Wednesday 13 December 2017

Celebrities should 'bear the brunt of the blame' for injuries on The Jump, says Eddie 'the Eagle' Edwards

Mark-Francis Vandelli injured himself during the Snow Cross challenge
Mark-Francis Vandelli injured himself during the Snow Cross challenge

Celebrities should "bear the brunt of the blame" for any injuries they suffer while taking part in The Jump, Eddie "the Eagle" Edwards has said.

The British former ski jumper, who worked as an expert on the previous two series of the Channel 4 show, said the growing number of stars on the injury list was not "solely" down to producers and suggested the contestants needed to practise more.

His comments come as Britain's most successful gymnast Beth Tweddle remains in hospital after neck surgery which involved having a piece of bone taken from her hip.

The 30 year old, who won bronze at the London Games in 2012, fell on the slopes during rehearsals for the latest series of the winter sports show, which has also seen fellow Olympian Rebecca Adlington and Holby City actress Tina Hobley withdraw because of injury.

Edwards, 52, who represented Britain at the 1988 Winter Olympics, said his "thoughts" were with Tweddle but he defended the programme's makers against calls for it to be cancelled.

He added "time is tight" for contestants to get in the necessary practice, limited at times to a "two-hour window", and some stars did not do enough.

Writing in the Daily Mail, he said: "Those competitors should be up and down the steps relentlessly - jump and go back, jump and go back. Instead too many will have a couple of goes before going off for a coffee and forgetting to return because they're feeling tired.

"For that reason, I don't think this spate of injuries is solely the fault of the producers.

"Many on social media are demanding the contest be cancelled, but I think the celebrities must bear the brunt of the blame. They signed up for this; they're being paid for this. If they are hurting, it can often be self-inflicted."

Tweddle described the last 48 hours as "very scary" after the operation which saw surgeons take a bone from her hip and use it along with pins to fuse together two fractured vertebrae in her neck.

Her exit follows that of Adlington, 26, who withdrew on medical advice after a shoulder injury. She told host Davina McCall the fall was ''literally the worst thing that has ever happened to me, it was worse than childbirth''.

And Hobley, 44, also quit after she dislocated her elbow and suffered two fractures to her arm.

Press Association

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