Gymnast Beth Tweddle heading for The Jump 2016

Olympic bronze medalist looks set to tackle Channel 4’s terrifying winter sports-themed reality show

Retired professional gymnast Beth Tweddle has signed up to take part in the third series of Channel 4’s The Jump, RadioTimes.com understands.

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We had a tip off earlier this month that this year’s line-up would, as in previous series, include a handful of famous faces who boast an Olympic medal. Now a source close to the show has given us the nod one is Ms Tweddle.

Not only has Tweddle got plenty of medals to her name – including that bronze for uneven bars at the 2012 Olympic games – she’s also shown her prowess when it comes to wintery reality shows, winning Dancing on Ice in 2013. The 30-year-old returned for the show’s all-star finale the following year, placing third behind actress Hayley Tamaddon and champ Ray Quinn.

A Channel 4 spokesperson declined to comment on the speculation. However, Tweddle wouldn’t be the first Dancing on Ice alumni to hit the slopes for the Davina McCall-fronted show. Sinitta, Melinda Messenger, Laura Hamilton, Anthea Turner, Chloe Madeley and even former judge Louie Spence having all come before her. Not that they’ve ever felt it was an advantage, even when skating was involved.   

“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…” Hamilton told me.

In fact, on this show even those who’ve skied for years don’t really get a head start. In the first series celebs crashed out so often eventual winner, singer Joe McElderry, was called away from a ski holiday to take part. And don’t let the title ‘athlete’ fool you. While Tweddle is the most successful British gymnast in the history of the sport, athleticism is not a free-pass to Jump success. Last year former TOWIE star Joey Essex managed to see off competition from rugby star Mike Tindall to take home victory (and that beloved cowbell prize). 

Indeed, if Tweddle has signed up, she’s got a big challenge in front of her, with daily tasks ranging from the eye-popping skeleton to the ski jump eliminator itself. Best watching from the sofa, eh?

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The Jump returns to Channel 4 early in the New Year