Splash! semi-finalist Austin Healey is recovering after a neck injury forced him to pull out of the semi-final at the last minute.

The rugby ace had been due to take his place alongside Richard Whitehead MBE, Anna Williamson and Dan Osbourne in Saturday night’s semi-final, but hurt himself during rehearsals for the show to the extent that he was “taken to hospital immediately”.

While the nature of his injury was initially unclear, he later tweeted from the hospital to reassure his followers, accompanied by a photo of him lying in a neck brace.

“Quick update ct scan has shown an issue with neck vertebrae, waiting for consultant,” he said. “Thanks for kind messages and those who got me out.”

Fortunately the damage was not serious, and he later added: “Good news neck injury old just a lower back issue which is fine #lucky and #grateful major all body stinger.”

Tom Daley explained on the show that Austin had been practising “one of the hardest dives we’ve ever seen on Splash!” when the accident occurred.

“I think he just landed a bit awkwardly on his neck,” he added, pointing out that “diving really is a dangerous sport and sometimes accidents do happen.”

Saturday’s show saw Richard and Dan make it through to next weekend’s final, where they will join Boyzone’s Keith Duffy and Diversity’s Perri Kiely in the all-male line-up.