6 things you might not know about The Jump

Secrets of the Channel 4 winter reality show - updated!

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Channel 4’s headline-grabbing ski competition The Jump is back, and given the coverage of its many, many injuries over the years you might think you know everything there is to know about the small screen’s riskiest reality series.

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But did you know that…


There are secret back-up celebrities in case of injury

The Jump is known for its high rate of injuries, and so it’s become custom to keep a couple of back-up celebrities on the bench in case a contestant hurts themselves too badly to continue. 

In this year’s edition, the back-ups are Amy Willerton and Jake Quickenden, with Willerton (above) already called to the plate after model Vogue Williams hurt herself while training. Their presence helps keep the amount of contestants at the right number for whatever stage of the competition they’re at, so we wouldn’t be surprised if there are even more stars waiting in the wings in case a few more unlucky Jumpers have to withdraw this year.


It’s not all glamour

While the celebrities do have some rather nice digs at the Grand Hotel Europa, on the so-called “Jump Mountain” itself there are rather more basic facilities – a couple of portaloos which they have to share with guests, friends and well-wishers during filming. And anyone with a particularly nervous tummy might be out of luck…


The “live” elements aren’t exactly live

One of the big appeals of The Jump is the live elements, which sees celebrities zoom down icy slopes in real time to the delight of fans at home. Some episodes are actually entirely live, though some just have the final “jump-off” broadcast as it happens, or nothing at all.

However, the truth is that the series is actually filmed with a very slight time delay, a matter of minutes that allows the programme-makers to anticipate any surprise events that might make them want to cut the feed (i.e., if there’s a particularly horrific accident).

Don’t worry though – the time delay is pretty small, and the content is still unedited, off-the-cuff TV beaming in direct. Why else would they let Sir Bradley Wiggins swear before the watershed?


Most of the series is filmed well in advance

While this series’ first episode was (more or less) live, most episodes of the rest of the series (1-5 of 6) have already been filmed, with the series finallists already in place as we speak and training for the final in mid-March (which will again be broadcast live).

In fact, most of the series’ upcoming episodes were filmed last week, with this Sunday’s evictee Mark Dolan (above) actually shooting his exit episode on Monday 6th February a full 6 days before the viewing public saw him on the way out (and just one day after the first live episode).

This why Sir Bradley Wiggins’ competition-ending injury, which was revealed a few days ago, won’t actually be seen on TV until episode 4 – movie magic!


The Jump ‘jump’ is specially built for the series

The programme’s slopes are purpose-made for the series, and aren’t allowed to be used by Joe Public the rest of the year. Sad times if you fancied adding your very own Jump injury to the list.


But also – not even the CELEBRITIES can all go on the Jump

Funnily enough, it turns out the celebs themselves aren’t supposed to go onto the titular Jump until they’ve been signed off by trained instructors, with the first week’s evictee Josie Gibson revealing that she’d never actually got to that level before the first episode when she was put into the jump-off (though she had JUST reached the required level of ability, she’d not had a chance to try the actual jump, unlike her fellow celebs).

In previous series, some celebrities’ inability to jump has apparently led to some episodes replacing the jump with other challenges including a jump onto an airbag. Awkward…

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The Jump continues on Channel 4 on Sundays at 7.30pm