‘We’re all scared’ Helen Skelton’s reputation intimidated Sky Sports’ Bela Shah, host says

Summer on the Farm: Helen Skelton tells guest to ‘calm yourself’

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Bela Shah has spoken out on going up against Helen Skelton, 38, in a golf tournament, designed to encourage more women to take up the sport. The Sky Sports presenter admitted she and fellow competitors Natalie Pinkham and Fleur East were “all scared” of the Countryfile star, who has a reputation for winning any challenge she takes on. 

Helen was the first woman to kayak the Amazon River solo, she has walked a tightrope across Battersea Power Station and completed a 78-mile ultra-marathon.

After she settled into the very different challenge of looking after sons Ernie, four, and Louis, three, the former Blue Peter star admitted she stopped thinking of herself as a “bada**”.

But fans of Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins saw how Helen is full of courage, determination and endurance during the 2020 series.

Her quiet composure helped her beat six other famous faces to make it to the final with soap star Nikki Sanderson, ex-boxer Tony Bellew, Paralympian Lauren Steadman, TOWIE’s Joey Essex and Rudimental DJ Locksmith.

Opening up on how she felt about competing against Helen on the golf course, Bela has exclusively told Express.co.uk: “I hadn’t watched SAS when I met Helen, but all the other girls had, they were just like, ‘Right, Helen, we’re all scared of Helen’. 

“She obviously won as well, she won the golf challenge. We were all to an extent competitive, but we were each other’s biggest cheerleaders. 

“If you watch the episodes you can hear us just cheering in the background. We were just so happy for each other.

“But she [Helen] is a machine, she is great, she has done so many of these challenges and she is so good at them.”

Slingsby Gin launched its celebrity Golf Academy to encourage more women to take to the course.

The announcement of The Spirit Of Harrogate brand’s new endeavour coincided with the reopening of outdoor sports in England.

Through the Slingsby Golf Academy, with the support of Callaway Europe, the four cadets worked one-on-one weekly with a partner PGA Professional, who taught them how to play golf before competing against each other in a play-off to qualify for the BMW PGA Championship Celebrity Pro-Am.

Helen, who won, will next play over Wentworth’s East Course this week before the BMW PGA Championship, and will also receive a £5,000 bonus cheque from Slingsby to donate to a charity of her choice. 

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“We’re so pleased to have these four inspirational and influential women as part of our inaugural Academy,” said Marcus Black, co-founder of Slingsby Gin. 

“The enthusiasm and competitiveness Fleur, Helen, Natalie and Bela have shown already, despite the courses being closed has been incredible. 

“They have been practising their putting in the kitchen and swing in the back garden through lockdown.”

Although Bela did not win the play-off, she enjoyed the experience and is continuing to practice the sport.

She shared: “Playing at Wentworth was just mind-blowing, it was just beautiful. It was tough, but it was also fun.

“I’m definitely going to keep playing, I’ve played since, but I haven’t actually done 18 holes since.”

When the TV host is not on the golf course she is busy presenting Sky Sports and spending time with her husband Ravi Sidhu.

The couple married in 2016 in a low key ceremony and live together in north London.

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