Celebs line up to slug it out on television

Darren Day, Donal MacIntyre and the BBC’s political heavyweight John Pienaar are set to follow Ricky 'Balboa' Gervais into the ring as contenders for the next celebrity boxing bout.

Darren Day, Donal MacIntyre and the BBC’s political heavyweight John Pienaar are set to follow Ricky 'Balboa' Gervais into the ring as contenders for the next celebrity boxing bout.

TV entertainer Day, investigative reporter MacIntyre and Pienaar who regularly slugs it out with politicians, could fight in February in the next round of the hit TV boxing show.

MacIntyre has already agreed to take part, and is due to begin training in the New Year, a friend said.

The reporter, who famously burst into tears after being mugged during one of his crime exposes, is said to be determined not to loose to blonde bomber Day.

Day was dubbed ‘Panto-Man’ during his time in the jungle in I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

MacIntyre will be coached by Frank Maloney, who also managed world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis and Ricky ‘Balboa’ Gervais, star of comedy show The Office.

Gervais scored a points win over Anthea Turner’s husband, Grant Bovey, in the second of the celebrity bouts, screened on Boxing Day.

The slug-fest attracted five million viewers – prompting the BBC to follow up the success with a further show.

It is not yet known who will definitely fight or when they will meet in the ring.

A BBC spokeswoman said: “No names have been confirmed as yet. As soon as they are we will publicise them.”

But photographer David Wootton, a friend of MacIntyre said today: “Mac was meant to be fighting Darren Day on February the third, but I heard it might have had to be cancelled or postponed for some reason.

“We were discussing the fight and I believe Mac was going to start the training as soon as the New Year holidays are over. He is determined not to be beaten.

“After Darren Day was in the jungle he got quite a bad press, so I think most people will be rooting for Mac.”

There was no immediate comment from the fight camp of Day, who has a black belt in kick boxing.

Pienaar is chief political correspondent for BBC Radio Five Live, and last saw combat in the summer during a Parliamentary tug-of-war competition.

A source confirmed he was planning to fight.

It will be the third celebrity boxing match shown by the BBC, begun when Les Dennis and Bob Mortimer slugged it out for the charity Sports Relief.

The winner of each of the three round bouts takes away £5,000 for his chosen charity.

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