Friday, 2 July 2010

Gavin Henson: Hardly Electrifying

When you were young did you ever try to create a giant battery using an orange and a couple of electrodes hooked up to a lightbulb? Well last night, TV channel Bravo tried to do exactly that - with 750,000 volts of electricity and everyone's favourite satsuma-skinned rugby player, Gavin Henson.

Gavin Henson: Human Guinea Pig - a show which seemingly had the ultimate aim to let its host, ex-BBC news presenter Dermot Murnaghan, electrocute the Wales and Ospreys centre.

How? By convincing the sometime rugby player, or to quote Murnaghan, "superstar", to take a direct hit of 750,000 volts of electricity to his head from a Tesla Coil - a specially designed mega-generator.

First, to build the anticipation, we watched a tent burst into flames after a direct hit from the Tesla lightening bolt. Then we saw Gav start to sweat as he witnessed a shed explode after the electrifying treatment.

In an effort to convince our Gav that taking almost a million volts to the head was an excellent idea, scientist Greg Foot jumped into a telephone box and survived a lightening strike. I mean, surely Gav's hair gel alone would protect his, erm, intelligence?

'Daredevil' physicist Foot constantly dumbed down his science speak to the increasingly vacant Henson, who had less charisma than the now smouldering wooden shed.

Only when Gavin uttered the fateful words "I don't want to mark this face" did it seem that the reality of his quest for fame had finally hit home.

However, Foot persuaded the father of two to jump into a clapped out Rover Metro and be struck by a bolt from the Tesla. Gav nervously awaited the 750,000 volts and in an effort to protect himself he put on his seatbelt.  Bless.

The question on everyone's lips was: "Would he sit in the hot seat and take a direct hit?"

Of course he would.  Our Gav wasn't going to chicken out of the potentially lethal experiment now, was he?

After a few more minutes of Murnaghan annoyingly trying to build the tension, it was finally time for the pièce de résistance.

Henson, clad in a ridiculous 16th century chain mail outfit and sweating under the studio lights, sat on a solitary chair and waited for almost a million volts to land on his orange little head.

The studio audience lined up like witnesses to a US style death row execution.

The Tesla machine fired up.

Henson practically sharted himself.  Murnaghan rubbed his hands together in eager anticipation.

The blue bolt of electricity crackled towards Henson's head and landed on his bonce.

As if by magic, the electricity was dispersed by his natty metal outfit, and shock horror, he was fine.

So was it an anticlimax?

A bit, although it was obvious that nothing too dramatic was going to happen. Not even a singed eyebrow.

However, it does beg the question - what on earth is Gavin Henson doing?  With this and his recent exploits in the Arctic Circle for ITV, he's certainly not playing rugby.
Please Gavin, get back to the game that made your name and stop titting about.

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