EastEnders’ Shaun Williamson could have been killed on Celebs On The Farm as digger he's driving almost flips over
CELEBS On The Farm star Shaun Williamson could have died after he almost flipped a digger he was driving while filming for the show.
The show’s executive producer Richard Woolfe, reveals that the EastEnders legend, 55, left his fellow celebs “gasping in horror” after the stunt went wrong.
“There was a bit of a scary moment during one of the tasks where Shaun’s getting to grips with a digger,” Richard tells The Sun.
“As he’s trying to dig out a trench he accidentally whacks it into reverse and almost flips it over.
“Luckily he managed to hold his nerve and came away laughing about it.
“We were all joking that after what happened with Janine in EastEnders, who was a gold digger, we should’ve known better than to put him behind the wheel of a real life one and it was always going to happen.”
Figures published in the Health and Safety report 'Fatal injuries in agriculture, forestry and fishing in Great Britain 2019/20' show 21 people were killed as a result of overturning vehicles on agricultural sites.
40 people died on construction sites as a result of overturned machinery or being hit by moving vehicles in 2019/2020.
Richard adds that the MTV show had tried to sign Shaun, who played Barry Evans in EastEnders between 1994 and 2004, for two years – and only landed him when the pandemic shut theatres.
“I tried to get Shaun for the last series but sadly he was away on a theatre tour so he had to say no,” Richard says.
“He’s someone that I knew would be brilliant and he didn’t disappoint. That was the one benefit of Covid, there was no difficulty in booking the line up that we wanted.
“At first everyone was a bit worried about Shaun as he didn’t look very happy but once he told us that it’s just his ‘resting bitch face’ he had everyone in hysterics.”
The show, which starts tonight, also stars Love Island’s Montana Brown, Blue singer Duncan James, Kerry Katona, Hollyoaks hunk Malique Thompson-Dwyer, Geordie Shore’s Holly Hagan, RuPaul's Drag Race UK star Cheryl Hole, athlete Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, Lady Colin Campbell and Linda Robson.
“I also really wanted Linda Robson, I think it’s important to get the mix of celebrities right,” says Richard.
“Of course you need the younger stars like Montana, Holly and Malique, but nothing beats seeing someone like Linda falling over the mud.
“We’d been doing a task involving some young piglets. The celebs had to use these boards, which acted as a bit of a tunnel, to get the pigs back into the sty.
“Linda decided that she’d put herself close to the sty but then all of a sudden she has these eight little piglets running towards her.
“She somehow falls backwards and gets stuck in the mud. The other celebs had to help her get up but they ended up falling down too. It was one giant mud fest.
“When we spoke about it later she admitted that the mud had gone through everything – even her knickers."
As soon as the show was given the go ahead last summer by MTV bosses – it’s new home after spending two years on Channel 5 – the cast and crew of around 50 people, all moved into a hotel close to the farm in Yorkshire to form a bubble.
They spent three weeks all living together and filming the show back in September and were testing every couple of days to make sure they stayed safe.
Richard said: “It was a pretty big bubble, and no-one was allowed to leave. We appointed a Covid officer whose job was to make sure that all protocols were followed.
“It was about keeping everyone safe. We sent trained nurses round to all the celebrities homes to test them before they travelled up to Yorkshire to film with us, and then we did tests every couple of days.
“We also bought a fogging machine which is used to spray an area with disinfectant after it’s used. It meant that our days were longer but that didn’t matter.
“We were all just so happy to be working and filming something that would provide viewers with a bit of escapism during these awful times.
“As a boss it was a real learning curve. The stress around Covid was monumental. I always feel responsible for everyone who is working on one of my shows but I’d never felt such a duty of care as I did when we filmed this series.
“Our industry thrives on people being together so it felt really special to be back working on the show. It’s pure escapism and will hopefully put a few smiles on peoples faces.”
Celebs on The Farm is on tonight at 9pm on MTV.
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