Freeze the Fear with Wim Hof review: You have to give the BBC's new celebrity trial by ice the very cold shoulder

I was hoping to give Freeze The Fear with Wim Hof (BBC1, Tues, 9pm) a warm reception, but having watched it, this celebrity trial by ice really needs the cold shoulder.

By Philip Cunnington
Friday, 15th April 2022, 5:00 pm
Updated Saturday, 16th April 2022, 9:57 am

In case Wim Hof’s name is not familiar to you, he is an eccentric bearded Dutchman who has spent years breaking assorted ‘records’ for being very cold indeed.

He claims that he can withstand these extreme temperatures through a combination of breathing exercises, regular exposure to cold, and meditation – and judging by this show, wearing a grubby-looking embroidered poncho.

Wim says he can teach these techniques to people to help them conquer their fears – not only of ice cubes, but life in general.

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Wim Hof, Dutch cold expert, was in Freeze The Fear on BBC1

Which is where celebrities – ranging from Fleetwood’s finest Alfie Boe to the artist formerly known as Professor Green – come in.

With semi-nude Wim shouting encouragement from the sidelines, these assorted stars are exhorted to use the power of their minds to overcome both their fears, and the freezing conditions of Alpine Italy.

"When you go into ice water, everything stops… you are no longer in your thoughts,” enthuses Wim. “There is serenity, there is deep peace, there is power.”

Erm, Wim, there’s also deep panic and the absolute urge to get out of whatever cold thing you find yourself in.

Alfie Boe, the singer originally from Fleetwood, was one of the celebs on a new BBC series, Freeze The Fear with Wim Hof

It’s a bit of a (frozen) turkey this one, filling a very long hour with shots of the celebs battling through snow and chatting about how mentally strong they are, when what you really want to see is them being pelted with snowballs. I think Wim and I need a cooling-off period.

If you really want to see celebrities put through a series of trials designed to test their mental resilience, you can’t do better than Taskmaster (Channel 4, Thurs, 9pm), which has returned for a new series. From the very first task, where the five had to find ducks hidden in a virtually empty room, it was perfect in every way.

The Split (BBC1, Mon, 9pm) has been consistently good, if not excellent, with a brilliant cast, headed by Nicola Walker. The tale of divorce lawyers going through their own family turmoil can get a bit soapy, but it has enough to make you think you’ll miss it with the end of this third – and last – series.