Mo Farah

Mo Farah

Superstars has had an odd existence. The brainchild of American Olympian Derek Button, the show became a cultural touchstone in the late 1970s and early 80s in Britain, an annual jamboree of sport that wanted to see who the best all-round sports person out there was.

With people like Kevin Keegan, Bjorn Borg and Daley Thompson competing over the years, it was always a home to great quality, and seeing these great athletes doing something new always made for compelling viewing.

While it eventually came to an end in the mid-eighties, the BBC tried to bring it back as a special, nostalgia fuelled feature in their massive charity event Sport Relief. So it returned in 2002 in a truncated form, but the magic wasn’t the same, with it being filled it ex-pros, not current sports stars. The same was true when the show was brought back again a few years later.

While the formula had largely stayed the same, is just simply didn’t spark the imagination like it did first time around. This new, one off attempt has the potential though to be easily the most successful re-launch yet.

Now is the absolutely perfect year to bring back superstars though. Following Team GB’s amazing success this summer, it seems only fitting to once again celebrate their amazing achievements and submerge ourselves in a great bit of casual competitiveness.

With every one of the sixteen athletes competing a medal winner from London, including ten gold medallists and a world champion, this is not only the most decorated fleet of Superstars contestants there’s ever been, but also the most varied.

The viewing figures from this month’s Sports Personality Of The Year (which topped out at 14.5 million viewers) shows that Britain still has a massive appetite for our Olympic heroes. If that many people are up for watching them parade around an awards ceremony, then surely just as many will be game to see them throw on a bib and get back out there sports wise.

Also, who doesn’t want to see Mo Farah shoot a bow, Anthony Joshua swim and Lizzie Armistead have a go at sprinting? Sign us up already.


Superstars 2012 airs tonight on BBC One

FemaleFirst Cameron Smith