It’s been a month now since the second season of ‘The Jump’ on Channel 4 finished, and how we miss it. But was there trouble in paradise?


More viewers, fewer injuries

It’s fair to say that it was a success. Viewing figures were up and the consensus was that it was a big improvement, thanks to more live action.

There were also fewer injuries than in 2014, which made it slightly less dramatic, but at least it didn’t give non-skiers the chance to stereotype the sport as an accident waiting to happen.

And here’s seven more reasons ‘The Jump’ was better in 2015…
  • Davina’s outfits
  • It snowed a lot
  • There was more Ski Cross action than in the whole of this year’s Ski Sunday
  • Positive portrayals of people with disabilities
  • The ‘Air Jump’
  • Snowboarding was included
  • The hilarious made-up sport of Snow Cross (see the video below)

…but was ‘The Jump’ fixed?

What a narrative…who would have thought acclaimed wide-boy Joey Essex could reach the final?

Not only that, but he took on and beat royal rugger-bugger Mike Tindall. Surely a victory for the common man and a beacon of hope for aspiring reality-show contestants everywhere?

Or was it just a fix?



Did Channel 4 manipulate the ‘narrative’ from start to finish?

Even from Episode 1, when the deeply unpopular Heather Mills was ejected from the show (almost before the first ad break), the results looked suspicious.

Did you notice how many times competitors won by just a few hundredths of a second or metre?

For the skeleton, bob and air jump that second decimal place was vital in determining who stayed and who went to ‘The Jump’ eliminator.


Dubious ‘Air Jump’ results

I admit that the following screengrabs are not IOC-standard, but they are taken from the same fixed camera angle on the same ‘air jump’.

And one of these jumps is 61cm higher than the other – see if you can work out which…

This is Jon-Allan Butterworth scoring 6.30 metres:


And this is Joey Essex – qualifying for the final – with 6.91 metres:


Less accurate by a factor of 50…

And after all the tense close results in the other disciplines, why was it that ‘The Jump’ itself was rounded to the nearest half a metre?

After results to two decimal points in every other event, for some reason the results at this Olympic-standard ski jumping venue were less accurate by a factor of 50 (only two scores possible, instead of 100).

This seemed like a convenient way to allow the producers to allocate scores that suited their narrative.

This is Louise Thompson scoring 15.0 metres:

louise thompson jump

And this is Joey Essex – qualifying for the ‘final’ Final – with 15.5 metres.  Spot the difference.

joey essex the jump

We call on Channel 4 to confess…

There is no doubt that Joey Essex jumped further than Mike Tindall in the final final Final, but ‘fess up Channel 4…you gave him a little bit of help along the way!



Article and extremely detailed and accurate research by Iain Martin