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City gymnast Louis Smith hopefully won’t take a tumble when it comes to his latest TV appearance.

Risky TV show The Jump returns on Sunday February 5 and will air over six weeks on Channel 4 with Davina McCall at the helm.

Local hero and Olympian Louis Smith MBE is one of the brave contestants and is being joined by a host of sports stars and celebs including fellow Olympian, and eight times Olympic medallist Sir Bradley Wiggins, two time Olympic Taekwondo champion Jade Jones and four time Paralympic medallist Kadeena Cox – so no pressure Louis!

“I’m so excited to be on the show,” Louis told ESP sounding pretty confident. “I’ve said from the first series how much I wanted to do it but never had the opportunity around training and competition so was always hopeful that I’d get to do it after Rio.

“I love skiing and obviously the competition nature of it so it’s right up my street. I’m looking forward to bringing some flips and tricks to proceedings so watch this space!”

Louis of course was our local Strictly Come Dancing champ and has competed in three Olympics so let’s see if he can take another title on the slopes!

Here’s what he told Channel 4…

What have your coaches said about the show?

“They just told me to be careful. My coaches are smart enough to know not to try and talk me out of it. They know me well enough, I’m a one track mind. I’ll take on advice but I make my own decisions. I’ve wanted to do this for the last three years, so there was no talking me out of it.”

Even though one false move could end your gymnastics career?

“One false move in gymnastics could end my career. One false move crossing the road could too. I spoke to Beth Tweddle about the show. She just said to listen to everyone, she gave me good advice on the skeleton, which she was really good at. She said I would really enjoy it and pick things up quickly, so she gave me good advice. I’ve spoken to Beth about her injury, it’s not something that deterred me.”

Would you consider yourself fearless?

“In certain respects, yes, I like to be in control of the situation I’m in, which is why this is the type of show I like to do. Things like jumping out of a plane or being a passenger in a rally car, those kinds of things terrify me. But if I was the driver then I’m in control, I’m much more at ease.”

Is there anything you are worried about?

“I think the skeleton is the one that I’m thinking the most about, I wouldn’t say I’m worried, just a little apprehensive. I guess we’ll see what happens on the day.”

How competitive are you?

“I’m very competitive. It’s one thing skiing down the slopes fast on your own but when you have someone next to you it makes it more fun. I’m not a raging bull out to beat everyone in this competition, but everyone likes a bit of healthy competition. I think it makes it more fun. Spencer’s talking about ploughing Jason into the nets, which will be fun to watch. I’m going to just try and keep my mouth shut and slip under the radar, let them have their boisterous moments and I’ll slip past them.”

Do you think having so many athletes on the show will make it more competitive than ever?

“I hope so. I’ve absolutely loved the show in the past but I think the fact we have so many sportspeople this year, who have a great understanding of their body and how far they can push it, I hope it creates a fast and competitive environment because that’s what people want to see. That’s what we thrive off. I’m hoping it’s going to be a more intense show to watch and be a part of. I said to Spencer that we need to raise the bar for next year. When you’ve seen people jump on the other shows it’s always around the same mark, we need to smash it out of the park so next year they are worried about the standard. It’s like Strictly, each champion is better than the last one.”

Do you have any plans to up the ante?

“I don’t want to be a rebel for the sake of it, so I have permission, but I want to add some flips into the jump! I asked if I could do some flips and tricks, they said I could do what I want as long as I don’t come up shorter than the person I’m up against! These are the things I sit at home and watch and in my head I’m doing all sorts of crazy stuff. Whether I will or not, I don’t know, it depends how I feel when I get out there. But this is an opportunity to have fun and I can’t wait to get out there.”

You must be the only man on the show who’s not bothered about the outfits…

“I tried one on the other day and it’s a lot more snug than I’m used to. It’s quite padded and thick, it feels like a safety suit. I feel a little bit like a Power Ranger. But I’m used to putting on things like that, what with gymnastics and Strictly, it doesn’t bother me. I’ve got blue and red as my colours, Union Jack colours, I’m pleased.”

How much do you want to win?

“I want to make it to the end but only because I want the chance at having a go at all the disciplines. Whatever happens in the final, happens. I just want to have fun.”

Photos: Channel 4


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