Get your skates on: ITV is making a biopic about Olympic ice dancing legends Torvill and Dean.
With sources previously telling RadioTimes.com that a formal commission was imminent, the broadcaster has now formally unveiled the one-off two-hour film, titled simply Torvill and Dean.
Due to start filming later this month, the drama will see Game of Thrones and Humans star Will Tudor take on the role of a young Christopher Dean, while Ackley Bridge’s Poppy Lee Friar will play his dancing partner Jayne Torvill.
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Dean Andrews (DS Ray Carling from Life on Mars) and Christine Bottomley (Jenna from Fearless) will also appear as Dean’s parents, while Anita Dobson (Angie Watts from EastEnders) will play Miss Perry, Jayne’s first coach at the Nottingham Ice Stadium.
The cast also includes Stephen Tompkinson (Trollied), Jo Hartley (This Is England ’90), Jaime Winstone (Babs) and Susan Earl (Reggie Perrin).
The film will explore the Dancing on Ice duo’s early years and the “creative impetus” that led to their stunning gold medal-winning dance to Ravel’s Bolero at the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics.
This means a look at how Dean dealt with the breakup of his parent’s marriage, channelling his anger into – would you believe it – skating. Plus, we’ll see how “reserved” Torvill became “determined to explore her inwardly passionate nature”, according to ITV.
The drama is also to hint at the pair’s sometimes problematic relationship, which frequently led to clashes. “They are iconic but also enigmatic: we’ve all speculated about their relationship off the ice,” said executive producer, Emily Dalton. “I think viewers will be moved and surprised by the heartbreaking – and backbreaking – journey they’ve been on together.”
Revealing they were “honoured” to have a film based on “a very significant period in each of our lives”, Torvill and Dean said the script – written by William Ivory (Made in Dagenham) – showcased “the lifelong friendship that came through our sport and everything that it took to achieve our eventual goal of becoming Olympic champions.”