Sport on TV: Doctor, doctor! This presenter is a pain in the, er, prostate

 

If anyone can complete a 127-mile cycle race through the Pyrenees called the “Bone Breaker”, having done no exercise for years, surely it would be a doctor. They might not have quite the depth of medical knowledge that Lance Armstrong possesses, but surely they can merrily prescribe themselves an assortment of finest pharamceuticals to get themselves over the hump.

The first episode of Go Hard or Go Home (Channel 5, Monday) set this task for four overworked and overweight members of the medical profession. It’s one of those aspirational New Year keep-fit series which, ironically, makes you feel guilty about being slumped on a sofa watching TV.

The series is sponsored by Wonga, the payday lending company who must be piling on the pounds as people try to pay off January credit card bills. As challenges go, cycling up mountains is probably easier than try to pay back debts at steeply rising rages of interest – though not having enough money to eat has always been a great way of staying in shape.

One of the four doctors, John, is a rotund 65-year-old who, strangely, has several complicated pieces of gym equipment set up in a stable which he bought in 1976. Shame he didn’t have a stable diet as well. He’s the keenest of the four, going at the training so hard that man becomes machine: “A bit of WD40 in most of my joints and muscles would really help,” he says. You may not want him as your GP.

Being a doctor undertaking such an arduous task is no bad thing because they have a pretty good idea what’s going on inside their bodies and whether they need to call the undertaker. John is cycling up one of the four Pyrenean peaks when he observes: “My heart rate is 180, that’s dangerous.” Sensibly, he gets off and walks. Another of the doctors, Matt, gasps: “Done 12 miles now and my prostate is killing me.” That’s “ooh, my arse is really sore” in layman’s terms. At least we hope it is. Then Rabia gets off her bike for a rest and promptly falls over, hitting her head. She suffers a concussion, but insists she must carry on. She’s gibbering and weeping, and even ignores the advice of her fellow practioners to stop racing.

It’s the presenter, Hannah White, who manages to convince her to give up. Perhaps poor Rabia is just fed up with White – a ball-breaker rather than a bone-breaker – saying things like: “The only way you are going to let your friends and family down is by this attitude.” Only two of the doctors complete the race – the others run for the hills.

Such is her befuddlement, Rabia didn’t recognise the presenter at first, which is unfortunate since she is clearly trying to make her name in broadcasting. But then we don’t know much about White either, except that she has sailed solo across the Atlantic. The only waves these doctors are interested in are the ones that mean goodbye.

In the battle of the Vaughans, Michael beat Johnny in the Great Sport Relief Bake-Off (BBC2, Monday to Thursday). It was no surprise given the fact that cricketers are only too familiar with the concept of afternoon tea. What other sport allows you to stuff your face twice a day? And in Australia you can get really stuffed.

It was a surprise, however, that the retired queen of the track Victoria “Sponge” Pendleton was beaten like an egg white. Now she has hung up her lycra and settled into marital bliss, she has plenty of time – and flour – on her hands to indulge her favourite hobby, baking.

She was clearly annoyed (no tears, though, unlike at London 2012 and on Strictly) to lose to Emma Freud. After all, Freud is hardly a celebrity, and also happens to be married to Richard Curtis, who runs Sport Relief. What a slice of luck. Crumbs, that really is having your cake and eating it.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
Life and Style
Horst P Horst mid-fashion shoot in New York, 1949
fashionFar-reaching retrospective to celebrate Horst P Horst's six decades of creativity
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Service Desk Analyst- Desktop Support, Helpdesk, ITIL

£20000 - £27000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Su...

Service Desk Analyst - (Active Directory, Support, London)

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst - (Active Di...

Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost, Data Mining

£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost...

Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Learning, SQL, VBA)

£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Lea...

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition