Source: Smash Hits Magazine
Date: 5th - 18th June 1996
Heading: She Shoots, She Scores!
Now that Anneka Rice has hung up her jumpsuit and stopped the clock on her infamous challenges, Smash Hits has called upon pert-bottomed singing star Louise to step into her shoes. To start, she has to learn how to play Premier League standard football, and then teach two soccer studs to dance - in 90 minutes. Good luck!
First Half - The Footie Challenge
It's a game of two halves. The first half kicks off with some hot Premiership talent giving some hot pop talent a run around the footie pitch. The second half waltzes in with a hard soccer duo being put through their paces in a dance studio - by a girl!
Louise Nurding, pop star, babe and football fan, is to move from the charts to the pitch, helped by two Premiership top players - Daniel Dichio, tall, dark, tattooed striker from QPR nicknamed "The Italian Stallion", and Scott Minto, dashing, charming Chelsea defender and childhood friend of Louise.
Their first job is to coach Louise and give her the kind of soccer skills and ball control that would impress even Jamie Redknapp, her England international friend. Then they have to dance. It's a Mission Impossible.
"Oh B*****ks! B*****ks!" Louise repeats over and over as she attempts to weave the football around a series of cones at the Paddington Recreation Ground. "Ouch, damn!" she yelps as she tries to head the ball, succeeding in only hurting the top of her head and moving the ball two yards. "Oops. God, this is useless," exclaims Louise, cursing her inability to keep the ball up, or to balance it on her knee.
Daniel and Scott sympathetically fall about laughing. Then she's back. She kicks the ball away and explains, "This is my first time on a football pitch."
Daniel replies, "She clearly has her abilities, and my club may be interested in signing her up. QPR are in the process of looking for a new tea lady at the moment. Ha ha!"
Scott adds, "Yeah, she makes a fine cup of tea."
Louise, set on getting her own back at their jibes, lines up a penalty. She runs up - and drives the ball hard and straight at Scott's legs - Scott, the true pro, puts down his hands and then lets the ball spill between them. It hits the back of the net and Louise runs away to celebrate, happily whistling the Match Of The Day theme to herself.
At half-time it's certainly 1-0 to the lovely debutante, and her two bruised soccer-star trainers wait to answer the important questions.
Firstly, did they enjoy turning the tables on Louise and taking the opportunity to make her dribble? Scott laughs, "You're saying she makes us dribble?"
"Well, it was fun watching her dribbling, she's a good laugh."
Daniel adds, "We certainly dribble better, we've had more practice. If it was our job to make her dribble we didn't do it very well."
Lack of drooling aside then, was it a buzz being able to make a pass at Louise? "A pass to her or a pass at her?" Scott queries, giggling.
Daniel says, "Ha ha! It's a good opportunity. I'd rather make a pass at her than the blokes I usually pass to."
Scott looks confused and worried. "Erm, I think I know what you mean."
If you were both into making passes were you hoping to score? "What are you like?""Anyway, I did the scoring."
Scott continues, "She did put two past me and my hands are still stinging."
And lads, were you hoping there would be shirt-swapping afterwards? Daniel and Scott don't answer - they're laughing too much. Daniel shrugs his shoulders and mutters, "Well, erm, it was a bit cold."
Finally, just how fit do you think she is? "The lads will be envious of me spending time with the lovely Louise of course," Daniel decides, tactfully. Scott just laughs.
Second Half - The Dance Challenge
Half time over, the action moves to a central London dance studio. The lads' laughter soon fades when faced with studios full of lycra-clad dancers. They look apprehensive, fearful, scared even.
"What will the blokes in the team say?" Daniel gawps. "This is terrible."
Scott sighs, "I'll never be able to show my face again."
Louise laughs, she knows it is now time for her revenge. Of her football trials she says, "It's a lot harder than it looks, especially round the cones, I thought that looked easy but it was impossible. It's great how footballers can steal my territory - singing or modelling - but it's not fair that there's no way I can challenge them on the pitch."
To make matters worse Daniel has just signed a record deal of his own. A successful house DJ who plays at top clubs across the country, he and Liverpool goalkeeper David James are to record an underground record and a dance-mix CD for release in July.
"We're not dancers though," Scott promises. "We're bar boys. We just stand in clubs and chat."
Daniel adds, "Six or seven drinks might get me wandering past the dance floor."
Louise laughs, "I bet you're the kind of guys who get up and boogie for the last song. And I can see you both in your bedrooms, in front of the mirror before you go out, giving it all the "Saturday Night Fever" bit."
But it seems they really can't dance. Her new single, "Naked", blasts from the speakers as she attempts to teach them the complicated dance routines it took her and Jacko's choreographer weeks to perfect in LA. They move with the confidence and fluidity of a particularly nervous plank, all jolty and wooden.
"If they'd been in LA we'd still be shooting now," she jokes. "I thought you needed to have rhythm and control of your feet to play football."
However, slowly, as they get into the swing, they begin to groove and move smoothly. They're throwing poses, copying Louise. Clearly enjoying themselves, Daniel declares, "I feel like I'm in an episode of Fame."
Scott adds, "Yeah, I'm Leroy, but without the legwarmers."
Louise jokes that she wants to know what happened to their lycra catsuits.
"Sorry, but my leotard was just too tight," sighs Daniel.
As far as the players' laddish image goes, if they thought it was all over, it is now.
Louise tells them they were "good, cool", and tells them to be at her tour rehearsals on Monday. They sensibly decide to stick to football.
The final whistle blows on this match, the score a 1-1 draw, with very good sports on both sides.