Actress Tina Hobley has spoken to HELLO! about the huge impact the horrific fall she suffered in Channel 4 reality show The Jump has had on her life and her family. In an interview in September 2016, Tina revealed the extent of her injuries, which, at first, seemed straightforward: a dislocated elbow and her arm broken in two places. But her injuries were significantly far worse. "I had three major traumas," said Tina, who immediately saw a doctor when she arrived back in London. "My elbow came out of its socket and my arm was broken in two places; I tore my rotator cuff in my shoulder – a common rugby injury which has ended careers – and I had a full rupture of my ACL [anterior cruciate ligament] in the knee.
"I was told [by physios] that just one of these injuries would have been one of the most serious seen on the show. But to have three was unprecedented. My injuries have had a huge impact on my life and on the family. For much of the year I haven't been able to drive, dress, wash my hair or have a bath unaided. My daughter has had to help me put my clothes on, for goodness' sake. And for months at a time I haven't been able to take the kids to school, run errands, or do any of the things I love like yoga, cycling or walking any kind of distance."
Tina spoke to us during a family holiday in the Maldives
What really upset Tina was that her injuries could easily have been avoided. The show accepts that her accident occurred when members of the crew failed to clear the out-run – the landing slope of the ski jump – for her practice jump. "I was told to jump and it wasn't safe to jump. So it wasn't an accident that was my fault," she said. "I was having a perfectly lovely time. I have skied for 30 years and have never had an accident. Even when I was doing jump training on the show, I had jumped 30 times and never fell."
Tina continued: "You wait to be given the all-clear because you are essentially jumping blind. On this occasion, I was given the all-clear and I was sent to jump when it was not safe to do so. I got up and jumped and, as I am in the air, I see two crew members, with what looked like rakes, working on the landing path, following the fall of the previous contestant, Linford Christie. There was no chance of avoiding them and I fell. The next thing I knew was that I had this incredible pain in my elbow. Being an athlete, Linford immediately recognised that I had dislocated my elbow and told the crew to give me gas and air – he was brilliant. But the gas and air canister was empty – I heard the physio say it was empty. So I had to wait almost an hour with no pain relief, apart from a soluble Panadol, whilst they called an ambulance."
The actress attends HELLO!'s 30th birthday party in May
Tina didn't expect her injuries to be as complex. "I went back to London after the accident thinking I would only be in plaster for seven weeks but it turns out my injuries were worse than first thought," she said. "It has been a long and drawn out process because they have had to stagger the operations. The elbow had to recover before they operated on the shoulder in March and my arms had to be strong enough so that I can use crutches when I have the knee done. I am sure there are people out there who will say, 'She accepted the risks when she signed up for the show.' But when you sign up to a huge show like this, you expect a very high level of health and safety to be in place and with hindsight I am not sure it was. If I had fallen on the slopes skiing or the fall had been down to my incompetence, then hands up, that is what I was signed up for. My situation was different. It seems to me someone must have messed up."
"I don't know how you can compensate for taking away a year of someone's life," Tina reflected. "It is not about the money – and of course we were paid to do the show – but I would give it all back to get my body back to how it was before." She has been particularly concerned with the impact it's had on her family, Isabella, her 17-year-old daughter from her first marriage, to graphic designer Steve Wallington, and Olivia and Orson, her children with Oliver.
Tina with her husband Oliver
"Isabella has been amazing and I couldn't have got through it without her. But it's not nice to see your mum crying from pain. She could have done without looking after a sick mummy when she was studying for her AS-level exams. It has been tough on the younger children too. I haven't been much fun and Orson doesn't understand why his normally active mummy couldn't run and play with him. I was angry and upset, shattered from a lack of sleep – and not the mummy I usually am. My children are my complete world and they come before anything else. Thank goodness we are a close family and they are good at putting things behind them."
Nonetheless, her inability to work caused a huge strain. Fortunately, she was able to resume presenting her Sunday show at Smooth Radio soon after her return to London from The Jump, with the station ferrying her to and from the studio. It was a testing time, however, for the actress, who left Holby City in order to try other things. "I was gutted because a meeting for my dream job – in the drama series Broadchurch – came up just after the injury. I couldn't make it because I was in plaster and filming started on 1 May. I had been waiting two years for that meeting."
Tina spoke to HELLO! in September 2016
She continued: "When I was at my lowest ebb – about four weeks after my shoulder operation – my hair started falling out. They said it was excessive hair shedding, probably due to stress. I put on weight because I couldn't do any exercise and then there was all the bruising and swelling from the injections to administer the drugs. I felt awful, and not in my body. I was a wreck. I look at my body in a very different way now. My body is so precious and I wouldn't put my body or my family through that trauma again."