Diving clubs across the country have seen a huge rise in the number of people wishing to take up diving. Numerous clubs have had to increase the number of lessons they offer, and many have even begun waiting lists due to popular demand.
Whilst the Olympics kicked off the initial surge, the ITV show Splash! has resulted in a second wave of diving enthusiasts. Andy Banks believes the show has been ‘great for the sport’.
Sally Freeman, the Plymouth Life Centre diving manager said, “The Plymouth Life Centre is busier than ever with diving, after the Splash! programme on ITV…Not only do we have elite athletes such as Tom Daley and Tonia Couch training here, we have diving lessons for all ages. Anyone from the age of six to 60 can enjoy diving and Splash! has really ignited an interest in this sport”.
On Saturday night, the final of Splash! was watched by a peak audience of 6.6 million viewers. The final drew the show’s highest rating of the series – averaging 5.6 million viewers, and a 25% share of viewing.
Throughout the series, viewers continued to tune into the primetime show, as 15 celebrities were taught how to dive by their mentor Tom Daley. The final was won in spectacular fashion by Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards, but the real winner of this series is the sport of diving.
ITV announced on Monday that Splash! - the highest rating new entertainment series on ITV for five years – is set to return in 2014 for a second series and will once again see Tom challenge celebrities to learn one of sport’s most difficult disciplines on primetime ITV.