The good news was in the initial ratings as 6.35 million tuned in, the night’s highest rating entertainment show. But it may be short-lived if Twitter and UK press are anything to go by.
It was aptly savaged according to The Mirror and The Sun, which have headlined stories as “Tom Daley’s Belly Flop” and “Water Bomb! Not Even Jade Ewan’s Sexy Gold Bikini Can Save Tom Daley’s New Diving Show Splash!” respectively.
The show features Olympic diver Tom Daley train 15 celebrities to dive in front of judges – diving coach Andy Banks, Olympic silver medal winning diver Leon Taylor and, rather bizarrely, comedienne Jo Brand.
Celebrities includ Eurovision entrant Jade Ewan, comedian Omid Djalili, Benidorm’s Jake Canuso, Absolutely Fabulous actress Helen Lederer, and presenter Jenni Falconer. Others appearing in week two include reality star Joey Essex and former ski jumper Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards.
But on Twitter reaction was harsh:
“What’s going on? Is the joke on me? Am I being filmed on my sofa? #splash. Did they ever explain why Jo Brand is a judge?”
“This could be the worst/most embarrassing thing I’ve ever seen on my television.”
“TV really hit rock bottom with Splash last night #purerubbish.”
“What’s this prog on ITV Splash wow terrible”
“#splash literally the worst tv show I’ve ever seen but I guarantee everyone is watching it for its terrible set up and idea”
“Splash is terrible, but the worst thing about it is that Harry Hill’s TV Burp isn”t around to take it apart next Saturday.”
ITV was even panned for its camerawork, but that’s unlikely to be a criticism of Seven’s upcoming Celebrity Splash given it has plenty of experience in the live variety field.
A bigger question will be whether viewers come back after the initial car-crash value of stars belly-flopping into the water.