Cycling hero Sir Bradley Wiggins is shock addition to The Jump 2017 line-up

Olympian signs up for extreme winter sports show after retiring - despite last year's injury chaos

Sir Bradley Wiggins on The Graham Norton Show

Channel 4 has pulled off a casting masterstroke - by enticing champion cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins to join The Jump 2017.

Last week Sir Bradley announced his retirement from cycling after a 16-year career - and now he fancies a new challenge.

In a move that will no doubt shock many, he has signed up for the winter sports contest, even though a barrage of serious injuries plunged its last series into crisis.

Sir Bradley said: "Skiing is a big passion of mine, it was a mix of that and the other committed names this year that made me want to sign up.

"From Jason Robinson and Robbie Fowler to Olympians Louis Smith and Jade Jones, these guys have excelled in the sporting arena and I have a lot of respect for them, they will be so competitive.

"Major retiring Olympians such as Sir Steve Redgrave have also trodden this path, I see this as a sporting challenge and want to go out there and win it.

"Just don’t call me a celebrity."

Less illustrious stars taking part include Big Brother winner Josie Gibson, X Factor contestant Jake Quickenden and TOWIE's Lydia Bright.

Sir Bradley made history as the first ever Brit to win the Tour de France in 2012. Within months he was crowned BBC's Sports Personality of the Year and awarded his knighthood.

He became Great Britain's most decorated Olympian after winning a gold at the 2016 games in Rio.

The 36-year-old is one of the biggest recent signings for a celebrity reality show - an impressive feat for The Jump.

The show faced controversy last year when injuries forced seven contestants, including Tina Hobley and Rebecca Adlington, to withdraw.

Gymnast Beth Tweddle suffered one of its most serious injuries to date, fracturing two vertebrae in her neck.

Many viewers and non-viewers called for The Jump's cancellation, but bosses greenlit a fourth series after a thorough safety review.

The Jump 2017 is due to begin on C4 by early February.

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