Updated: Lizzie Armitstead joins other Team GB medallists for 2012 Superstars on Saturday night (+ video)

BBC to air London 2012 special of iconic TV show over Christmas... meanwhile, here's *that* moment when Kevin Keegan came a cropper

by Simon_MacMichael   December 28, 2012  

2012 Superstars (source - BBC)

Olympic silver medallist Lizzie Armitstead is to join 15 other Team GB London 2012 medal winners in a one-off revival of the 1970s TV show Superstars, which pits athletes from different sports against one another in a range of disciplines.

The programme is being aired at 6.45pm on Saturday 29 December, with eight men and eight women competing in eight events – the first seven being the 100 metres and 800 metres, javelin, 50 metre swim, archery, kayak race and a cycling hill climb.

The final event will be familiar to anyone who watched the show in its heyday – gym tests, including the infamous squat thrusts. Ouch.

The athletes taking part, and the medals they won in London this summer, are:

Alistair Brownlee, Olympic gold winner, Triathlon
Jonathan Brownlee, Olympic bronze winner, Triathlon
Mo Farah, Olympic double gold champion for 5,000 and 10,000 metres
Robbie Grabarz, Olympic bronze medal winner, High Jump
Michael Jamieson, Olympic silver medallist in 200 metres breast stroke
Anthony Joshua, Olympic gold winner, Boxing (Super Heavy weight)
Andrew Triggs Hodge, Olympic gold winner, Rowing (Coxless Four)
Peter Wilson, Olympic gold winner, Shooting (Double Trap)
Nicola Adams, Olympic gold medal winner, Boxing
Lizzie Armitstead, Olympic silver medal winner, Cycling (Road Race)
Laura Bechtolsheimer, Olympic gold and bronze medal winner, Dressage
Gemma Gibbons, Olympic silver medallist, Judo
Helen Glover, Olympic gold medal winner, women’s coxless pair
Katherine Grainger, Olympic gold winner, Double Sculls
Jade Jones, Olympic gold winner, Taekwondo
Christine Ohuruogu, Olympic silver medal winner, 400 metres

The BBC adds that Beijing double gold medallist Rebecca Adlington will “act as a mentor to all the athletes in the swimming event” though we’re guessing that breaststroker Michael Jamieson and triathletes Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee may politely decline the offer.

Superstars was developed by former Olympic figure skating champion Dick Button for the ABC network, first airing in 1973 and proved popular around the world during the 1970s and 1980s.

By the end of that year, the format had been picked up by the BBC, and other European networks followed, the programme regularly getting TV audiences of more than 10 million in the UK.

It made household names out of competitors such as Brian Jacks, Britain’ first judo world champion, and pole vaulter Brian Hooper, and gave rise to world and European championships.

The latter produced perhaps the most memorable moment in the event’s history from a British perspective when in a bike race during the 1976 series, then Liverpool player Kevin Keegan had a touch of wheels with fellow footballer Gilbert Van Binst after the Belgian took the inside line going into the bend.

Keegan didn’t seem too shaken by the crash, despite a post-race interviewer getting a bit too touchy-feely on his rather nasty looking road rash – good luck to anyone trying that technique on Mark Cavendish when he’s just come off the bike hard, by the way.

8 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Being filmed around Bath, so I hear. Wonder which of the road.cc local climbs will be used for the hill climb?

othello's picture

posted by othello [341 posts]
15th November 2012 - 14:25

djcritchley's picture

posted by djcritchley [181 posts]
15th November 2012 - 14:52


I'm going! Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7855 posts]
15th November 2012 - 15:04


At least Keegan's bonce was well protected by his natural helmet.

cavasta's picture

posted by cavasta [220 posts]
15th November 2012 - 15:35


I had a long chat with David Hemery when we were both standing up on a train from Paddington a few months before the Olympics. A charming man.

He confessed to being almost as proud of his Superstars prowess as his Olympic gold medal.


posted by Edgeley [242 posts]
15th November 2012 - 16:37


Brian Jacks lived near where I was living at in mid-1980s, he had two bungalows knocked into one IIRC.

Sometimes used to see him on local golf course, he had a totally pro looking bag complete with his name emblazoned on it just in case anyone didn't recognise him, which I always thought was taking the piss a bit.

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [9507 posts]
15th November 2012 - 17:12


Andy Ripley! best of the lot for me, superb all round athlete.


antonio's picture

posted by antonio [1108 posts]
16th November 2012 - 11:18


My wife had her photo taken with Brian Jacks when she was 12. Then when she was 16 - Steve Norman from Spandau Ballet - who never appeared in Super Stars...or, as far as I know, owned a bungalow. I'll get my coat.

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1220 posts]
29th December 2012 - 1:10