The Jump 2017 contestants defend the show’s injury rate
Vogue Williams is out of the competition before it’s even begun – but the other contestants say it’s all part of the game
The Jump has become a byword for celebrity injuries, with the winter sports action of the Channel 4 contest hospitalising or incapacitating many of its contestants.
In the last series alone Made In Chelsea's Mark-Francis Vandelli, Olympians Rebecca Addlington and Linford Christie; Sarah Harding; Joe Swash; actress Tina Hobley, and Heather Mills were forced to drop out due to injury, while Olympian Beth Tweddle had to have her vertebrae fused after a particularly bad accident.
This year the show hasn’t even begun yet and the slopes have already claimed two victims, with model Vogue Williams damaging her knee in training (forcing her to drop out of the competition) and Olympian Sir Bradley Wiggins sporting an impressively damaged leg on Instagram.
However, others in this year’s cohort of snowy stars have come to the defence of the reality series, arguing that it’s the nature of the sports they’re learning that add the risk of danger.
“There’s only so much Channel 4 can do to make us safe,” comedian Mark Dolan told RadioTimes.com and other journalists.
“The bottom line is, winter sports are risky. The risk isn’t really anything to do with this TV show. It’s to do with being on a pair of skis in a mountain. And we all know someone who’s been on a ski-ing holiday and come back in plaster.”
However, the stars also say that the programme-makers have vigorous standards in place to keep them safe, which viewers at home aren’t privy to.
“Basically, until you have sufficiently shown that you can do something they will not let you take that to the next step,” model and presenter Amy Willerton (who replaces Vogue in the competition) said.
Fellow contestant and TOWIE star Lydia Bright added: “For example the Jump, you don’t just straight from a 25 meter, you progress. The slalom, you start off just doing a couple of turns.”
“They only allow it to get competitive once they feel you’re at a level where you’re safe and secure,” Mark agreed.
Though of course, they also know the danger is part of the series’ appeal.
“What I love about the show is, although we’re incredibly well taken care of, it’s still like full of jeopardy and hazards,” Mark told us. “And that’s the beauty of the show. And if it wasn’t risky, and there wasn’t the chance of some kind of occurrence, then people wouldn’t watch.”
“People watch TV because they want the grit, don’t they?” Lydia added.
Then again, it could be that Mark has his own motives for praising the danger…
“I want them all to get hurt. All 13, and just win by default,” he joked. "So there’s basically just one show. The Jump: Mark Dolan special.
“And it’s just me and Davina just sipping a Gluhwein, with footage of all the crashes and stuff, and me just chuckling and going ‘What a shame.’”
Well, if this series continues the injury rate of last year’s contest, he might just have his wish.
The Jump begins on Channel 4 this Sunday 5th February at 7.30pm