The Jump, TV preview: Steve Redgrave, Darren Gough and Amy Childs take to the slopes

Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards will teach the celebrities to conquer the ski jump

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The Independent Culture

As this year's Celebrity Big Brother contestants cause viewers to retch with their bizarre, gross-out antics just weeks after Westlife’s Kian Egan ate pig penis in the I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here final, the question must be asked - do we really need yet another reality TV show?

Channel 4 think so, as their newest "let's laugh at people who will do anything for fame" challenge, The Jump, prepares to launch on Saturday 26 January.

Following in the slippery wake of ITV’s Splash!, The Jump will see 12 celebrities learn seven winter sports from speed skiing to bobsleigh over nine consecutive nights.

Yes, consecutive nights – there is no escape.

For some reason possibly known only to fellow Olympic gold medallist and 2013 jungle contender Rebecca Adlington, Sir Steve Redgrave will be taking part in The Jump.

Former England cricketer Darren Gough is another big name, but then Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt; one-time glamour model Melinda Messenger, celebrity hairdresser Nicky Clarke, The Only Way is Essex’s Amy Childs and that Sinitta singer off The X Factor somewhat lower the tone.

Socialite Tara Palmer-Tomkinson has dropped out, reportedly because she felt too much pressure to be the best as she is an experienced skiier.

Each night, the two celebrities with the lowest overall scores will face the dreaded live ski jump to determine who will remain in the competition.

Legendary Winter Olympian Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards – winner of the first series of Splash! - will help mentor the celebrities along with Skeleton gold medallist Amy Williams. The team have already flown out to the Austrian ski resort of Innsbruck to start training.

The Jump is as much about mental strength as it is about physical agility,” Edwards said. “I know how hard it can be when the world is watching."

In the 1988 Calgary games, Edwards was the sole British competitor for the ski jump. His dramatic lack of success - not helped by his weighing 9kg more than the next heaviest qualifier and being entirely self-funded - endeared him to people worldwide. 

While reality TV fans – apparently out there somewhere in droves – await the The Jump, there are plenty more current and upcoming shows out there following a predictably similar format.