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Bradford-born interior designer Linda Barker wins third place in TV diving competition
Bradford-born TV presenter and interior designer Linda Barker springboarded into third place in the final of ITV’s celebrity diving competition Splash!.
The 51-year-old – who said she was “doing it for the girls” – impressed the show’s judges, who scored her 54 out of 60 for her two dives on Saturday night.
However, her efforts were not enough as the public voted for Olympic ski-jumper Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards to win, with Benidorm actor Jake Canuso finishing second.
Linda, who grew up in Shelf and shot to fame on BBC’s Changing Rooms, was the oldest person left in the competition. She said: “Age shouldn’t inhibit anyone. Don’t think about age, just get on and do it.”
Her family were in the audience cheering her on, with daughter Jess saying: “I am so proud of my mum.”
Linda’s first dive – done wearing a bright pink bikini – was a forward one-and-a-half somersault with tuck, which the three judges gave a total of 26.5 out of 30.
Comedan Jo Brand, who scored Linda’s dive a 9.5 out of ten, described the dive as “perfect, brilliant”.
Excited Linda, who showed off her bruises from a gruelling week of training, told host Vernon Kay: “I am so happy.”
Olympic bronze medalist and coach Tom Daley was impressed with the dive, saying: “She did incredibly well.”
Linda’s second dive was a synchronised inward with tuck off the ten-metre high board, which she performed alongside Daley.
Judge Andy Banks, a diving coach who guided Daley’s career, gave the dive a nine and said to Linda: “Your timing was absolutely spot on.”
Linda admitted being nervous on the high board, but she added: “It felt great. It was so good to be up there with Tom.”
The dive earned Linda 27.5 more points and Jo, who joked that Tom had let Linda down during the dive, said: “You did really well.”
Former ski-jumper Eddie was too hot to handle, however, scoring a perfect 30 for his first dive and 29 for his synchronised effort with Daley.