The Jump contestants know injury risk, says Melinda Messenger


Former The Jump contestant Melinda Messenger has said the potential for serious injury is "the risk that each individual takes".

This year's show has seen four celebrities pull out due to injury so far - including Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle, who needed neck surgery to fuse two fractured vertebrae. Her timescale for recovery is uncertain.

Messenger herself was forced to pull out of the Channel 4 show in season one 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."

Messenger is in a relationship with The Jump skiing coach Warren Smith, who she met while filming the show in 2014.

She said: "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."

She added: "Obviously he (Smith) really feels for anybody that's had an injury, and that's awful, but he knows - and I know through him, and through being there and directly experiencing it - just how much effort and time and concern and worry goes into the care and safety of all the contestants.

"That's his primary focus - is somebody fit enough and able enough to do this? After that, it's their choice."

Tweddle has now walked "a few steps" with assistance from medics following neck surgery - but a timescale for her recovery is uncertain, her parents said.

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.

In a statement, Tweddle's parents Ann and Jerry said: "Since her surgery, Beth has managed to walk a few steps whilst being assisted by the nursing team.

"She is still very tired from the operation but the medical team are pleased with the progress she is making. At the moment we aren't certain of the timescale for her recovery. We are taking each day as it comes and will update you when there is further news."

The operation saw surgeons take a bone from her hip and use it along with pins to fuse together two fractured vertebrae in her neck.

Speaking from her hospital bed on Monday after the surgery, Tweddle described the previous 48 hours as "very scary".

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."

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.

Although he has not ruled himself out of the show, the future looks uncertain for former athlete Linford Christie, 55, who was unable to take part in an event on Sunday after pulling his hamstring.

And former EastEnders star Sid Owen, 44, was unable to perform the air jump live due to injury.

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