After a four-year break, former British, European, Olympic and World champion ice dancers Torvill and Dean return with a new, rebooted version of ITV’s Dancing on Ice. And with a few changes, the popular celebrity dance contest promises to be the ‘greatest show on ice’ and more gripping than ever before.
Presenters Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby return as hosts of the show, but with its return comes a few firsts; it will be the first time ice coaches Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean will step off the ice and on to the judging panel, alongside long-standing critic Jason Gardiner, and Ashley Banjo of 2009 Britain’s Got Talent dance troupe Diversity.
Secondly, with Torvill and Dean on the judging panel, they take a backseat from coaching, with the choreography now in the hands of the professional skaters – which could see them pushing the celebs to the limit.
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With a decision yet to be made on whether Torvill and Dean’s iconic routine to Ravel’s Bolero (which won gold in the 1984 Winter Olympics) will be featured in the finale or be replaced, this year everything is up for grabs.
We caught up with contestants Kem Cetinay – Love Island 2017 winner – Hollyoaks’ Stephanie Waring, singer Lemar and Coronation Street actress Brooke Vincent on the official launch at London’s Natural History Museum Ice Rink to break the ice…
Hello everyone, how have you found it, have any of you ice skated before?
Kem: Never. Have you seen me?
Lemar: As a kid I went once and then never again because I was like, ‘This is not for me, I am going to get killed!’
Brooke: It’s hard work but you get your rewards. My favourite line is, ‘I can’t do that,’ and he [pro partner Matej Silecky] will say, ‘You’ve just done it.’
Steph: When I was about 14 – going around in a circle.
Kem: You’ve picked it up really quick… Steph’s a little natural but she won’t admit it.
Steph, did you get any tips from your friend (ex DoI 2012 & ‘14 contestant) Jorgie Porter?
Yeah, we’ve been WhatsApp-ing and she’s been like, ‘Watch your toe pick!’ and after I kept falling over.
Kem, you’ve split from girlfriend Amber Davies – is DoI a welcome distraction?
Not necessarily a distraction, just something to concentrate on. The best thing was being at home with my family. I’m not looking for love on the ice, I’m happy single.
Steph: And you’ve got a new Dancing on Ice family…
Kem: We’ve got a group chat and I’m doing everyone’s head in with voice notes. They’re like, ‘Kem, we had to mute you!’
Aww, would you like it if Amber came to the live show?
Kem: I’d love for her and her family to come because they were really supportive. Chris [Hughes] will be there so I’ll have the whole family.
Brooke, will your BFF and former Corrie co-star Michelle Keegan come to support you?
Yeah, if she wants – it’s [the studio’s] close for Michelle. I would rather my mum, but Michelle can come!
Lemar, you’ve taken over from injured Monty Panesar, did you think it was a cursed position? Are you worried about injuries?
I was very concerned. Melody [Le Moal] was a lot of fire so I’m reassured. She likes to try some crazy stuff so there’s been a lot of falls. My back is hurting but I’m OK – although I have been reminded that I’m not 18 any more.
Steph: Since I’ve got with Sylvain [Longchambon] I’m pushing myself a lot harder so I’m falling over more.
How many hours training are you doing?
Steph: We do 10 hours a week.
Kem: It’s a lot! I prefer longer sessions because it takes me an hour to get into it and that’s not good for the live show.
Lemar: I’ve been doing a bit more than the others, as I only partnered late.
Brooke: I get up at 5am and do 6am-8am skating, then we were filming big scenes [in Corrie] so I was in from 9am-7pm. There are days when we can get called for Corrie at 7.30am and you can’t get to an ice rink in time so you have to do it after work instead. If I’m lucky, I can just about schedule in a hair wash!
After Love Island Kem, you were doing lots of PAs and going to parties – has it taken a back seat?
Yeah, I wanted to. I just like chilling at home with my family. I’m concentrating on this now, otherwise I’ll get distracted… I’ve got an older sister that I’ve always wanted now – she [dancing partner Alex Murphy] just bosses me around, but it’s good because I need it.
Are any of you good dancers off the ice rink?
Steph: No. I thought I had rhythm but I’m not a trained dancer – and it’s not easy to dance on blades.
Kem: Amber and my family always used to say that I don’t know how to dance, but I actually think I’m all right. I once went to Ashley Banjo’s dance classes for two weeks. I was in the bottom class and left because I felt so embarrassed… But I learnt a lot. I love dancing.
Brooke, are the Coronation Street cast supportive?
Yeah, they have got people who have done it before [Samia Longchambon convinced Antony Cotton to do it]. Everyone who’s done it says, ‘You have to do it – it will change your life.’
Have you changed your diet?
Brooke: It was a 12-week transformation. I stopped smoking and drinking, I ate healthily and trained lots but it’s not sustainable.
I was so antisocial but it made me sprightly, my skin cleared up and now I can ice skate, so win-win. I [still] drink and I’m not going to say I’ll never have a cigarette again but I have given up. I’m just feeling proud of myself right now.
Kem: I always try to eat clean, not that Alex will be lifting me, but I just want to stay in shape. I won’t be able to do the head banger movement with her, though, because I’m too small – she might have to lift me. We could break the mould. I’d look cute in a fish lift!
Steph: Alex is strong. Her body is insane. I’m noticing slight body changes. I’m hoping the bum will lift a little bit, that’s my main priority.
Kem: I need mine decreasing. I’ve got a Kim K bum.
Steph: You have a very fine bum… not that I’ve been looking. Lemar, how would you feel about dancing to one of your tracks? Would you do it? If I stay in long enough and I’m all right at it, then yeah. But I don’t want to mess up one of my songs by falling over…
Who do you see as your biggest competition?
Steph: Jake! He’s so good, really confident and has a great personality – he’s really going to shine on the show.
Kem: I don’t see Jake [Quickenden] as competition – I just look at him like he’s really good. It’s like he’s been skating all his life.
Lemar: Max [Evans] is like a pillar! And Jake’s good.
Which of the judges do you want to impress and how would it feel to win?
Steph: Jason – he’s like the Simon Cowell of the skating world. You always want to impress the one that’s really looking for the faults and who will tell you the straight truth.
Kem: I haven’t really thought about winning…
Steph: We’re just focusing on staying on two feet for now and hope the nerves won’t get the better of us – because jelly legs ain’t fun!
Dancing on Ice is on ITV on Sunday evenings at 6pm