Entertainment & Arts

Eddie The Eagle: The Jump producers are 'not to blame' for injuries

Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards on a ski slope Image copyright PA
Image caption Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards says ski-jumping is "a great deal harder than it looks"

Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards has said the celebrity contestants in Channel 4's The Jump "must bear the brunt of the blame" for their injuries.

His comments come after three contestants had to pull out of the show after a series of accidents.

"They signed up for this, they're being paid for this. If they are hurting, it can often be self-inflicted," he said in the Daily Mail.

Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle suffered a serious spinal injury on Saturday.

It's understood Tweddle landed her jump successfully but then crashed into a safety barrier. She is now recovering in hospital in Austria following neck surgery.

She's the third contestant to pull out of the show, after actress Tina Hobley broke her arm in two places and former swimmer Rebecca Adlington dislocated her shoulder.

Edwards, Britain's most famous ski-jumper after competing in the 1988 Winter Olympics, said the injuries of contestants serve as a reminder that, in ski-jumping, the "slightest error can be catastrophic".

Linford Christie has also hurt his hamstring but is still proceeding with the competition.

The drop-outs have prompted a review into safety procedures on the reality TV show.

On Monday, Channel 4 confirmed it would be asking producers on the programme to take further safety measures.

"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," it said.

Edwards added that, from experience, ski-jumpers need to spend a considerable amount of time training relentlessly to avoid injury.

He said: "I worked on the first two series [of The Jump], and I know time is tight. There might be only a two-hour window to practise on a ramp.

"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."

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

A new biopic, which stars Kingsman actor Taron Egerton, as Eddie the Eagle is due to be released next month.

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