First aiders part in TV spoof

SUFFOLK'S St John Ambulance has been bitten by the bug of reality TV, The Evening Star can reveal today. Fronted by TV funnyman Johnny Vaughan, reality show Space Cadets has fooled a group of wannabe astronauts into thinking they left a Russian space station and are orbiting the earth in a spaceship.

SUFFOLK'S St John Ambulance has been bitten by the bug of reality TV, The Evening Star can reveal today.

Fronted by TV funnyman Johnny Vaughan, reality show Space Cadets has fooled a group of wannabe astronauts into thinking they left a Russian space station and are orbiting the earth in a spaceship.

An ambulance and crew from St John has been on site at the Rendlesham location for the Channel 4 show on two occasions during filming already.

Today they are again preparing for a role in the show's final this Friday.


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Speaking from the ambulance's HQ in Bramford in Keith Hotchkiss, St John Ambulance's transport services co-ordinator, was coy about a surprise twist being planned by programme makers as they reveal the hoax to the cadets.

He said: “This Friday an ambulance and crew will be back on site, just in case any of the students experience medical problems when they emerge from the confinement of the simulator.

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“I would love to tell you but we have been sworn to secrecy about it but what will happen on Friday but it will be interesting.”

The charity was approached by TV company Endemol to provide standby support in case any of the show's participants were taken ill.

Keith said: “We were present for the arrival of the helicopter, and then again for a full day during the launch preparation sequence.”

As the cadet's prepared for their trip into space they believed they were on a Russian airbase not far from Moscow.

Keith, 32, who speaks a little Russian, admitted to being a fan of the show.

He said: “So much effort went into making it look Russian. Everyone had Russian identification and vehicles have Russian number plates. It has been very interesting.”

St John Ambulance crew member Stefan Wilding, 20, said he had enjoyed watching the programme being made.

He said: “We have been talking to the extras and finding out how they make a tv show. I6t has been really interesting to be there.”

Are you a fan of Space Cadets? What do you think of the show? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

CHANNEL4's Space Cadets show is now really entering the twilight zone as its producers try very hard to wring every ounce of interest out of it.

With three victims, plus actor Charlie, locked in the simulator at Bentwaters, the programme is starting to wear as thin as the joke.

Last night we saw the cadets making comments that they could just be on the earth - and Charlie told the camera in one of his asides that he thinks they've all smelled the rat at one stage or another.

He says they just haven't brought all their doubts into focus yet . . . that's the story for the audience, anyway.

In a desperate attempt to liven things up we had two of the cadets, Keri and Billy, flirting with each other as the mission continued.

Johnny Vaughan is trying hard to keep the entertainment value up - last night he interviewed friends and family of the three cadets.

But overall the programme seems now to be spluttering to its conclusion rather than leaping along.

Friday night's show when the full level of the deception is revealed to the audience and the cadets will probably be required viewing - but it's difficult to imagine anyone but the hard-core fans sticking with it over the next two nights.

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