It’s been four years since Ray Quinn was announced as the winner of Dancing on Ice: All-Stars.
The X Factor star had originally won the fourth series of Dancing on Ice back in 2009, before returning to the rink in 2014 in a series that featured former DOI contestants by way of supposedly waving goodbye to the show for good.
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But of course, Dancing on Ice has since been revamped and brought back to ITV (it’s been deemed such a success that another series for 2019 has already been commissioned by ITV) and now the final is upon us.
We caught up with the reigning champion ahead of handing over his crown to either Jake Quickenden, Brooke Vincent or Max Evans, with Ray saying that after his win he didn’t actually keep up with ice skating.
“I literally haven’t skated for four years,” he told RadioTimes.com. “I did a couple of ice skating rink openings in the last month or so and I literally bought a new pair of skates to jump on the ice.
“It does feel like you’re walking on sand. It is a bit mental, and it does take a couple of hours and a couple of weeks but it eventually comes back to you – but a little but sketchy.”
Ray’s skills are going to have to get a bit sharper than that as along with DOI class of 2018 stars Kem Cetinay, Donna Air, Max Evans, Cheryl Baker, Jake Quickenden and Alex Beresford, he’s signed up for this year’s Dancing on Ice tour.
Luckily he says he’s now training “two to four hours” every day on the ice and no doubt will need to sharpen his skating skills to be able to keep up with Jake Quickenden.
Jake, who just like Ray is an X Factor alumnus, has topped the leaderboard every single week on Dancing on Ice and has even scored a perfect 40. He seems unstoppable.
“Jake’s fantastic – he’s just like me,” says Ray. “He’s full of enthusiasm, fearless and wants to do well. I’d put money on him to win.
“I’ve been a mate of Jake’s for a long time and we used to play football together. I’m looking forward to sharing the ice with him [on tour].”
“I would like a Brooke and Jake final,” adds Ray. “Jake is so far ahead I hope the public don’t think he’s safe and they do vote for him.”
With both him and Jake being so good, is there a bit of a rivalry there, then?
“It’s not rivalry as such, it’s banter,” laughs Ray. “I’m really proud of him.”
Dancing On Ice Live is touring the UK from 23rd March until 15th April 2018. Ray is set to appear in brand new stage musical Summer Holiday, which tours the UK from May onwards