When Channel 4 decided to commission "The Jump" in January 2014, few could have predicted the impact it has had. Initially seen as a teaser to get viewers ready for the Sochi Winter Olympics, "The Jump" has become one of reality TV's most dangerous shows.
Entertainment value has often been intriguing but it has changed the lives of some of the competitors and it seems like viewing figures are now at its lowest ebb. Sunday night sees the conclusion of Series 4, with seven competitors taking part in the final from Innsbruck in Austria. However, will this be its final bow?
The concept of the programme is for around 13-15 celebrities from the world of sport, music and reality TV to participate in winter sport events like the bobsleigh, giant slalom and skeleton. Those who lose races or post the slowest times then have to take part in a ski jump. The contestant with the smallest distance on The Jump is eliminated.
There is an entertainment factor to "The Jump." You don't know who is going to fall down next and some of the events are exciting to watch, like the snowcross and slalom. You're praying that everyone gets down to the end of the circuit in one-piece because accidents here will end with trips to Innsbruck General Hospital.
Some have exited naturally with weaker distance, such as Olympic Taekwondo champion Jade Jones. Others like Liverpool FC goalscoring king Robbie Fowler have proved the dangers by crashing out spectacularly on "The Jump." However, Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards' effort from the 1988 Olympics in Calgary looks like a medal-winning performance compared to some of the attempts on this show.
The show is presented by Davina McCall, with UK performance director Graham Bell as the expert in all events. Commentating legend Barry Davies offers his usual humour and charisma in the commentary box.
However, injuries have dominated The Jump's airtime history on Channel 4.
In four series, "The Jump" has seen a catalogue of accidents and injuries which have called the show's integrity into question. No fewer than 14 contestants have had to withdraw, including seven from series three. This season's total of three is not so bad. However, star attraction Sir Bradley Wiggins was one competitor who had to concede defeat in taking part thanks to a broken leg. Only earlier this week, ex-Welsh rugby union player Gareth Thomas quit the show for "personal reasons."
2016 was the nadir. There were some serious incidents which attracted plenty of headlines. First, former Strictly Come Dancing professional Ola Jordan suffered a serious leg #Injury whilst training for the competition in Hemel Hempstead. Ola has since admitted that her leg injury will not fully heal 100 percent. In the competition itself, Rebecca Adlington fractured her shoulder on the Air Jump and a training accident left Beth Tweddle needing an emergency neck operation. The world champion gymnast revealed six months later that she was seeing a psychologist to try and help her through a distressing period.
Is Sunday the final show?
On Sunday, Amy Willerton, Emma Parker Bowles, Spencer Matthews, Kadeena Cox, Jason Robinson, Louis Smith and Lydia Bright will participate in the final. Having won the majority of the events in the series, Smith is the overwhelming favourite to join Joe McElderry, Joey Essex and Ben Cohen as winners of The Jump.
There has been criticism because of the live perception of the events. Apart from episode one this series, "The Jump" has been pre-recorded weeks in advance in an attempt to avoid the injury nightmares of 2016. That meant viewers were confused when Wiggins was still on the show two weeks after confirming his withdrawal on social media. Sunday's final is live by the way. This was confirmed by McCall on Friday evening when she was a guest on 'The Nightly Show.'
Viewing figures have dropped constantly since Series 4 began. Fans of "The Jump" should enjoy this final on Sunday. Critics will be glad to see the back of it. #TheJump #Channel4