Dancing on Ice returns for a brand-new series this month, with Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby presenting.
Torvill and Dean and Ashley Banjo resume their judging roles on the Ice Panel, and joining the panel this year is professional dancer Oti Mabuse.
The celebrities strapping on their skates in the hope of winning the competition are Happy Mondays dancer Bez, Coronation Street legend Sally Dynevor, Paralympian Stef Reid, Love Island’s Liberty Poole, rugby star Ben Foden, Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt, Paul Gascoigne’s son, dancer Regan Gascoigne, pop star Rachel Stevens, professional dancer Brendan Cole, presenter Ria Hebden, BMX Olympic silver medalist Kye Whyte and The Vamps’ Connor Ball.
The celebrity contestants and their professional partners will be skating live each week in a bid to impress both the panel and the viewers at home who will ultimately decide who wins the show.
Expertly guiding the celebrity novices from their shaky first steps to spectacular routines are their professional partners.
Reigning champion pro Angela Egan, who lifted the trophy with Sonny Jay last series, is back – and will be skating with Bez in week one.
Here the Happy Mondays star reveals what he’s most looking forward to about the show – and what he’s most nervous about.
What is the biggest appeal of doing the show? Have you watched it over the years and always fancied having a go?
Do you know what? I’d never watched it before but I watched a little bit of last year’s because I was thinking of auditioning. I had a quick look to see what it was all about. First of all I’m excited to learn a new skill because at the moment it’s like Bambi on ice rather than skating on ice. And fitness is important to me. I’ve been keeping fit this past year. So this keeps my fitness going and it’s another challenge.
I can’t wait until the ice rinks are open next Christmas time and I’ve got these fancy Cuban heeled boots. I’ll be on the ice skating backwards, I won’t be holding onto the penguin any more!
Have you ever skated before?
Not really no. A little bit at Christmas time but honestly I’m so bad on the ice.
What are you most looking forward to about learning to skate with a professional partner?
Well I hope to become quite skilful at it. I don’t know what level of skill I might get to but it would be so nice to do well and it’s something I could then do in the future. I’m really looking forward to actually dancing with a partner on ice. Not actually something I ever imagined doing in my life.
Well you’re known for dancing though…
It’s a bit different from raving!
What are you looking forward to about the live shows?
I’m looking forward to meeting new people, the challenge of it all and hopefully getting through the show without getting injured. I’m quite accident prone which I’m a bit worried about.
Do you have any nerves or fears?
Not really. I love a bit of danger! And with the right coaching and training – fingers crossed.
What would you say is the scariest thing you’ve ever done?
The scariest thing where I genuinely felt fear, turned white, my legs were shaking was when I was on Jack Osbourne: Adrenaline Junkie and we had to do a cable car swing. There was a 4000 feet drop and we had to swing from one cable car to the other. That was a thing that really scared me. I managed to do it though and here to tell the tale!
How about doing lifts and headbangers on this show, do you feel fearful of any of that?
I’ll just have to see how I progres with training and if I get good enough I’ll give it a go. I never want to put anyone else at risk. It would be great to do if I get good enough but at the moment I just can’t see it.
Are you feeling competitive? Could you win?
I’d be surprised if I won it because at the moment I’m Bambi on ice. I can’t see how I could possibly win it but I’d love to.
How do you feel about receiving criticism from the panel?
I hadn’t actually thought about that yet! If it’s constructive criticism then that’s fair enough but if they’re just slagging me right off I’ll be a bit disappointed!
If you had to describe your strengths and weaknesses to your pro partner, what would those be?
My weakness is that I’m accident prone and I hope I don’t pass that on to my partner. We don’t want any accidents. My strength is my ability to just get on with things.
Do you know anyone that’s taken part in the series and have you chatted to them about it?
Yeah, (Joe) Swashy. He was good. He won it! I know Kem as well. I met both of them on MasterChef. We all had a laugh about the show together.
What do your friends and family say about you doing the show?
My fiancée thinks it’s hilarious. She thinks I’m really lucky because I get to go and do a TV show where I learn a new skill. She’d love to do it and thinks I’m really lucky.
Well you’ll have to teach her when you’ve learnt…
The thing I’m looking forward to is going to a rink at Christmas and rocking up, banging my own boots on and showing everyone what I can do!
The new series of Dancing On Ice starts at 6.30pm on Sunday 16th January on ITV.