We are being seen as a more acceptable and respected organisation.’
As reported, Penny plans to do a dive called a back dive straight, which involves jumping off the board backwards in a straight position.
The show starts at 7pm on ITV this Saturday.