So, where am I? It’s March of 2006, and I’m in this Channel 4 TV show, The Games, knowing that I need the money to pay for my divorce, which is costly.
It’s the last day of six weeks’ training and I’m thinking, “This is easy.” Jade Jones – from Damage, who dated Baby Spice all those years – he was the only brother that could’ve taken me on. I was looking at everyone else thinking, “All pussies, man, we’ll smash this.”
Money in the bank!
Skating? Done it. Ice-skating? Piece of piss. Snowboarding, that’s easy. Me and Jade are mashing it up every week.
Last day and it’s waterskiing. Down in Chertsey. I’m jumping, landing, bam! Jumping, landing, bam! Done it twice, and this is the third and final run – the last time before the show airs in three days’ time. This is like the dress rehearsal. Goes fine. Smooth as silk.
At this point, my manager (well, he’s my ex-manager now, but he was my manager then) turns up. “Just go around again,” he says.
“Come on, let’s go out again.”
Of course, the ego’s kicked in, hasn’t it? “All right.”
This is going to be impressive, isn’t it? Because my manager’s in the boat. It’s pulled me up out of the water. The skis are too tight but it’s OK – I’ve crossed the wake fine. I put my heels into it and come right round – hit the edge of the ramp; you need to pull away so you get the most traction.
Now I’ve launched off it. The jump is beautiful, it’s amazing, it’s better than Eddie the Eagle, baby. I’ve landed, dug my heels in . . . and the wake’s caught the skis, pulled the leg under the water and snapped it.
The only way I can describe the feeling of a leg breaking underwater is, it’s like getting hit with a sledgehammer through a bag of potatoes. The whole force of it – but through the potatoes. When I came back up to the surface, I felt nothing, but then I looked to my left, just over my shoulder, and saw my leg floating in the other direction. It’s at f***ing 11 o’clock to where it ought to be!
I’m thinking, “This is weird – that leg’s not supposed to be there.” And then all of a sudden, the pain hits me.
Oh my God. I’ve got quite a high pain threshold, but this has sailed way over it. The people from the show are round me, trying to grab me out of the water, but every time they touch me, I’m like, “Argh!”
Now they’ve dragged me to the shore and they’re trying to cut the skis off.
There’s a mad court case where I ultimately end up getting compensated for everything. So that helped, but it wasn’t worth the pain.
The divorce was, though.
Goldie & The Heritage Orchestra Ensemble headline Funk The Format Festival on Saturday 17th June in Hove Park: www.funktheformat.co.uk
This article appears in the 26 Apr 2017 issue of the New Statesman, Cool Britannia 20 Years On