Linford Christie latest to fall foul of The Jump - James Argent returns to replace him
Published 12/02/2016 | 08:03
James "Arg" Argent is returning to Channel 4's The Jump on Sunday, despite previously becoming the second contestant eliminated from the competition.
The Only Way Is Essex star has been confirmed as the replacement for Olympic gold-winning medallist Linford Christie.
The athlete had to pull out due to injury.
A spokesman for Channel 4 said: "It's with regret that Linford Christie has to withdraw from The Jump. Despite recovering from a hamstring injury he was not left with enough time to train for this weekend's show and reach the standard needed to compete.
"Last week's eliminated competitor James 'Arg' Argent will return to the competition to take his place."
Argent posted the news via a video on his official Instagram account. He said Christie had passed him the baton and cried: "I'm back, baby!"
"I'm going to try my best," the 28-year-old said. The message accompanying the video included the hashtags #ComebackKing and #PrayForArg, the latter perhaps a reference to the injury-hit celebrity sports show.
So far, Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle has required neck surgery to fuse two fractured vertebrae. Her timescale for recovery is uncertain.
The 30-year-old, who won bronze at the London Games in 2012, fell on the slopes during rehearsals for the show and needed neck surgery which involved having a piece of bone taken from her hip.
Olympian Rebecca Adlington, 26, withdrew from the show on medical advice after a shoulder injury.
She told host Davina McCall the pain of the fall was ''literally the worst thing that has ever happened to me, it was worse than childbirth''.
Holby City actress Tina Hobley, 44, also headed for the exit after she dislocated her elbow and suffered two fractures to her arm.
On Tuesday it was confirmed that Made In Chelsea star Mark-Francis Vandelli, 26, had also pulled out after fracturing his ankle.
Former EastEnders star Sid Owen, 44, was unable to perform the show's air jump live due to injury.
Christie, 55, was unable to take part in an event on Sunday after pulling his hamstring.
Speaking about his decision to pull out of the competition early, he said: "I'm really disappointed that the hamstring injury I picked up last week has meant that I must retire from the competition.
"I have had lots of fun during my time in The Jump and love the fact that I have discovered a new sport and look forward to skiing in the future."
Meanwhile, former The Jump contestant Melinda Messenger has said the potential for serious injury is "the risk that each individual takes".
The star was forced to pull out in the first series after suffering concussion in a bobsleigh accident.
In an interview on ITV's Good Morning Britain, the TV presenter and former glamour model said: "That's absolutely awful, but that is the risk that each individual takes when they put themselves through that."
She added: "I know that with Beth, she'd done several jumps and she was jumping beautifully and doing a really good job, and something for her went wrong, and that is always a potential outcome.
"And it's part of that risk, isn't it, that adds to that appeal of why people want to challenge themselves in that way."
The number of injuries on the third series of The Jump has prompted Channel 4 to confirm that it will review safety procedures on the show.
The broadcaster said this year's events have been designed to be "no more difficult than in previous years" and said all celebrities have undertaken a rigorous training programme to prepare them for the show.
A statement added: "All winter sports carry some element of risk, but in light of the number of injuries this year, Channel 4 has asked the producers to review safety procedures again to further reduce the prospect of accident."