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A League Of Their Own Road Trip secrets from the set: Freddie Flintoff and Jamie Redknapp on drinking Jack Whitehall's wee
The boys are back for another road trip, and despite having to stay at home for this one, they still had bags of fun - and socks of wee - on their journey around the UK.
A League of Their Own remains a huge hit on Sky One, and it’s easy to see why.
With hilarious challenges, high-profile guest stars and a genuine rapport between the core group of ex-sports players and comedians, you’ve got a laugh-out-loud guarantee.
As Freddie Flintoff and Jamie Redknapp come back to our screens alongside Romesh Ranganathan and a returning Jack Whitehall, they chatted to BT.com about filming the new road trip series in the UK and what fans can look forward to.
A wee taste of the Highlands
In the first episode, the boys are put through their paces by former marine commando Jason Fox and adventurer Aldo Kane as part of an SAS Highlands survival challenge. As the lads try to make their own fun at every opportunity, Fox and Kane decide to play their own prank and tell them that they can safely drink water out of a stream by using a sock as a filter.
The result is Freddie whipping his sock off so everyone can have a drink – but the former England cricketer, who also recently paired with Jamie to take part in ITV’s family history show DNA Journey, revealed that wasn’t the worst part of the prank.
“I didn’t know Jack was having a p*ss down the stream! Me and Jamie did our DNA journey, but I went on one of Jack’s DNA journeys! Drinking his [wee] out of a sock... that wasn’t ideal," he said.
Freddie admitted that they weren’t cut out for SAS-style training.
“These are special people. They’re unbelievable. Me and Jamie have played a bit of sport, we might have a few physical attributes, but let’s be honest – SAS? No, not a chance!”
During a sniper challenge in the series, Freddie said he decided to take Fox on but felt the consequences.
“Foxy was stood there. Me and Jack [Whitehall] were like eyeing him up and he’s egging me on to take him, so I thought ‘Yeah go on then, I’ll have a grapple with Foxy’.
“It’s one of the few times of my life where I’ve realised I’m so far out of my depth it’s untrue. The man just got on me, it was like having a truck on me, he’s got these big thick arms and a thick body, I couldn’t move him or do anything with him and I was just saying ‘please Foxy, you can get off me now, I’ve had enough’.”
The return of Jack Whitehall
Fans will be delighted to see funnyman Jack return to the show, though the boys joked that he’s enjoying his global fame a little too much – especially regarding Disney movie Jungle Cruise which he starred in alongside Emily Blunt and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.
Freddie said: “I tell you what, didn’t we hear about that film with The Rock? Jeez, all the time!”
Jamie added: “There’s one thing I missed on this road trip, if I could’ve just got a hold of his phone, and just text The Rock how much I love him from Jack, but unfortunately we couldn’t manage to get his phone.”
Jamie joked that the pair often fight for Jack’s affections.
“I think the beauty of this show is even when people go and do something else, and we’re obviously proud of what Jack and James [Corden] have achieved, they always love coming back.
“Because we both adore him, we fight for his affection, he plays us off brilliantly. He gives a little bit to me and I think I’m his man, then the next thing he loves Freddie. So there’s a power struggle at times. But we have such a great relationship with Jack.”
And will James Corden return as well?
“I speak to James a lot,” revealed Jamie. “He loves the show and he wanted to come back last year, he couldn’t because of obviously Covid and travel. He’s hoping - and we’re hoping - that he can come back because he’s a massive part of the show.
“I’m sure James will come back, just at the right time. He loves the show. I remember he always said to me, we’re lucky we’re part of a show that’s successful and you never leave a hit. It’s done great, it’s won Baftas, I think he loves being part of it as well because it’s his baby, he was in there right from the start.”
Freddie agreed: “He loves it. I think it’s his show. He hosted it from the start.
“I was watching The Prom over Christmas with the kids and he’s there singing with Meryl Streep and leading his chat show and knocking around with these people. It’s bonkers.
“When you saw him on the Christmas special, for instance, we got him on a Zoom link talking, and he talks about the show with so much affection and love.
“I think in some ways it’s probably an escape from what it’s like in LA. He comes back here, the people he’s been around for years and years, and he enjoys it so we hope he comes back soon. He’s been there from the start and he’s brilliant, isn’t he?”
'Thankful' to be working
Jamie explained that filming late last year took a while because of Covid restrictions.
“Because of the restrictions, it took a lot longer. We just did the forfeit a couple of weeks ago. When we went to America we normally do it in three or four weeks, but because of everything that was going on, this one took a lot longer.
“It probably took about six months all in all to get all the filming done because of obviously all the difficulties we’re in right now.”
He added that everyone felt extremely grateful to be able to work in the pandemic.
“We’re incredibly thankful that first of all we could do it. Obviously so many people have not been able to get out and do their jobs.
“So when the opportunity arose that we could do another road trip, we knew it was going to be under different restrictions, but it was fun and… we got a little bit lucky because maybe Jack would’ve been promoting his film with The Rock [in normal circumstances].
“Because he hadn’t got any work on, all of a sudden Jack went ‘Yeah, do you know what? That would be great fun – let’s go and do a road trip’.”
And Freddie was more than happy to begin filming in Scotland despite the weather.
“I love it to be honest. Family holidays for us as a kid... we used to go to a static caravan every year. So Scotland has been amazing and now with my family we go up to Loch Lomond when we can.
“Andrew’s my name really, not Fred. Scotland, I love going up there - it’s amazing. Anywhere Ally McCoist is from I’m happy.”
A galaxy of guest stars
The boys’ journey from the north to the south of the UK will include appearances from various special guest stars including tennis coach Judy Murray, race walker Tom Bosworth, comedians Tom Davis and Alan Carr, actor Shaun Williamson, chef Marco Pierre White and ex-footballers Micah Richards and Alex Scott.
Jamie and Freddie revealed that the challenge with White was their most memorable from the trip.
“I loved the fishing. I’ve not done a lot of fishing in my life… but fishing and then cooking with Marco Pierre White was amazing. Because in lockdown, I fancied myself as a bit of a chef even though I’m really useless, but I did really enjoy that challenge,” said Jamie.
Freddie added: “The fishing was good. It was in Weymouth. The day was the best day ever: the sun was out, we’d all been at home for ages, we were with Alan Carr and Tom Davis, Marco Pierre White’s cooking… never mind television or making a show, it was just a lovely day.”
They promised that viewers were in for a treat when it came to Williamson’s appearance.
“The one we had on, who is an absolute treat every time you see him, is Shaun Williamson. Barry from EastEnders - how good is he?” exclaimed Freddie.
“Just look out for Barry’s cameos – they’re absolutely priceless. He just lifts everyone, makes everyone happy. He’s just brilliant.”
A League of Their Own Road Trip: Loch Ness to London airs on Sky One and NOW at 9pm on Thursday April 8.