Here’s why Michael Barrymore is on the Dancing on Ice Christmas special – despite quitting the series

Despite having to pull out of Dancing on Ice, Michael Barrymore will be appearing in this Sunday’s Christmas show

Michael Barrymore (Getty)

We’ve not got long until the 12th series of Dancing on Ice launches proper, but to keep us going until then, we’re being treated to a Christmas special.

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For the first time, Dancing on Ice is pairing their celebrities with their partners in their very own Christmas launch show – a la Strictly Come Dancing.

While there are a few surprises in the shape of Gemma Collins and Ray Quinn, one of the more eyebrow-raising moments may come in the shape of Michael Barrymore – who has just announced he has had to pull out of the show.

So why is he still appearing in the Christmas special? Here’s just what’s going on…

Why is Michael Barrymore on the Dancing on Ice Christmas special?

Michael Barrymore (ITV)

Yes, Barrymore has now pulled out of Dancing on Ice – but as with the Strictly launch show, the Dancing on Ice Christmas launch is pre-recorded – so the comedian and the presenter was very much still part of the competition.

The programme will see Barrymore partnered up with Alex Murphy, however, the pair will no longer be skating together in the competition when it launches properly in January.

Why did Michael Barrymore drop out of Dancing on Ice?

The 67-year-old had to withdraw from the competition after sustaining an injury during the Dancing on Ice Christmas special.

“I took a tumble whilst rehearsing for the January shows. After the fall, I thought I had sprained my wrist but it turns out that it is broken. Unfortunately, the medics have told me that I cannot compete,” he said in a statement.

“I am absolutely devastated; I have loved every second of the journey so far with my wonderful dance partner Alex Murphy and the support from the public has been overwhelming.”

Who will be replacing Michael Barrymore on Dancing on Ice?

Blue Peter presenter Radzi Chinyanganya will now be competing, now partnered with reserve skater Jessica Hatfield.

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Dancing on Ice launches Sunday 5th January 2020