The latest series of Dancing on Ice sees all change at the deep-frozen dance show.
As well as John Barrowman joining the show following the departure of Jason Gardiner and a special Christmas launch show, the show will be making history as Ian ‘H from Steps’ Watkins and Matt Evers as the first same-sex couple to be competing – a change Evers has said he has wanted “for years”.
The inclusion of a same-sex couple sees Dancing on Ice beat its BBC rival Strictly Come Dancing to the punch.
But while head judges and Olympic legends Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean said they were “excited” to be the first show to integrate same-sex couples, they added that Watkins and Evers have a lot riding on their shoulders due to their partnership.
Speaking at the Dancing on Ice press day to RadioTimes.com and other journalists, Dean explained: “They have a responsibility as I think a lot of people will be watching them.
“I’m really fascinated to see how they treat the partnership, and what they do with it.”
The pair, who won Gold in the 1984 Olympics, added that a same-sex partnership would be “unheard of” in the ice-skating world, with Torvill adding: “I think if it became a thing, they would have to create a separate competition.”
Having originally been choreographers on the show, and head judges for the past two series, the pair also added they were mindful of how they spoke to the contestants.
“It’s everyday talking to people. Everyone measures what they say. That’s etiquette,” Dean said.
“I don’t think we try to be nice [but] it’s very PC now. It’s more difficult.”
Dancing on Ice’s Christmas Show airs 22nd December at 7pm on ITV – the series launches on 5th January 2020