Keri-Anne Payne interview

Keri-Anne coaches the contestant tasked with taking on the Atlantic Ocean from the boat and then, eventually, in the sea itself. We spoke to her about the the brand new quiz show on W that's bound to make waves.

Keri-Anne Payne interview

Tell us a bit about your role in The Wave?

I had the best role on The Wave. I was stationed on a boat for most of the episodes as 'The Coach', giving advice to the swimmer on their best course of action whilst they went from pontoon to pontoon. When it came time for the swim back, this was my chance to really help the swimmer by giving them tips and confidence that they could make it through the crashing waves and back to the beach. For me though, the best bit was jumping off the boat when the swimmer was nearly back to shore to keep coaching them through the waves so that they could get to the beach on time to win the cash!

How does it compare to the Rio Olympics?

The conditions in Portugal were SO much rougher than they were in Rio, the Copacabana on my race day last year was like a swimming pool but I really wish Rio had been more like Portugal. I love swimming in the waves and really, really loved that part of my role on The Wave - swimming back into the beach through the waves.

Did you have to train for The Wave?

My 18 years of swimming training was the perfect preparation for The Wave. I must admit though that I was more nervous about speaking to the camera than swimming so that was the sort of training I needed to do in the lead up.

Which contestants should we look out for?

This is a tough one! They were all so amazing and I was so impressed with each swimmer. If I had to think about a few that were totally epic then Greg and Sophie were certainly that. Natalie and Joshua were pretty impressive too but a special shout out to the mother and daughter team, Debbie and Mae.

What's your biggest worry when swimming in the open water?

Sharks! I know my job was swimming in the ocean but I would always have a little Jaws moment but then realise that it's ridiculous and carry on swimming. I absolutely love the freedom that you feel in the open water though and that will always be why I swim in the outdoors.

How do you think you'd fair in The Wave as a contestant?

I would love to have taken The Wave on! The swimming between pontoons would not have been a problem for me, neither would the swim back to the beach ... what would have been a worry is answering the questions!

There were a few questions that I didn't know the answers to whilst the contestants were taking on The Wave so the thought of having lead weight dragging me down would have been a worry but I would have given it a go.

If you could choose any celebrity to take part in The Wave who would it be?

I would love to see how Bear Grylls would tackle The Wave, he's a really strong guy but I wonder how he would have fared in the waves.

Who would be your The Wave partner and would you be on the beach or in the sea?

I would absolutely be the swimmer in the water and my perfect partner would have to be Rylan. He knew almost all the answers when we talked about them after each show was completed. Some questions were general knowledge but there was a big mix of celebrity questions in there too and I think that we would have been a GREAT pair.

What's it like working with Rylan?

Rylan was brilliant to work with, he really made me feel at ease from the second we met. He helped me relax in front of the camera and gave me tons of tips on set. We had some really great laughs throughout filming The Wave. I would love to work with him again.