4:30pm Tuesday 31st December 2013
TALENTED schoolboy turned dance phenomenon is taking part in this year’s series of ITV dive show Splash.
Perri Kiely, 18, who lives in South Ockendon, will be showing off all his flips, tricks and dives - but not alongside the Diversity dance troupe, with whom he has enjoyed unprecedented success.
Instead, the big-haired youngster will be launching himself off a diving board in the first heat of the TV competition on Saturday in a bid to become the 2014 Splash champion.
The show, now in its second year, is presented by Vernon Kay and Gabby Logan and sees celebrity contestants learn how to dive under the mentorship of Britain’s Olympic bronze medallist Tom Daley.
They then compete against five other celebs in front of judging panel comedian Jo Brand and diving experts Andy Banks and Leon Taylor, before the public vote for their favourite.
Perri, who attended Gable Hall school in Corringham, tweeted to say: “That’s right people this year I am going to be taking part in Splash!!! So please show me your support and let’s do this.”
He later added: “Who’s gonna watch me on Splash January 4 and also who’s gonna pick up the phone and vote, much love”.
The teen shot to fame with street dance troupe Diversity when they wowed the nation on the way to winning Britain’s Got Talent in 2009, when Perri was just 14.
Since then, he has performed at numerous festivals, appeared onTV in the US and been on a nationwide arena tour.
A spokesperson for Diversity said: “He was asked to do Splash last year, but already had filming commitments with Sky and Diversity so then went on this the second series.
“He is excited and nervous as he loves swimming, but it is such a different discipline. He sees it as a great challenge. Perri is on the first heat on Saturday and all the guys will be there to support him.”
Perri is currently in training for the show at Southend.
He told the ITV website that he believed his ability to flip gave him an advantage, but that training had been ten times harder than he expected.
Brentwood’s Gemma Collins, from The Only Way is Essex, is also part of the celebrity line up, as is former Eastenders star Ricky Groves, TV presenter Michaela Strachan and Hollyoaks actress Gemma Merna.
Splash was the highest rated new entertainment series on ITV for five years when it started last year.
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