Loose Women’s Andrea McLean determined to make a splash for Sport Relief

Andrea McLean is used to ­making waves on Loose Women, but she is trying to avoid a ­different kind of splash when she takes part in Sport Relief.

Andrea is one of the stars battling it out for Team ITV in a rowing challenge against BBC, Sky and Channel 4 this week.

And she will be happy if she simply finishes the race without taking a dip in the murk of Salford Quay.

She said: “There’s not been that much training, which makes for much hilarity.

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“People think when you train for something like this you go to the gym and on the rowing machine and it’s all fine – which is what I thought.

“But proper Olympic rowing is like patting your head, ­rubbing your tummy, dancing on one leg and trying to recite poetry all at the same time. It’s way harder than I thought.

“I just hope we don’t all fall in. The chances of it looking sleek and Olympian are very, very slim.”

Andrea, 50, recently opened up about her battle with depression and anxiety, revealing she has had panic ­attacks since her 20s.

She says learning to ­meditate has been the key to getting through those tough times.

The former weather presenter is also a keen gym goer – but said she is not a natural rower.

And her coach, Olympic rowing gold medallist James Cracknell, does not seem to have the answer.

She said: “I mentioned this to James and he looked slightly alarmed. The only time I’ve fainted in the gym was on a ­rowing machine because I pushed myself so hard. I got really light-headed and fell off.

“He looked at me like, ‘Right, maybe don’t do that then’. So I’ve been running, doing weights and working on my core.”

Andrea will share her boat with five other ITV stars including Dr Ranj Singh, 40, and Emmerdale’s Isabel Hodgins, 26, who plays Victoria Sugden.

But Andrea said: “I haven’t met the team yet. We’ll meet on the day, get in the boat and try not to fall in. That’s pretty much it.”

Watch the race as part of Sport Relief 2020 on BBC1 this Friday from 7pm.

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