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The Games

There's some cunning thinking here. Even if you don't like sport, what's the one sporting event you'll probably still watch anyway every time it comes round? That's right, The Olympics. Now what if there was an Olympic style set up which involved celebrities battling across 6-8 different sports over a week? Well that's Superstars. But if it was the sort of celebs you'd probably see in Heat magazine rather than retired sportspeople... then welcome to The Games.

Five male and five female celebs, given three months of training, do battle in Sheffield in order to raise money for their charities. The better they do throughout the week, the more money they can give.

Our athletes get to live in their very own "Athletes Village" in Sheffield's Don Valley Stadium which, against all odds, has been fitted with loads of cameras and microphones. Meanwhile Jamie Theakston tries not to crack up laughing and Jayne Middlemiss 'does' some interviews with our contestants. Had The O-Zone been just a few months later, these two could probably have qualified as being C-list enough to be invited on. But no! They gave us pop news on a Sunday morning in our teens and so get to run the whole thing.

It's Sport Brother then. But hold on, because there's quite a lot to like here.

Each episode follows a similar pattern. The first five minutes will be setting up each event. The next five minutes will be some clips of interesting things that had happened in the last 24 hours in the Village. The next five minutes will be filled with coverage of the women training for the forthcoming event. Then they'll do the event live. And then the cycle repeats for the blokes.

Typically, the female events over the week will be speed and grace based (Hurdling, the gymnastics floor, 50m swim) whereas there's usually more of an element of power to the guys events (Greco-Roman wrestling, weightlifting, er... diving). The final day is always both track and field for all competitors.

Each event is clearly explained and commentated on by the resident commentator David Goldstrom (who sounds a little bit like Paul Dickenson "doing" World's Strongest Man , and excitingly, each event is done 'properly' - no upping marks because they're celebs, for example. There's usually an expert from the field to help commentate and plenty of analysis from resident experts up in Jamie's box. It's serious stuff, and simultaneously so incredibly silly that I find it rather difficult to dislike. At heart, there's a show about acheivement here and you find yourself picking a favourite and willing them on over the week which is as it should be.

The one thing that loads of people have picked up on is that despite the sporting element, the live events take up only about a quarter (if that) of the running time - the rest of the time being taken up by build up, analysis and laughing at the athletes in the jacuzzi. They normally do the heats in the afternoon leading up to the live final. You can watch the heats live on E4. That's an awful lot of sport to be missing out on though.

Speaking of E4, they have a live after show update hoted by Jamie Atiko and Darren Malcolm, from SKY One's rubbish Gamesville. They're so street they're actually unwatchable.

Money is raised by people buying tickets to see the events live (at £3 a pop) and people entering text competitions. In each event, the first place finisher scores 5 points, then 4 points, 3, 2 and 0 for coming fifth and last. However, if they beat their personal bests set in training on the night they win a bonus point. All the points for each competitor is added up at the end of the week and they take a proportional cut of the charity pot to give to their chosen cause. Awww.

I like the music . It really only seems to be one tune and is nicely orchestral, epic, drummy and sportily energetic. Good.

In summary then, it's a silly show that's also amiable and quite exciting. The level of irony is pitched just about right. We approve.