Torvill and Dean are ready for a new line-up of stars gingerly taking to the ice, as Dancing On Ice 2022 kicks off soon with a launch show packed with sequins, sparkles, and all the usual slip-ups!
Along with a new batch of celebs hoping to follow in the footsteps of last year’s winner, Sonny Jay, there’s a new judge, too, as Strictly Come Dancing pro dancer Oti Mabuse (replacing John Barrowman) joins Diversity's Ashley Banjo, and legendary gold-winning ice dancers Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean on the ice panel. Here, Jayne, 64, and Chris, 63, tell What to Watch what could be in store and why they still get butterflies before every series of Dancing On Ice which begins on Sunday, January 16 at 6.30pm…
Our interview with Torvill and Dean on the 2022 series
Do you still get excited about each new series of 'Dancing On' Ice?
Chris: "Yes, because it’s like the beginning of school term again! There’s always a fresh group of celebrities, and what’s interesting is watching their personalities start to come out and how they perform on the ice as we get to know them a little bit more. So each year it’s a new beginning. Also every time you do something live you never know what’s going to happen so you always get butterflies!"
What can you reveal about this year’s 'Dancing On Ice' contestants?
Chris: "We haven’t got to know them all yet, but it’s really diverse and I think that’s what we want to be as a show. So, it’s the first time Sally Dynevor has done anything outside Coronation Street. When we’ve done tours she’s come to watch with her daughters, but I think to step out of her comfort zone is a huge thing for her! Then we’ve got the likes of Brendan, who’s already a dancer, and Paralympic athlete Stef Reid, who’s got an adapted skate below her knee. Regan Gascoigne is a dancer so has taken to the ice very well because of his classical dance training. He’s so graceful."
Do you think it helps to be an Olympian or Paralympian in terms of handling the pressure?
Jayne: "What they have is a certain discipline about doing the work. They’ll have done that with their own individual sports, so although this is another thing for them to learn, I think they’ll approach it in a similar way."
Chris: "I think for [Olympic BMX silver medalist] Kye Whyte, his sport is an explosive sport, and ice dancing is more aesthetic and controlled. So he may have the Olympian mindset going into the show, but the actual performance side of it is a different kettle of fish altogether!"
Happy Mondays singing star Bez is quite a character…how’s he shaping up so far?
Jayne: "Before coming to meet us for the first time he’d just done a boxing reality show. He’d got knocked out so he had concussion and was still experiencing double vision, so he wasn’t initially allowed on the ice!"
Chris: "When we saw him recently, he still had a bit of double vision, but he’s getting these corrective glasses. I think he’s got the right attitude, but he also has a huge cult following who’ll want to keep him in! We suspect he’d like to skate to a Happy Monday’s song!"
Can you tell us about your performance this year?
Chris: "We always try to do something new and this year is no exception. We’re doing a whole number just filmed by a drone. It’s very technical!"
Jayne: "It’s noisy as well! But we’re very lucky that we’re still able to perform. There are a few aches and pains, but still get a lot of enjoyment out of it!"
How do you feel about going into another series with Covid rumbling on?
Jayne: "Obviously our producers are very aware that there’s more stuff brewing and they’ll have things in place. I think everyone who’s a part of the show and who had that experience last year will know what they need to do to make sure they stay safe!"
Do you see the show as an inspiration to young wannabe skaters?
Chris: "Well, in actual fact, one of our new professionals started skating because of Dancing on Ice. How old does that make you feel? So she watched it as a little girl and it inspired her to go to the ice rink and now she’s on the show. That feels really special!"
I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.
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