WHEN they sat down to watch the TV on New Year’s Eve, it was John Bream and Chrissy Shepherd who were the stars of the show.
The pair were given the chance of a lifetime when they jumped, climbed and sprinted their way across the obstacles of BBC game show Winter Wipeout.
From more than 10,000 entries, they were both picked to compete in the third episode of the programme’s festive edition, presented by Amanda Byram and Top Gear’s Richard Hammond.
The 26-year-old Hambledon tree surgeon John and 46-year-old Havant firefighter Chrissy joined 18 other contestants in flying out to Buenos Aires in Argentina to take on the huge obstacle course.
They tackled the show’s snow-covered course and winter-themaed challenges – such as clinging to a ski lift suspended above icy water.
‘It was like being on cloud nine, I couldn’t believe it when they called,’ said Chrissy.
‘And I was shocked to realise John’s parents live around the corner from me.’
She added: ‘When you arrive there’s no trial run or anything. They keep you in a tent so you can’t see the course and then let you loose on it.
‘The whole thing was just amazing – it was one of the best experiences of my life.’
But for John the rollercoaster isn’t over yet.
He did so well in his challenges – coming second overall – that he was invited back and will now appear in a special Champions show in February.
‘It has been such a whirlwind,’ he said.
‘You think TV is going to be glamorous, but it isn’t.
‘There are cameras and wires everywhere and it’s all over so quickly.
‘I was dreading seeing myself on TV because they make you do all this wacky stuff, like jumping behind trees and pretending to be an animal.
‘But the people were really funny and friendly. We’re all going to meet up for a reunion.’