The husband of Prince William's cousin, Zara Tindall, will star in a British sports reality show

By Simon Perry
January 30, 2015 02:45 PM
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

He’s a rugged, former professional rugby player married to the Queen’s granddaughter. Now, Mike Tindall is about to add reality-show star to his résumé.

Tindall, 36, the husband of the former Zara Phillips, will test his ski-jump, bobsledding and other winter-sports prowess in the British competitive sports reality show The Jump: On the Piste.

In the show, which is set in the mountains of Austria and starts Feb. 2 on British television channel E4, Tindall faces off against well-known contestants including Paul McCartney’s ex-wife Heather Mills and Jackass star Steve-O.

The Tindalls recently moved to a house on Gatcombe Park, the country estate of Zara’s mother, Princess Anne, after selling their own house in nearby Cheltenham. Because Zara, 33 – the cousin of Prince William and Prince Harry and the Queen’s second-oldest grandchild – doesn’t carry out official royal duties, she doesn’t receive a stipend from the Queen and must earn her own way.

Zara is a champion equestrian who won a team silver medal on her horse, High Kingdom, at the 2012 London Olympics. She has a set of commercial deals, with outfitter Musto and Land Rover, which help pay her equestrian bills.

The royal family “don’t give us any money,” Mike told the Radio Times magazine. “We look after ourselves – we don’t get anything for free.”

He has defended the couple’s decision to sell photos of him and Zara and their baby, Mia, to Hello shortly after she was born last January. She turned one on Jan. 17.

“We had those photos done for ourselves, and decided to release them instead of having people camped outside our house. What’s the big deal?” he said.

As for how he expects to do on The Jump, the former pro sports player proved he has already mastered the art of psyching out the opponents.

“Without a doubt I will do the biggest one,” Tindall told the Radio Times. “I would be devastated if I came away and I hadn’t done the biggest one. I wouldn’t be able to go and look my baby daughter in the eye.”