TV presenter Laura Hamilton dazzled her way to second place in the 2011 series of Dancing On Ice, but says the experience doesn’t give her a head start on Channel 4’s winter sports show The Jump.
“It’s very different to Dancing On Ice," Hamilton tells RadioTimes.com of the new reality series, which sees celebrities taking on a variety of winter sports, from skating disciplines through speed skiing and onto the jump itself.
"There’s a few people in the competition that have been part of Dancing On Ice and everyone thinks, ‘Oh well you’ve been on Dancing On Ice so you’ve got ice skating experience’. Yes OK, the balance helps, being on the ice the environment helps. But it’s a completely different sport.
“The skates are completely different, the blades are a lot longer on speed skates, they don’t have toe picks, the boots are completely different, they cut off at the ankle so you don’t have that support. You can’t stop in the same way. Although in some ways you could think you’ve got an advantage, at the same time you haven’t because the technique is completely different."
Hamilton says there was “talk of potentially going back and being involved” in Dancing On Ice this year. The final series of the show has seen a host of former contestants back on the ice for the final series, but Hamilton admits she was keen to be part of The Jump.
“I got asked to be part of The Jump and obviously I was desperate to be part of it, so I’m kind of doing this instead,” she confirms.
Hamilton was originally a reserve on the show, but is now a fully competing star after being called up to replace the exiting Tara Palmer-Tomkinson.
There was chatter among the celebrities during the early days of training that Palmer-Tomkinson was well on her way to winning the competition, but Hamilton says: “I think that’s what Tara thought people were surmising and that there was a lot of pressure on her, but I don’t think there is any one person that you would say can win it, as it can go any which way.”
So is Hamilton now in it to win it? “I’m in the show now, for me that’s the most amazing thing of all, to actually be in it" she says. "I’d like to do as well as I can for myself. It’d be great to get to the final. I think honestly the guys are too strong in the show to beat them. I don’t know that that’s possible.
“It’s great to be competitive and why would you come into a show if you didn’t want to do as well as you could. I just want to do as well as I can for me.”
The Place in the Sun host reveals she has being skiing since she was a kid, and that she's among the celebrities who have already tackled more than one of the jumps. The jump itself comes into play when contestants are voted into the bottom two. They must then choose one of the three jumps (the highest being a staggering 40 meters) and the star who jumps the furthest stays in the competition. Hamilton teases, "I won’t tell you which ones as it’ll spoil it for you."
As if this wasn't enough, Hamilton gave birth to her son Rocco just eight weeks ago.
“A lot of people would go, ‘Bloody hell you were skiing sort of four, five weeks after a Caesarean.
“But if you set your mind to something and you want to achieve something then of course you can. If I’d have sat at home and gone ‘I can’t do it’ then I wouldn’t have been able to. But I believe if you think you can then you can.”
And it seems Rocco’s a hit among the celebrities, too.
“He’s getting lots of cuddles with Darren Gough and Kimberley from the Pussycat Dolls. It’s hilarious. I’ll be able to tell Rocco when he grows up," says Hamilton. "Amy Child’s is absolutely amazing with him. Melinda Messenger and Sinitta as well. All the girls love him. He’s a very lucky boy.”
The Jump runs for ten nights from Sunday 26 January on Channel 4 and is hosted by Davina McCall and Alex Brooker