The Jump is coming back, and a "queue of famous names" want to take part
The exclusive inside story on Channel 4's winter-sports reality bagging a fourth series - and the contestants who are eager to strap on their skis
Channel 4's The Jump is coming back for a fourth series and, despite the number of injuries among the celebrities, famous names are still itching to take part.
This year's epic series saw an average of 2.3 million viewers tune in as celebrities tackled everything from ski cross to ski jumping. As is common with the accident-prone show, back-up contestant and former rugby star Ben Cohen eventually went on to win as contestants including gymnast Beth Tweddle, swimmer Rebecca Adlington and actress Tina Hobley all dramatically crashed out with injuries.
After an onslaught of accidents in the most recent series - six of the original line-up were forced out with everything from ruptured ligaments to dislocated shoulders - the broadcaster has confirmed the show has been through "a thorough review of safety standards" ahead of the next outing. And despite the eye-watering number of injuries - the most worrisome being that of Tweddle, who needed emergency neck surgery after an accident in training and spoke recently of her continued struggle with recovery - insiders say celebrities are eager to take part.
"The Jump is a show unlike any other and there’s never been a shortage of celebs wanting take part," a source close to the show told RadioTimes.com. "This year’s dramas haven't changed that; in fact there are already a queue of famous names hoping to strap on their skis and take on the slopes."
Among those could be Hobley, who was told the door was very much open for a return after a member of the crew was held accountable for her accident - although decisions on casting are a way off yet. The show usually broadcasts in February.
Back in her rightful place on the slopes is host Davina McCall. As for her base, we're told decisions on whether "Jump Mountain" will be purpose-built again in Kühtai in Austria are ongoing, as is whether the contestants will live together again, as they did for the first time this year.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is the plan to continue with the six-week format, rather than the show's original strip across a couple of weeks. The idea was to give viewers a chance to get to know the celebrities better, but with them exiting quicker than you could say "après ski", this didn't really work. It was also to allow more of the events to be live, but an early safety review and bad weather often halted this anyway.
However, given how much The Jump was talked about, perhaps sticking with the same formula is best.
Watch this space for casting announcements.
The Jump will return to Channel 4 next year