Belfast Telegraph

Frost-nosed 'celebrities' can just go and take a jump

By Billy Weir

They came, they saw, they slid about a bit, fell over, wore daft outfits, didn't conquer and they'll be back again next week. Yes, The Jump is back.

We've had the diving, we've had the jiving, and now it's time for the reviving as a never-ending line of 'celebrities' sign up to break or dislocate various parts of their anatomy in the name of entertainment, making a few quid and getting their frosted noses back on the telly with the hope of winter sports glory.

"We're back, we're live and this time we are super-sized," screamed the world's oldest teenager, Davina McCall, as Channel Four literally hit a slippery slope screaming for the latest instalment of their slushy show for the stars.

"We've taken over an entire mountain, strap yourself in, it's The Jump 2016," which I think she meant was the year but with the programme starting at 19.30 it could well be the estimated time before you want to scale a summit and hurl yourself off like a suicidal Sherpa.

It's the usual rag-tag assemblage of reality stars, pop stars, soap stars and sports stars all with one thing in common - they're not stars anymore - and certainly not at winter sports, where week one of six began with the Skeleton.

"This is a sport for the mentally composed," said resident expert, Graham Bell, former skier and presenter of Ski Sunday, while waiting in the wings for the ski jumping to start was Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards, whose sport is more for the mentally exposed.

"You're banging off the walls like a pound coin in a tumble dryer," added Bell, giving away the secrets of how much this motley crew are on, where the 'super' star is Dean Cain. Dean Who? I hear you ask, but he is best known, let's face it, he's only known and only slightly, for playing Superman on telly.

"Every time you have a superhero in the park you should be afraid," he proclaimed, adding that "flying on the ice isn't the same as flying in the Superman cape". Dean, a word to the clearly mentally deluded, you are not Superman.

The cold was clearly biting and had also taken a chunk out of Linford Christie, GB's most decorated athlete, albeit with a few skeletons in the cupboard, as he proclaimed "it's been said I was the Usain Bolt of my time". Suddenly, Dean's proclamations sounded more plausible.

He emerged with his reputation and body bruised but intact as Superman was sent home to think again by a man with a large consignment of Kryptonite down the front of his lycra suit, as a former Olympian consigned Superman to the dreaded jump off.

In effect, this means a wee slide down a hill and then a leap onto a big cushion with the six losers battling it out to be embarrassed again next week.

So Westlife dreamboat Brian McFadden saw off Arg from TOWIE, who really should change his name to Arggghhhh for the duration of his stay, before our next Olympic great.

That may be stretching it a little as Beth Tweddle has one bronze to her name but she did win Dancing on Ice so sliding down a hill on a tea tray should be a piece of cake for the former gymnast.

"You do feel like you're being thrown in at the deep end," she said, clearly confusing The Jump for Splash! but let's face it, it's probably only a matter of time before she ends up there on the way to the jungle.

She was up against former Eastender Louisa Lytton, as McCall explained: "One found fame twirling on a bar at the Olympics, the other found fame propping up a bar in Walford," and no dramatic drumming denouement was required as the inevitable happened.

Another Eastender, Sid 'Rickeeeeeeeeey' Owen, lost to a posh bloke from Made in Chelsea, and Tamara Beckwith, a posh bird from Chelsea, lost to Tina Hobley, a dangerous surname with all that snow about, although her time on Holby City may come in handy.

It would have done for the third of our sporting triumvirate, as the darling of the pool (the words of commentator Barry Davies, not mine) meant Rebecca Adlington was up against the blonde one from Girls Aloud and we all wondered why the swimming legend was standing a little gingerly beside Davina.

She lost to Sarah Harding in the Skeleton, meaning she faced the jump off and it didn't go well as she landed with the grace of a wingless snowgoose and dislocated her shoulder.

"That was the worst experience of my life," she explained. "It was worse than child birth, I lay there for 40 minutes, I will never forget the pain," and so say all of us who lay on the sofa saying the same thing.

But she will return, unlike poor Louisa who was sent home to Walford, with Beth crowned queen of the Skeleton and getting a mini cowbell as a prize, just above Commonwealth Games gold in sporting worth.

She and the other 10 return next week for Ski Cross, a made-up sport that looks like a bunch of kids running for the school bus in the snow, and the ski jump will also make its bow for the series. Dean is bound to be super at that, Rebecca... I'd let that one slide.

Belfast Telegraph


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