Cheryl in skydive accident

by JAMES MILLS, Daily Mail

It is the latest opportunity for celebrities to keep their careers flying high.

But as in real life - as Cheryl Baker discovered - the down-to-earth journey for those who fail to win over the audience can be an agonising experience.

The former Bucks Fizz singer broke an ankle while taking part in ITV's new show Drop! The Celebrity.

A Hercules transport plane takes the contestants up to 12,000ft and live footage of them is beamed back to a 100-strong audience at the former RAF base in Kemble, Gloucestershire.

The celebrities tell anecdotes in a bid to prove they are bigger stars than the others.

Those who fail to convince are flung out of the aircraft strapped to a skydiver with a camera fixed to his helmet.

They hurtle towards the ground at speeds of up to 120mph, freefalling for 7,000ft before the parachute opens.

In Miss Baker's case, the 48-year-old television presenter fractured an ankle on impact and cried out.

She managed to put on a brave face as Natalie, one of her twin eight-year-old daughters, rushed up to her as she lay on the airfield.

Grimacing with pain, she hugged her daughter and said: "Oh, my darling. Oh, my baby."

She then managed a five minute interview through gritted teeth before being taken to hospital by ambulance.

She told presenter Jenny Faulkner: "I must look a sight. It was the most emotional thing I've ever done in my whole life, I swear. I'm so glad I'm down. I'll never do it again."

Last night, back home in Kent with husband Steve, she added: "It was my own fault. I was meant to pick my legs up but my instinct was to put them down and try to run."

The two-part show, to be screened in the summer, was filmed at the weekend and is a follow-up to I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!

The celebrities who took part - competing for two £10,000 prizes for their favourite charities - included It girl Lady Victoria Hervey, former topless model Linda Lusardi and comedian Bobby Davro.

Also featured are former BBC weatherman Ian McCaskill, gymnast turned TV presenter Suzanne Dando, comedian Richard Blackwood, former Coronation Street actor Scott Wright, singer Jane McDonald and TV critic Garry Bushell.