Holly Willoughby must have one of the busiest schedules in showbiz. Not quite satisfied with hosting This Morning every weekday and Dancing On Ice at the weekends, launching her own brand, Wylde Moon, and writing a book, Reflections, now TV’s most in demand woman has landed another presenting role, co-hosting a new BBC show, Freeze the Fear with Wim Hof.
Wim Hof, aka The Iceman, has made a name for himself in the world of cold water therapy, with his methods attracting celebrity fans including Oprah Winfrey, Orlando Bloom, Fearne Cotton and Holly herself – no wonder she wanted to host the show!
Wim uses mind-body control to achieve things previously thought impossible, such as running a half marathon above the Arctic circle barefoot, submerging himself in ice for nearly two hours and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in shorts.
And now he’s bringing his unique approach to the masses with this new series, which will see the Dutch extreme athlete train eight celebrities to complete a series of radical challenges in sub-zero temperatures, which will test the participants both physically and mentally.
The celebrity contestants include musical theatre legend Alfie Boe, singer/songwriter, TV presenter and footballer Chelcee Grimes, Strictly Come Dancing professional Dianne Buswell, sports TV presenter and gymnast Gabby Logan, Welsh weatherman Owain Wyn Evans (who shot to fame with his viral drumming in 2021, completing a record-breaking 24-hour drumathon for Children in Need), former French football captain Patrice Evra, rapper Professor Green and Eastenders actress Tamzin Outhwaite.
Set in Northern Italy, Holly will host the show alongside comedian Lee Mack.
Speaking about the programme on The One Show, Holly said: ‘This is not something they get voted off or a popularity contest, they are really challenging their minds and bodies.
‘All I can tell you is it was intense for everybody, medics were involved, and I was in tears at many many points throughout it.’
She went on to say nearly everyone turned up and said they hate the cold. ‘I’m very proud of that lot. They jump into a frozen lake, it’s near freezing, that is their entry point. The first thing they have to do.
‘When you hit that cold water it literally takes your breath away. So it’s that thing of using your mind to control your fear, it’s not normal to jump into a freezing lake.’
Holly went onto to say that, ‘It was kind of life changing, it is amazing, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.’
Meanwhile, Diane Buswell commented on Wim Hof’s Instagram announcement of the show, saying, ‘best experience of my life forever grateful!’
Freeze the Fear with Wim Hof will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer this spring.