Fred Siriex treats his gold medal winning daughter to a trip to New York as a reward for her diving success at the Commonwealth Games.
The 50-year-old First Dates star was in attendance at the Sandwell Aquatics Center on Thursday to watch Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix win the gold in the 10m Platform dive.
He says the 17-year-old’s victory was well deserved “after ten years of hard work and dedication” and they plan to celebrate together in the Big Apple after she completes her two remaining diving competitions at the Birmingham Games.
Surprise! Fred Siriex treats his gold medal winning daughter to a trip to New York as a reward for her diving success at the Commonwealth Games
In an exclusive conversation with MailOnline, Fred said, “We’re taking her to New York in September when she turns 18. We’ll spend a few days there like she’s never been before. She’s always wanted to go.
“We’re having a great time there, she deserves it.”
Fred admitted he’s barely slept since Andrea won gold at her first Commonwealth Games, adding: ‘I couldn’t sleep last night, my eyes were on the ceiling.
“I was just playing the moment in my head. Today I plan to watch it again on TV so that I can enjoy it as a fan.”
Proud: The 50-year-old First Dates star was in the audience at the Sandwell Aquatics Center on Thursday to watch Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix win the gold in the 10m Platform dive
Radiant: He says the 17-year-old’s victory was deserved “after ten years of hard work and dedication” and they plan to celebrate it together in the Big Apple after she completes her two remaining diving competitions at the Birmingham Games
Andrea took her gold medal with no less than 357.50 points, while compatriot Lois Mae Toulson took silver with 337.3 points.
Fred was in the photo celebrating wildly in the crowd, cheering in the air after Andrea’s winning dive.
The TV favorite admitted he was always sure she would win, but nerves set in when her rivals ramped up their performance levels in the final round.
Overjoyed: First Dates star Fred, 50, was the proud father every inch as he jumped for joy in the stands as his 17-year-old daughter won the Women’s Diving 10m Platform at Sandwell Aquatics Center on Thursday night
He explained: “Andrea completely dominated the preliminaries, but in the final she started a bit slow. And you get nervous because all the girls are upping their game in the final.
“But she did what champions do and on her last dive she really turned it on and made a perfectly trained dive from scratch. It was her best dive ever. It was on the wire until that last dive.’
He added: ‘I’ve been following her career since she was eight and that was the culmination of ten years of diving.
Success: Andrea immediately cheered after jumping out of the water after her last dive and seeing her scores, realizing she had become the gold medalist of the women’s 10m Platform
It’s six days a week, four to five hours a day, a day off on a Sunday, no holidays – just sheer rut and hard work. She totally deserves it. It was her time.’
Born in France, Fred has lived in the UK for 30 years and had Andrea and son Lucien, 13, with ex-partner Alex, says his daughter’s passion for diving started when she was picked by talent spotters at her local school in South East London when she was eight years old.
Initially an avid gymnast, she was asked to try diving as her skills could be transferred to a new sport and she joined Dive London, based at the London Aquatics Center in Stratford, specializing in the 10m dive, which Fred says that you have to do his ‘nuts’.
Astonishing: Andrea took on Thursday’s heart-pounding final with a further 11 entrants after finishing first against 14 divers in the preliminaries
But the Frenchman, whose First Dates show airs on Channel 4 on Thursday evenings, has nothing but admiration for his daughter and reveals that he knows how tough her training is, having attended sessions while connected with the Team GB team in May last year.
Fred said, “I was bruised for five days in a row. I didn’t land well and landed on my behind. It’s just insane. Every time I sat on that board, I was scared.’
He believes Andrea is mature enough to handle the pressure of fame that will mount after her Commonwealth Games success.
Fred added: ‘She is a very well-balanced girl with a good head on her shoulders. I’m not worried about that, she’ll be fine. Andrea is completely dedicated to her sport.’
Fame: The Frenchman, whose First Dates show airs Thursday night on Channel 4, has nothing but admiration for his daughter
When Andrea presented her gold medal at the awards ceremony, she eagerly waved to the crowd and flashed a huge smile as the crowd erupted into deafening cheers.
She was given a hug, which she proudly lifted into the air like a trophy while wearing her gold medal around her neck as she celebrated her well-deserved victory.
In the heart-pounding final on Thursday, Andrea did it alongside a further 11 participants, after coming first against 14 divers in the preliminaries.
It’s another milestone added to the teen’s thriving career after competing with Team GB at the Summer Olympics in Toyko last year.
Podium: Andrea was followed in second place by her teammate Lois Mae Toulson (left) on 337.30 points – with England taking home two of the three podium medals – while Canada’s Caeli Sierra McKay took the bronze medal