King Kiely claims Splash! crown

King Kiely claims Splash! crown

Perri Kiely has won the celebrity diving show Splash! (ITV/PA)

Diversity member Perri Kiely won the celebrity diving show Splash! (ITV/PA)

First published in National News © by

Diversity dancer Perri Kiely proved he had all the right moves as he was crowned champion of ITV's celebrity diving competition Splash!.

The 18-year-old had been struck by illness during the week, and there had been fears about his future in the high diving show.

But the bookies' favourite overcame a "24-hour bug" to wow the judges and voting public with his two dives on last night's final.

Kiely beat finalists Paralympic athlete Richard Whitehead, who was runner-up, Boyzone singer Keith Duffy and The Only Way Is Essex star Dan Osborne.

He follows in the footsteps of Olympic skier Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards as the second winner of Splash! which features Olympic diving star Tom Daley.

Kiely scored a perfect score from the judges with his first effort - a double somersault with tuck from the three-metre springboard, described as "the hardest dive ever performed on Splash!".

Daley said the dive gave him "goosebumps" as the judges - diving experts Leon Taylor and Andy Banks with comic Jo Brand - each gave the pint-sized dancer a top score of 10 out of 10.

"It had everything - complexity, execution and you absolutely nailed it," Taylor said.

Each of the finalists performed a synchronised dive with Daley, who has coached the contestants throughout the seven-week series.

Kiely, who rose to fame winning Britain's Got Talent in 2009 with dance troupe Diversity, performed a one-and-a-half somersault with Daley from the highest 10-metre board .

The pair impressed the judges who gave a score of 27.5 out of 30, with Taylor describing the dive as "near-on perfect".

But it was down to the public to decide the winner - with Kiely receiving the most votes ahead of double amputee Whitehead in second, Duffy in third place and Osborne in fourth.

Cheered on by Diversity leader Ashley Banjo in the crowd, Kiely put his head in hands as presenters Vernon Kay and Gabby Logan revealed the results.

Afterwards, the teenager said he was "speechless".

He said: "Thank you so much to the judges, everyone who voted, Diversity, Tom, the coaches. You've been absolutely incredible."


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