Channel 4’s Alpine Reality TV show is used to dominating the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Bruises, strained muscles, broken bones and painful ligaments all trend high on the keywords for this series. Legendary Olympians, like Steve Redgrave, have been broken by this format, gymnast Beth Tweddle was in danger of paralysis and whilst undefeated by the gruelling Tour de France, Knight of the Realm Bradley Wiggins has met his match with The Jump.
Whilst many were surprised after Tweddle’s injury that the producers at Channel 4 would dare to shoot another series, let alone get the insurance cover to proceed, more celebrities enrolled this year like lambs to the slaughter. Even though Winter Olympic hero Eddie (The Eagle) Edwards expressed his real concerns about the Health and Safety issues and walked (although some say he was pushed) from his role as a judge, the contestants just keep on coming.
So why does this healthy list of conscripts continue? Well, reasons one, two and three are probably to do with the filthy lucre that is paid to the participants. Reason four is to do with TV coverage and PR profile that is the lifeblood of any self-respecting Reality TV star and reason five for the retired athletes is the prospect of assuaging their addiction to adrenaline and competition.
There is however, another opportunity on this show. As any enthusiastic skier recognises, whilst the thrill of the slopes, the speed of the skis and the sunlight dancing off the beauty of the environment is attractive, it is matched only by the Apres ski. Ensconced, as the celebrities are, in a chalet in the Alps for several weeks before the competition, enduring an arduous training regime means there is a real need to wind down in the evenings. According to one competitor, Mark Dolan, all of the celebs party as hard as they train and for two particular individuals, it seems that this leisure time has led to a romance.
Fortunately, the antics in the chalet are not filmed as in Big Brother so no romance can be accused of developing in order to play to the cameras, therefore revelations that Spencer Matthews and Vogue are an item must be a real bonus in this arduous competition. Matthews, the Made in Chelsea star is well known for his womanising ways so it is no surprise that Vogue has fallen for his charms. At third in the bookies' odds chart behind Rugby player Jason Robinson and gymnast Louis Smith, Spencer is clearly riding the crest of a wave at the moment. Although the same can not be said for Vogue who like so many before her, had to throw in the towel due to injury.
Host Davina McCall has already pulled the couples’ legs about their relationship, although that is a dangerous metaphor to use on this programme. Spencer seems set to attempt the double, to jump flawlessly into the winning position and at the same time to jump into Vogues’ arms. Here’s hoping he achieves both without injury.