Penny completes her dive on Splash! for Hilsea Lido

Penny Mordaunt during rehearsals for Splash!
Penny Mordaunt during rehearsals for Splash!

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PENNY Mordaunt has triumphed for Portsmouth after completing her dive on national television without any major hitches.

The Portsmouth North Conservative MP admitted she was nervous before taking to the diving board on ITV show Splash!

But she showed nerves of steel as she attempted one of the most difficult dives on tonight’s show – a backward dive straight from the 7.5m board.

Just for appearing on the show, Ms Mordaunt has raised £10,000 for good causes.

As part of her appearance fee, £7,000 has been donated to The Hilsea Lido Pool for the People to install new diving boards in its efforts to re-open Hilsea Lido.

Penny, who was all smiles and played to the crowds before taking to the diving board, steadied herself before the dive by jumping up and down and calming her nerves.

She balanced herself on her tip-toes, with her back facing the pool at Inspire: Luton Sports Village.

But over-rotation of her body led to an awkward entry into the water.

As she climbed out of the water, presenter Gabby Logan asked if she was okay as she entered the water with quite a ‘smack’.

Penny replied: ‘Just a tad. Not quite according to plan.’

She added: ‘I think everyone has been diving well in rehearsals but your heart rate goes up, so you do things quicker.

‘In previous programmes people have been over-rotating.’

Comedian Jo Brand, a judge on the show, said: ‘Penny that was one scary dive you attempted and I admire you for trying it.

‘I was so scared for you I had my eyes closed.’

Andy Banks described it as a ‘good effort’.

Judge Leon Taylor said: ‘That was a huge risk and unfortunately it didn’t come off, just leaning too far away from the diving board.

‘That massive overrotation causing a huge wave. I was about to get my surf board out there.’

Diving legend Tom Daley, who has been training Ms Mordaunt, said: ‘It’s a scary dive – it’s hard to control.’

He told Penny that she did ‘amazingly well’.

‘I have seen you do it so well and I know you can,’ he added.

Penny told presenter Vernon Kay: ‘I cannot remember anything about the dive.’

She added: ‘I’ve given it my all and I’ve done it for the Hilsea Lido, so I’m made up about it.’

Andy gave her 7.5, Jo gave her 8 for her ‘bravery’ and Leon gave her a 7, giving her a total score of 22.5.

Also appearing on the show were actor Dan Osborne, singing legend Paul Young, comic Patrick Monahan and glamour girl Danielle Lloyd.

In the introduction to her dive, Tom Daley described Ms Mordaunt as ‘the hardest worker in the group’ who wanted to stand out from the crowd and Paul Young said she was the ‘most driven’ of the competitors.

Ms Mordaunt is also supporting The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund and Give Us Time, and is welcoming donations.

At the half-way mark, before the public vote was added to the judges’ scores, Penny was in third place.

After the public vote, Ms Mordaunt was neck and neck with model Danielle Lloyd, so they had to dive again for a place in the semi-final.

Ms Mordaunt looked less nervous on the second dive, but it was a repeat of her first attempt as she landed face down in the water.

Penny admitted she was in pain after the dive.

The judges decided that Danielle Lloyd should go through to the semi-final.

Ms Mordaunt said: ‘It’s been absolutely fantastic.

‘I have been overwhelmed with the support I have had on the boards and also for the Hilsea Lido.’

She joked: ‘I might not do that (dive) again!’