Hidden Talent with Richard Bacon – episode 2 tests for diving and artistic ability!

The second episode looks for someone with the physical and mental capacity to succeed in the international free-diving arena, and an individual who, with no previous artistic training, can spot a masterpiece in a room full of fakes.

Once the 12 finalists in the free-diving tests are selected, they are put through their paces by top instructor Emma Farrell, who observes each candidate to see who has the best biological and psychological aptitude for the sport. A small number of people have an advanced mammalian diving reflex which enables them to hold their breath for upwards of four minutes and dive to a depth below 60 metres without scuba gear. After the participants have had their natural skills tested in a freezing quarry, 28-year-old Roxanne Messenger, an art director at an advertising agency, is selected to undertake further one-on-one training to push her newfound talent as far as it will go.

Although Roxanne has never considered herself sporty and was, until recently, overweight, she faces the challenge head-on as she receives intensive training from Emma, ahead of her final diving challenge. As she travels to Egypt, Roxanne is taken under the wing of Marco Nones, one of the best free-diving instructors in the world. With only weeks to master this complex skill, can Roxanne learn fast enough to compete with professional free-divers? Lee Yenson, who has always worked in a tractor factory, has never stepped foot in an art gallery and never considered a career in art. But one of the Hidden Talent test days reveals that he has a keen eye for art after he attains an exceptional score in the ‘aesthetic appreciation’ test; he scores higher than many people who work in the art world. Lee says he fell into working in the tractor industry, having struggled since school to find his direction in life. Art expert Professor Matthew Kieran gives Lee intensive training in all aspects of art, from theories of composition to depth of field, before he undertakes his final challenge. After a day’s training, Lee’s challenge is to identify a multi-million-pound Monet masterpiece in a room of fakes, some of which were created by art forger John Myatt, who was involved in what was said to be the biggest art fraud of the 20th century. Will Lee’s lack of artistic experience let him down, or can he conquer his doubts and use his natural potential to identify the real work of art?

Tonight, Channel 4, 9PM