Sleb Safari: Dancing On Ice steals The Jump's crown as the most dangerous show on TV

The celebrities risking life and limb to take part in Dancing On Ice. Picture from ITV
Maeve Connolly

THE time has come to admit that Dancing On Ice has kicked The Jump off the top spot to become the most dangerous show on television.

The Jump was a winter sports show for daring celebrities and over its four series 34 of the 60 competitors were injured. Along the way we watched celebrities break bones, tear ligaments, dislocate joints and suffer concussion, all while wearing terribly clingy jumpsuits.

This year’s Dancing On Ice professional and celebrity skaters have been clocking up the injuries while flipping their partners in the air like a Shrove Tuesday pancake.

The accidents have been plentiful. In no particular order (but definitely starting with the worst) was the injury sustained by Yebin Mok whose celebrity partner is, by coincidence, former The Jump ski instructor Graham Bell.

Yebin was stabbed by a skate in what ITV is optimistically describing as a “freak accident”. Graham says he fell and then Yebin toppled on to his skate but is recovering after surgery, stitches and a night in hospital.

Professional skater Yebin Mok's leg was cut open by her partner's ice skate

Rebekah Vardy’s professional partner also needed hospital attention after her blade sliced open his face.

“We were practising a trick and we changed it slightly from something that we would normally do – and we did it on a daily basis and everything would go right and nothing would go wrong.

“On this occasion, it went very wrong and the back of my heel and my blade sliced his face open.”

Rebekah Vardy cut her professional partner's face open during training. Picture from ITV

Towie’s Billy Faiers ended up with whiplash.

“I had a nasty fall in the early stages of training and hit the ice so hard I gave myself whiplash,” she told OK magazine.

“I’m not an overly emotional person, so I was trying to hold back the tears – but I couldn’t.”

Billy, you cracked your head off the ice, you’re allowed a cry.

Why anyone signs up to Dancing On Ice is a mystery. Sleb Safari used to think the same about The Jump which for a series or two was excellent telly before it became one long game of innuendo bingo bookended by celebrities throwing themselves off the end of a ski jump while a medic revving a skidoo tried to judge where the broken body would land.

Channel 4 pulled the plug after the fourth series. Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle broke her back in the bloodbath that was series three. And yet the next year a Paralympian and a variety of Olympians, including eight-time medallist Bradley Wiggins, signed up for the final series. Bradley broke his leg by the way.

There’s a lot to be said for being taught a foxtrot by Anton du Beke. After a hard day of training all it takes to get the celebrities back on their feet is a soak in the bath and fresh plasters on their heels. No air ambulances, no life-changing injuries, just sequins and spray tan all the way.


Hello to Danial Dyer

Dani Dyer and dad Danny Dyer 

DANNY Dyer – author of the legendary tweet on the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attack: "Can't believe it's been nearly 11 years since them slags smashed into the twin towers it still freaks my nut out to this day" – has ‘shocked fans’ by ‘revealing’ his real name.

Danny explained to his daughter, Dani, on her podcast: "I was born in the 70s, so men didn't really get involved in much then. Back in the day, my mum would go, 'I'm going into labour,' and he'd be up the boozer and go, 'What time are you going to be home?'

"She went into labour and gave birth. He got up there, obviously off his nut, and he got to do the important thing, the birth certificate, which I think you have to sign.

"He agreed to the name Daniel but he spelt it Danial, D-A-N-I-A-L. It could've been a mix of things – that he was battered, that he doesn't spell. It could've been a bit of both."

It’s Danial and not Daniel. That’s it, that’s the big reveal. Sleb Safari hopes the shock isn't too much for you.

Competition Time

RSPB NI is encouraging everyone to take part in its annual Big Garden Birdwatch taking place between Friday January 29 and Sunday January 31. All you have to do is spend an hour counting the birds that visit your garden. Easy peasy.

RSPB NI is giving away a bumper bird box to help you attract bird visitors to your garden. The box is worth £29.99 and contains bird food and feeders and the like.

The five birds spotted most often in Northern Ireland gardens during last year’s birdwatch were house sparrows, starlings, goldfinches, chaffinches and blue tits.

To be in with a chance to win the bumper bird box please answer the following question correctly: What is the predominant colour on a great tit’s chest?

Email your answer to with Sleb Safari/RSPB NI in the subject line. The closing date is noon on Wednesday January 20 and the usual Irish News rules apply

You can find out more about the Big Garden Birdwatch and register by visiting

For a free Big Garden Birdwatch guide, which includes a bird identification chart, top tips for your birdwatch, RSPB shop voucher, plus advice on how to attract wildlife to your garden, text BIRD to 70030 or visit


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