And ahead of her debut, the Olympic gymnast has revealed she “wasn’t expecting” to end up on the show – saying that she had conflicted feelings about replacing Van Outen.
“It was a mixture of emotions,” she said when asked how she felt when she found out. “I came into this as a reserve, I wasn’t expecting to end up on the show and it’s never nice to see anyone get injured.”
She added, “I was obviously really gutted for Denise but I was also super excited. I think Joe [Johnson, her professional partner] and I screamed for about five minutes. We got the call on Tuesday and then we were in the studios on Wednesday. It was all go go go!”
Tinkler, who says that she watches the show every year, has been training since mid-October like the rest of the contestants and admits that skating hasn’t come naturally to her.
But she has promised fans an opening performance that will be “fast, cheesy, sassy, fun, energetic and super smiley”, adding that she has already fallen in love with skating.
As for whether her Olympic pedigree will give her an advantage, she isn’t so sure. “There’s a big difference in that you’ve got ice under your feet,” she said. “Oh, and blades. So, it’s completely different.
“My biggest challenge has been bending my knees. At least 20 times in a session you’ll hear Joe going ‘bend your knees!’ In gymnastics for the past 18 years, I’ve been constantly told ‘Amy, you need to straighten your knees’ so that’s probably been the biggest challenge.”
Van Outen announced that she was pulling out of the series earlier in the week after sustaining a nasty injury to her shoulder.
And Tinkler says she’s received some kind words from the actress and singer, who she hopes to do proud when she takes to the ice.
“She has been so kind to me and Joe,” she revealed. “And her and Matt came and watched our rehearsals yesterday and they were giving us a few tips. She’s a natural-born performer so it was really nice to have her input on the performance side of it.
“Matt’s obviously a great skater so he had some great advice as well. I’m going to do it for Denise and I really hope to do both her and Matt proud.”