Liam Payne suffers with SAS hardman Ant Middleton in a thrill-seeking new show set in the Namibian wilderness

LIAM Payne will have no problem avoiding screaming One Direction fans now he has been taught to go off grid by the best.

The singer ventured into the wilderness with former SAS tough nut Ant Middleton as part of a new Sky1 show.

Exclusive picture from new Sky1 show 'Ant Middleton & Liam Payne: Straight Talking'
Exclusive picture from new Sky1 show ‘Ant Middleton & Liam Payne: Straight Talking’

Ant Middleton & Liam Payne: Straight Talking sees the unlikely duo ditch home comforts as they head to the Namib desert in south-western Africa with just a car and their backpacks.

In the one-off programme, filmed earlier this year for broadcast in November, the duo camp under the stars before heading off on exotic adventures, including surfing on a high-speed train — as seen here in my exclusive snap — and canyon swinging in the Spitzkoppe mountains.

A source said: “Ant is highly trained in interrogation and strategic questioning so he really gets Liam to open up.

“Liam is one of the most famous pop stars in the country, but it’s not often viewers get to hear his inner thoughts.

Former One Direction star Liam opens up to SAS hardman Ant 'who is highly trained in interrogation' 
Former One Direction star Liam opens up to SAS hardman Ant ‘who is highly trained in interrogation’
PA:Press Association

“He also turns the tables on Ant, getting him to talk.” Camping and living off rations might be new for Liam, who is more used to A-list parties and luxury hotels, but it is the norm for former special forces operator Ant.

He sailed 4,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean on a wooden boat for TV series Mutiny and came close to death while climbing Everest last year.

All of which sounds more appealing than listening to 1D’s What Makes You Beautiful on loop.


READ ON FOR MORE OF ANDY HALLS’ BIZARRE TV COLUMN


Bingo king Curtis

LOVE Island’s Curtis Pritchard returned to Majorca in search of his lucky numbers –  without girlfriend Maura Higgins by his side.

The former pro dancer on Ireland’s version of Strictly attracted some female company during an appearance at Gringos Bingo hall on Sunday, where he took to the stage for an impromptu performance with ex-ballroom partner Annabelle Lawrence.

Love Island's Curtis Pritchard appeared at Gringos Bingo hall in Majorca 
Love Island’s Curtis Pritchard appeared at Gringos Bingo hall in Majorca
Gringos Bingo
Curtis took to the stage with former Blackpool Dance Festival partner Annabelle
Curtis took to the stage with former Blackpool Dance Festival partner Annabelle
Gringos Bingo

The pair previously partnered together at Blackpool Dance Festival in 2012 before going their separate ways, and Annabelle now lives on the Spanish isle.

Eyes down in future, Curtis.


bizbit

ROBERT Rinder needs to work on his love life – especially after putting his foot in it with Fleabag’s Andrew Scott. He told Heat mag: “I ended up asking Andrew if he wanted to go to Ouagadougou on the fourth text. It’s what I do.”


Down to business

FRANCHISE Abbey could be coming to a screen near you, if fans flock to the flicks for the first movie of ITV’s series.

With just weeks to go until Downton Abbey is in cinemas, Hugh Bonneville, who plays Lord Grantham, has teased that film sequels could be on their way.

Downton Abbey's Lord Grantham actor Hugh Bonneville hinted at film sequels 
Downton Abbey’s Lord Grantham actor Hugh Bonneville hinted at film sequels
ITV

He said: “I would like to think we haven’t seen the last of the Crawleys and the people who live at Downton Abbey, because they have become friends to so many millions of people around the world.

“So fingers crossed this film will work. I hope so, and let’s see the start of a franchise.”

The movie, out September 13, sees the Crawleys receive a royal visit from King George V and Queen Mary.

Executive producer Gareth Neame added: “We would like to do another one but that means all the fans have to come and see it.”

Surely there’s only so many period costumes and sweeping shots an audience can stomach.


bizbit

EMMERDALE’s Danny Miller says he is “gutted” to lose co-star Ryan Hawley – his TV lover Rob – from the soap. Danny, who plays Aaron, joked about the “RobRon” saga ending: “I was livid. My ep count’s going down, isn’t it?”


Sombre Prue has PC blues

PRUE Leith isn’t willing to give in to bonkers political correctness.

The Bake Off judge had a rant during a book talk last week after her publicist banned her from posting a photo of herself in a sombrero.

Bake Off judge Prue Leith lashed out at PC culture and called it 'nonsense'
Bake Off judge Prue Leith lashed out at PC culture and called it ‘nonsense’
Getty – Contributor

Prue explained: “You know, the other day I wanted to wear a hat, a Mexican sombrero and my PR lady said ‘Don’t tweet it. You’ll be accused of cultural appropriation.’

“Hasn’t it gone crazy? I think this is all nonsense.”

Writer Prue, known for her saucy novels, isn’t too fond of books that kowtow to public pressure either.

She added: “I think sometimes political correctness is crazy and goes too far. I’m all for something sensible and you should not be insulting.

“Children’s writers have to go through a fantastical process of checking they don’t offend anybody.

“If you write a book that never offends anyone it will be a very boring book.”

I’ve never heard of an offensive baking book, but one on gluten-free bread would be pretty close to it.

must watch

WHAT? Murder Case, BBC2, 9pm.

WHY? The criminal investigations series finale examines the murder of Stephen Wallace, whose body is found in his blood-spattered Glasgow home.

soapbox

BUNGLING Steve steals a sample of hair from Emma in Coronation Street.

When he finds out that he is her real father after all, he turns up at the funeral of the man she called dad and tells her, as you do.

Elsewhere, Ed has reached rock bottom in his struggle with a gambling addiction.

He has borrowed £5,000 from James but, while playing a game online, he realises he has to confess that he was responsible for losing their former home.

In Emmerdale, Mucky Moira has done well to resist the temptation of farm hand Nate.

But, having previously shared snogs with him, she finally succumbs.



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