Tara Palmer-Tomkinson has quit Channel 4’s upcoming winter-themed reality show The Jump, just weeks before it is due to start.
Tara is said to have decided that the show, which sees celebrities compete in challenges ranging from ski jumping to speed skating, isn’t for her. The former It girl will be replaced by TV presenter Laura Hamilton, who has been in training in Austria.
Even before it began, Tara had been hotly tipped to win the winter sport-themed show – a fact she admitted she wasn’t particularly comfortable with.
In December, she took a break from her ski-jump training to tell RadioTimes.com, “I feel like I’m under a lot of pressure. I’m not very comfortable with being the favourite. I’m really not.”
At the time, Tara was the only celebrity keen to give the jump a go in front of a crowd and admitted the competition didn’t feel like an opportunity she could let pass by.
“I think it was something I just couldn’t say no to with Dad being an Olympic skier, and my Grandmother… it’s not being stuck in a house in Elstree,” she said.
Indeed, Tara appeared to have thought carefully about her decision to join the show, explaining:
“I’ve had quite a mental challenge remaining sober for a year. I took myself out of television for a year, any public thing. Just focused on doing charity work.
“I need to mentally focus myself at the top. You cannot point your skis downhill on tracks and let go of the bench if you’re not mentally prepared. You have to discipline yourself. You have to have a respect for your higher power and the mountain you’re on.”
Her replacement Laura has some experience of winter sports after placing second in 2011’s Dancing on Ice series. She’ll join celebrities including former TOWIE star Amy Childs, Olympian Sir Steve Redgrave and 80s pop star Sinitta on the show.
The Jump launches later this month on Channel 4 and will be hosted by Davina McCall and and Alex Brooker.