9:40am Saturday 25th February 2012
By Neil Watts
A FORMER Ledbury Rugby Club player proved he still has the magic touch by winning cult gameshow Winter Wipeout, despite suffering a serious back injury two years ago.
Dan Allam, of Castle Frome, was crowned the champion of champions in the grand final of the first series of the BBC One show on Saturday, bagging himself a shiny trophy and £10,000 in the process.
Mr Allam said: “I initially entered Winter Wipeout as a bit of fun and didn’t expect to win my heat, let alone go on to become the champion for the entire series.
“I had an incredible time taking part in the show and am slowly getting back to reality now that I’m back home.”
To scoop the top prize the 20-yearold had to better the efforts of 18 other finalists as they tackled a host of challenges on the notoriously wacky course in Argentina.
In the final Winter Wipeout Zone round he began his charge for the line by being caterpulted into a pool before climbing jolting stairs, avoiding inflatable ice picks and navigating two spinning wheels known as the impossible snowflakes.
His time of 1minute 55seconds gave him a winning margin of 32-seconds but was some 16-seconds slower than his course record.
Mr Allam’s victory completes a remarkable recovery after he put his sporting career on hold when a bad tackle saw him airlifted to hospital.
Surgeons diagnosed stress fractures to a vertebra and performed an operation where two bones were fused together.
He suffered further injuries after returning to game and had a second operation to install titanium screws in his spine.
For the popular show the aspiring magician and member of the Magic Circle played up to the nickname of ‘Magic Dan’, even performing tricks and pulling a coin from presenter Amanda Byram’s ear.
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