October 15, 2003

Squat-thrusts, arm dips, and spectacular bike accidents!: After an eighteen-year absence, the cult show Superstars returns to the BBC this week. The format is identical to its 1970s heyday, with leading competitors in a variety of sports facing off against each other in a wide range of events. The big difference? Since the potential for career-ending injury killed off the original show, this new generation of Superstars are either retired from active competition, or in their declining years. A case of 'Super-HasBeens'? And we ever likely to see the likes of David Beckham, Johnny Wilkinson and Paula Radcliffe facing off in the kayaking?

posted by etagloh to culture at 01:19 PM - 8 comments

I remember ; Jonah Barrington storming out; One of the cyclists not able to do even one arm dip ( No upper body strength he claimed) Everyone trying to cheat at armdips especialy Neal Adams. A racing car driver, if i remember correctly, putting a greased up towel on his shoes to make the squat thrusts easier. It got nice and competitive from what i remember. .. and this is the first time in 18 years that the name and image of Brian Jacks has been in my head :-)

posted by stuartmm at 01:56 PM on October 15, 2003

Ya know - with a name like Superstars, you'd think I could identify at least one of 'em. Are they all Brits?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:17 PM on October 15, 2003

I used to love Superstars. I remember Brian Jacks being unbeatable at the arm dips. I think the driver you're referring to cheating was Jody Scheckter, who studied the rules for the squat thrusts and realised there was nothing to prevent him from speading oil on the floor and simply sliding his feet. The sportspeople mentioned in the BBC page are/were all pretty famous. I mean, it's not like us Brits have heard of any of your baseball or basketball stars....

posted by salmacis at 03:33 PM on October 15, 2003

We had our own version here for many years, or at least I assume it was an Americanized version of the same thing. Plus celebrity editions, which were fine because of all the barely clad starlets.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:53 PM on October 15, 2003

WeedyMcSmokey, they are all has beens.

posted by Fat Buddha at 04:02 PM on October 15, 2003

Yeah we still have a version of it here in the U.S. It's got a good mix of fairly well-known pro athletes, mostly NFL players and Olympic athletes. Coincidentally, Jody's son Tomas competed in the U.S. version last year and finished 2nd.

posted by gyc at 06:36 PM on October 15, 2003

Way hey. They kept the old theme tune.

posted by squealy at 02:03 PM on October 16, 2003

Well I enjoyed it. Even if the La Manga setting made it look more like an episode of Worlds Strongest Man. Really, they should do the the whole thing at Loughborough University. Makes it harder to persuade 50 athletes to come out for a holiday, but...

posted by salmacis at 04:43 AM on October 17, 2003

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