CONFIRMED air date: Torvill and Dean will air on Christmas Day (Tuesday 25th December) at 9.15pm on ITV. It is a two-hour special.
What is Torvill and Dean about?
Written by Made in Dagenham’s William Ivory, Torvill and Dean traces the early story of the figure skaters who captured the public’s imagination with their stunning gold medal-winning dance to Boléro at the 1984 Winter Olympics.
ITV has promised “a single film narrating Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean’s early years and the creative impetus that finally drove them to become ice dancing royalty.”
The broadcaster continued:”We’ll learn about their humble beginnings and family life in Nottingham; how Chris, following the breakup of his parents’ marriage, channelled his anger into skating and how Jayne, was outwardly reserved, and determined to explore her inwardly passionate nature.
“We explore how Chris and Jayne clashed as they separately and together tried to establish a new language for ice dance – one which won gold medals but also spoke to their private, intense relationship.”
Game of Thrones actor Will Tudor will take on the role of Christopher Dean, while Ackley Bridge’s Poppy Lee Friar will play Jayne Torvill.
EastEnders star Anita Dobson will take on the role of Miss Perry, Jayne’s first coach at the Nottingham Ice Stadium, with Stephen Tompkinson and Jo Hartley as Jayne’s father George and mum Betty.
Stepping in as Chris’s parents Colin and Mavis are Dean Andrews and Christine Bottomley, while Jaime Winstone will star as Janet Sawbridge – the ice dancing instructor who pairs Chris and Jayne together for the first time.
British Olympic ice skaters Nick Buckland and Penny Coomes joined the cast as stunt doubles, and also served as consultants and mentors.
Is this Torvill and Dean’s real-life story?
Yes, and the feature-length drama has been created with the help of Jayne Torvill and Chris Dean themselves. The two of them spent many hours being interviewed by screenwriter William Ivory, who was also “born and bred” in Nottingham.
The two said in a joint statement: “We feel very honoured that ITV have commissioned this film based on what was a very significant period in each of our lives.
“We have thoroughly enjoyed the time we have spent with William Ivory and the team at Darlow Smithson sharing experiences of our passion for skating, the life long friendship that came through our sport and everything that it took to achieve our eventual goal of becoming Olympic champions.”
Writer William Ivory said: “It’s been such a privilege to work on this piece. Chris and Jayne are such fascinating characters: sports people and athletes with all the grit and determination that entails, but real artists, too, engaging in deeply felt creative and emotional battles.”
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