Vernon Kay saved a woman from drowning in Florida

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Jayne Cherrington-Cook
·4 min read
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Watch: Vernon Kay discusses how he saved an ITV producer from drowning...

I’m A Celebrity star Vernon Kay has spoken about the time he rescued a drowning woman while in Florida.

Talking to Kate Thornton on the latest episode of White Wine Question Time, Kay said: “This woman — she's basically drowning — and thankfully I am quite tall, so I was able to just tippy-toe into where she was drowning.

"We dragged her out and you know, someone called the the ambulance.” 

The TV presenter said that while it sounded dramatic, it actually came with some hilarity as his friend Adam, who he was with, face planted into the sound during the rescue.

“We saw a lady get taken away by the riptide in the sea and I jump up and jump in the sea,” he told Thornton.

Vernon Kay revealed on podcast White Wine Question Time that he rescued a drowning woman in Florida (Image: Getty Images)
Vernon Kay revealed on podcast White Wine Question Time that he rescued a drowning woman in Florida (Image: Getty Images)

Listen: Vernon Kay reveals why he nearly didn't do I'm A Celebrity

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“So Adam as soon as he hits the water, he dives in and the tide goes out the moment that he dives in and he just slaps the sand.

"It's the funniest thing ever, because you're caught between a rock and a hard place because this poor lady is screaming because she's been swept out to sea and then Adam's just like ‘bom’ face planted into the sand!”

Read more: Vernon Kay says volunteering to help vaccine roll-out is 'amazing experience'

While it sounds like a scene straight out of Baywatch – Kay running in slow motion across the sand to save the mystery woman – in reality, the Bolton-born star said it was somewhat different.

Watch: Vernon Kay reveals his modelling career wasn't that successful!

“I'm six foot four and I've got really long legs right so I look like a giraffe when I'm running, bounding along the beach,” he laughed.

The dramatic rescue followed a day of cocktails and gossip with fellow stars Tamzin Outhwaite and Nicole Appleton, who Kay and his mate met in Customs and Excise on their arrival in Florida.

Vernon Kay competes in the Challenger World London Triathlon, at the Excel Centre, London.   (Photo by Lewis Whyld/PA Images via Getty Images)
Vernon Kay competed in the Challenger World London Triathlon in 2010 (Lewis Whyld/PA Images via Getty Images)

“My friend has the same middle name and surname, allegedly, of a Nigerian arms dealer. It's random, but it's a fact, so every time he goes through America, he gets hoiked over by Customs and Excise obviously because the Americans are very cautious at their borders,” the TV star said.

Read more: Tamzin Outhwaite says she will never forget being bullied into making a 'tragic decision'

“And Tamsin was in there as well and they got chatting and he said, ‘Oh, I'm here with Vern’... So basically, long story short, we hooked up and we spent an afternoon in the beach in the sunshine, catching up, gossiping, all that kind of stuff like you do, with a couple of cocktails.”

Vernon Kay was third in 'I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!' 2020 (ITV/Shutterstock)
Vernon Kay was third in 'I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!' 2020 (ITV/Shutterstock)

After rescuing the lady and calling emergency services, Kay found out they had a very strange connection – their workplace.

“Literally, the whole of the Floridian Police Service and the fire service arrived — and it turns out that the lady worked for ITV. 

"How mad's that?” he exclaimed.

In Game of Talents, hosted by Vernon Kay, can you tell the fire eater from the footballer or the line dancer from the lion tamer? (Thames)
In Game of Talents, hosted by Vernon Kay, can you tell the fire eater from the footballer or the line dancer from the lion tamer? (Thames)

The star is back on our TV screens with new prime-time game show Game Of Talents, his first major presenting gig since All Star Family Fortunes ended in 2015. He’s also presenting a new podcast Parenting Past The Pandemic, where he and financial expert Holly Mackay share their parenting experiences.

“The pandemic, I think, overall, it was a shock to everyone where we have to adjust, we have to kind of rearrange and assess where we were at really,” he said.

"So, we kind of thought well, let's just talk about what we've all been through."

Hear Vernon Kay talk about how he keeps his relationship with Tess Daly fresh in this week's episode of White Wine Question Time. Listen now on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.