Adil Rami, Fort Boyard and Other Sports Stars’ Gameshow Escapades

Adil Rami was a member of the 2018 World Cup-winning France squad
14:34, 13 Aug 2019

Olympique de Marseille have released Adil Rami after the defender appeared on game show Fort Boyard. 

The 33-year-old World Cup-winning centre-back, already a headline-stealing stalwart due to his tumultuous relationship with Baywatch star Pamela Anderson, ends his two year association with l’OM in ignominious circumstances after participating in the cult game show set on an offshore 19th century citadel in the Pertuis d'Antioche off the west coast of France.

It’s not unusual for sports stars to appear on game shows, though most haven’t been subjected to the same repercussions as poor Rami. For this list, we’re specifically avoiding  sports stars for their appearances on reality TV - so that’s no Big Brother, I’m A Celebrity et al. Just, enjoy.

Tom James on University Challenge

A member of the Coxless Four who bagged Gold at both Beijing and London, Cambridge-educated James proved he’s as much of a boffin as he is a boater. It was of course whilst at the famous university that his rowing career developed, winning his only Boat Race against Oxford in his fourth attempt. In 2014, his Trinity Hall celebrity team beat the University of Hull on the prestigious Jeremy Paxman-hosted quiz, absolutely whallpoing a side featuring Jenni Murray and Stan Cullimore (not that one) by 215 points to 65. 

Mo Farah on The Cube

If the man wasn’t an absolutely bonafide hero blessed with the speed of Hermes, The Cube also proved that the great Sir Mo Farah is also imbued with Athenic wisdom. In 2012, the year he romped to victory in both the 5k and 10k long-distance Olympic Gold double in his home city of London, he became the first man to ever beat the devilish and much-feared Cube. Farah successfully passed a series of mind-boggling tasks to pick up the £250,000 jackpot for his charity.


Chris Kamara on Crystal Maze

The Sky Sports favourite and former Swindon Town midfielder went from taking on Crystal Palace to taking on the Crystal Maze for a Christmas 2018 special, alongside Christopher Biggins and Frankie from The Saturdays. Unfortunately for Kammy, he was more hindrance than help, getting locked in his task and having to use his team’s buyout, failing at the Swizel Maze and the Jewel Maze in the Medieval Zone.

Monty Panesar on Mastermind

At the beginning of 2019, the world was treated to one of The Greatest Gameshow Performances of All Time. After starting off well after correctly answering John Humphrys’ question as to how many pockets are on a full-sized snooker table, it was all downhill from there as the double-Ashes winner produced some absolute 42-carat TV Gold with his answers as the questions came thick and fast:

  • Which sign of the zodiac is represented by a crab? Scorpion.

  • What is the title of A.A. Milne's stage adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's children's novel, The Wind in the Willows? Monty: Harry Potter.

  • Birds described as 'pelagic' spend most of their lives flying over what? Monty: The sky.

  • What is the title of the first volume of C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia to be published? Chronologically, it follows The Magician's Nephew. Monty: C.J. Lewis?

  • In an 1819 poem, what season of the year does Keats describe as 'a season of mist and mellow fruitfulness'? Monty: Oliver Twist?

  • In which city is the television comedy series, Cheers, set? Monty: America.

Martin Offiah, Phil Tufnell, Iwan Thomas, Beth Tweddle, Dennis Taylor, and The London Wasps Women’s Rugby Team on Hole in the Wall

This late 2000s travesty had a pretty short shelf-life; how many times can you watch people fall in the water, over and over again? It turns out, 20 episodes. The premise was to face an encroaching wall with a specifically orchestrated hole, the contestant positioning themselves correctly to fit through to stop falling into the pool below.

Hosted by the dangerous double-header of Dale Winton followed by Anton du Beke, they were able to snap up a smorgasbord of sports stars willing to risk a soaking including snooker great Dennis Taylor and Tuffers. Failed to make a splash in the ratings and was axed after a year.