Games' TV show going belly-up

Boos, banners and a big belly flop characterised the first night of television show The Games, running in Sheffield.

The contest at Ponds Forge was met with a mixed reaction by members of the live television audience and from the competitors.

The women's 50m freestyle competition was won by former Hollyoaks actress Terri Dwyer, but ex-Spice girl Mel C was easily the fans' favourite.

Although infamous cad James Hewitt won the men's diving contest, he looked dejected after being booed by the crowd.

Programme staff desperately tried to drown out the audience's reaction as Hewitt stepped out, by maniacally cheering and screaming but their efforts could not shield the war veteran, who was noticeably dejected.

As contestants prepared for the show audience members waved banners for Mel, So Solid Crew member Harvey and Bobby, as warm-up acts encouraged them to cheer on their favourites.

But during live transmission the confused crowd was not sure when to clap as it could not hear anchorman Jamie Theakston's commentary, leaving embarrassing silences for Channel 4.

Before the swimming started the women all looked nervous, although new mum Gail Porter joked her only concern was staying in her swimming costume.

Pointing to her ample chest Gail told poolside presenter Jayne Middlemiss: "I don't mind as long as the boys stay in the barracks."

After the competition, which lasted less than a minute in an hour-long show, former Hollyoaks actress Terri Dwyer came out on top, with 'likely loser' Josie D'Arby, who forgot to put on her goggles, living up to expectations. But the girls were all given an extra point as each achieved their personal best times.

Minutes before the men's contest show bosses were concerned when chef Jean-Christophe Novelli refused to take part.

But after a pep talk from Bobby Davro, the Frenchman, wearing a large bandage on his side after an injury during the long jump, put his fears aside and jumped from the 7.5m high board.

After Harvey's 5m tuck dive, Lee's daring backwards tuck and James Hewitt's technically impressive backward dive, a confident Bobby stepped on to the second highest board. Despite winning the afternoon competition, the confident comedian, wearing tiny red trunks, failed to pull out of his forward tuck and smacked his stomach on the water, making the audience wince.

The 44-year-old father-of-three looked close to tears after his disappointing performance and quickly left the poolside, as did the crowds who were not interested in hearing Hewitt's winning speech.

Back at the athlete's village, in the Don Valley Stadium, Bobby said: "I was so focused when I went out there, I could taste victory. I don't know how it went so badly wrong. It will haunt me. I wanted so much for my kids to see me win."

In contrast to women's champion Terri, who was delighted with her own performance, men's winner Hewitt consoled himself with a glass of red wine as he contemplated the audience's harsh welcome.

He was also the first to go to bed in preparation for tonight's weightlifting contest. The girls will compete in a 70m hurdles race.

Tonight's Games, at the Don Valley Stadium, is live on Channel 4 from 9pm, with a preview show at 6pm. For tickets call 0114 256 5656.

LEADERBOARDS

MEN - DIVING

1. James Hewitt - 84.5 - 6 points (P.B)

2. Lee Latchford Evans - 67.5 - 3 points

3. Harvey - 55 - 3 points (P.B)

4. Bobby Davro - 54 - 1 point

5. Jean-Christophe Novelli - 28.5 - 0 points

WOMEN 50m Freestyle

1. Terri Dwyer 32.19 - 6 points

2. Mel C 34.34 - 4 points

3. Miss World 36.74 - 3 points

4. Gail Porter 52.26 - 2 points

5. Josie D'Arby 54.12 - 1 point