Channel 4’s The Jump celebrities to give evidence in Beth Tweddle High Court injury battle

·3-min read
 (Beth Tweddle/Twitter)
(Beth Tweddle/Twitter)

Celebrity contestants from Channel 4’s The Jump are due to give evidence in the High Court next month in Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle’s legal action over injuries suffered on the show.

The 36-year-old athlete, who won bronze at London’s 2012 Olympics, fractured her vertebrae during a training jump on the third series of the winter sports-themed show in 2016.

She has sued The Jump’s production company Twofour Broadcast Limited, as well as a string of people and companies who are said to have been involved in coaching celebrity contestants and building the ski jump in Austria.

The High Court has heard that expert witnesses in Austrian law as well as the sport of ski-jumping are lined up to give evidence at the ten-day trial, which is set to begin on October 4.

Julian Picton QC, for TwoFour, said other celebrities who took part in The Jump are being called as witnesses by Tweddle, in a trial to decide liability for her injuries. He did not identify the stars who are lined up to appear, but suggested their evidence would only form a “minor” part of the case.

Tweddle had to undergo surgery on her neck and spinal cord after she crashed into a barrier after a training jump on February 6, 2016.

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Explaining the format of the show, Mr Picton said celebrities competed in “a range of winter sports” on the weekly show, culminating in a ski jump to decide who was eliminated.

“On February 6, 2016 when executing a ski jump in a training session, (she) failed to stop and struck a barrier at the end of the run-off, and sustained injuries”, he said.

“In January 2019, she brought the present claim, claiming damages for the injuries sustained.”

The court heard Tweddle will face arguments that she cannot bring claims against some of the defendants under Austrian law. Some of the witnesses in the trial are also due to give their evidence via videolink.

Announcing the legal claim in 2019, Tweddle’s injury law specialist Demetrius Danas at Irwin Mitchell said: “While training for The Jump TV show, Beth suffered severe injuries including two fractured vertebrae requiring serious surgery on her spinal cord.

“She has had to put many parts of her life and career on hold and, while Beth is making a good recovery, she still cannot do many of the things she previously could as an elite athlete and may never fully recover.

“Despite attempts to settle the legal case amicably, the defendants involved in making The Jump have so far denied any liability for her injuries and we have been left with no choice but to issue court proceedings as we seek to resolve the case.”

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In a statement, the athlete said: “It’s been a long journey and my recovery is still ongoing. I’m not sure I’ll ever be 100% again.

“The effects of my accident still interrupt my daily life, and, aside from the severe physical injuries at the start, the hardest part of the recovery process has been the psychological element, dealing with and processing the whole accident and the aftermath of what happened.

“I said before that I don’t want this accident to define me, and I work hard every day to ensure that isn’t the case.

“It’s disappointing that we have had to seek court proceedings as we had hoped the makers of the programme might be willing to work with us to settle the case.

“But I just want to make sure that there is full accountability for people involved in creating shows like this and to help prevent others having to go through what I have for the past three years.”

Holby City actress Tina Hobley, Made In Chelsea’s Mark-Francis Vandelli and Olympic gold medal-winner Linford Christie, Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding, and five-time Olympic champion Sir Bradley Wiggins were among the other stars to have suffered injuries while working on The Jump.

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