A dad from the Sleaford area is taking on TV’s toughest new assault course in the hope of winning big prizes.
‘Can’t Touch This’ is the BBC’s huge, new prime time family game show with a very simple premise - if you touch the prize, you can win it.
Alexander Fairbairn, from Blankney, will this Saturday appear on the show presented by Zoe Ball and Ashley Banjo, the man behind top dance act, Diversity.
With commentary by the Bake Off’s Sue Perkins, Alexander, 45, will be flung by a giant catapult into a massive obstacle course as one of 16 contestants who have to battle their way through fiendish challenges while trying to touch prizes that are tantalizingly just out of reach. But only one of them will win the chance to take home their prize haul. They could also be driving their prizes home in the car of their dreams, but first they have to take a giant, heart-stopping leap in order to touch it.
Alexander explains that he had been working hunting for gold and other valuable minerals as a geologist in Sierra Leone and other West African countries until the global downturn brought him back to the UK, out of work.
He said: “I was just browsing through the internet when I saw they were recruiting for this new game show. It said it was quite physical and exciting and I thought I would give it a go and ended up on it.
“I used to be a professional dancer working on cruise ships, West End shows and national tours for 10 years, such as Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and I’ve been a scuba diving instructor, so I thought I was quite fit, but I realise I wasn’t as fit as I believed I was!”
After the first round the contestants get whittled down to six, then three, until the top one gets to jump for the car.
After filming the show in a large warehouse in Belfast last August, he said: “Let’s say I was breathing hard!”
He had a great time filming the show, saying: “It was absolutely awesome.
“You are fired by a big catapult into a tub of sponges and the course was an eye opener. You have to cross travellators, spinning things and dodge swinging punch bags while climbing up a balance beam and there is lots of very cold water.”
Alexander, who is currently working for Interflora, added: “There are touch pads around the course and each one can bank a prize to play for at the end of the game if you touch it.” Sometimes he had to hit them in mid-air, while bouncing off a trampoline.
“Prizes could be a holiday, a drive-on lawnmower and so on,” he said. “There are seven or eight around the course and if you don’t hit the pads you get a 30-second penalty on your time.”
Wife Katy and daughters Megan, seven, and Bronwyn, 10, had to stay at home as they still had primary school and work to go to, but Alexander said it was a fantastic experience. “I was exhausted and loved every second of it while making some good friends who I am still in contact with,” he said.
“I have always wanted to meet Zoe Ball and she was as gorgeous as I thought and Ashley is so tall. I would love to do the course all over again,” he said.
The family have had to keep mum about the outcome of the show until it is aired. Alexander said: “Megan has been desperate to see me on television, asking every week, while Bronwyn just hopes I am not going to be embarrassing! My wife is OK, but she said, ‘Just don’t embarrass me’!”
Alexander will be appearing on Can’t Touch This on BBC1 at 5.30pm this Saturday, May 14.