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Liverpool Echo April 30,2001


TV Star Faces Biggest Test


CELEBRITY Big Brother star Claire Sweeney is swapping Brookside Close for the challenge of a lifetime.

The Liverpool-born actress, who plays single-mum Lindsey Corkhill in the TV soap, is taking over from pregnant presenter Davina McCall to front a new daredevil show.

And last night it was revealed that she has been insured for a staggering 20m in order to participate in the programme called "Challenge of a Lifetime."

The figure is twice the amount normally spent by television bosses on insurance for presenters.

The primetime Saturday night slot is a coup Claire, who will invite members of the public to overcome their fears and carry out daredevil challenges.

Programme maker LWT said Claire had been granted special leave from Brookside to present the show.

The show starts filming next month and Claire will be flying to a series of exotic locations around the world, preparing to take the place of anyone who refuses to do the challenge.

LWTs head of entertainment Bob Massie said: "Everyone loves Claire.

"She proved during Celebrity Big Brother that shes got bags of personality and loads of charisma which makes her the perfect choice to present this ITV primetime show."

Brookside producer and Mersey Television chairman Phil Redmond said: "I am absolutely delighted that Claire has found another avenue to display the range of talents we could never fully explore in Brookside.

"Everyone here wishes her well and is fully supportive."

Claire was runner-up in the Comic Relief Celebrity Big Brother, losing out to comedian Jack Dee.

Claire said she was really looking forward to becoming a presenter, but insisted she was not leaving Brookside.

"I'm really looking forward to it. We're going to some fantastic locations including Vegas, Australia and New Zealand."

As for taking part in the dare-devil challenges if contestants refuse to do them, Claire said she had whet her appetite during her recent trip to the Alps in Switzerland to prepare for the show.