Although there were plenty that was familiar when Dancing on Ice returned for a brand new series, there was one big – and very audible – difference.
There was a new voice in the commentator’s box in the shape of Matt Chapman. But who is he?
Here’s everything you need to know about the new man in ITV’s hit entertainment show
Who is Dancing on Ice commentator Matt Chapman?
Occupation: Horse racing commentator
— Matt Chapman (@MCYeeehaaa) January 7, 2018
He says: “This is a huge opportunity for me and good for racing,” said Chapman. “Not many racing presenters have done prime-time television away from sport. I’m extremely proud to have the chance.”
Matt has got over 20 years experience with horse racing. He came to the sport after leaving uni, joining the International Racing Bureau, and says that he is proud of where he’s got to considering his family “have absolutely no background or relationship with horse racing.”
However, he’s not as au fait when it comes to ice skating. Apparently Matt has been told that he has free rein (sorry) to make up whatever he wants when it comes to calling the jumps, spins and twists on the rink.
— Matt Chapman (@MCYeeehaaa) December 2, 2017
Talking about how he got the job of Dancing on Ice commentator, Matt says: “ITV’s director of sport Niall Sloane has supported me – thank you – but I didn’t just get handed the gig. I believe quite a few were auditioned for the role. I did a lot of work and it paid off.
“The production staff have already said they want a day at the races, so the ripple effect is clear to see. Now I have to get Ashley Banjo to the track. Hopefully I can get across that skating and racing are fun. I’m sure one or two of the skaters will be ‘out the gates’ and ‘setting a strong pace’.
“It’s not quite sunk in yet just how big this is. In live TV anything can happen. Fingers crossed!”
After working for eight years working at publication The Racing Post and The Racing Channel, Matt joined horse racing channel At The Races.
He revealed that his first TV appearance was as “a Quirister (not to be confused with Chorister) at Winchester College and appeared on Songs of Praise once in the 80s!”
Who used to be the commentator on Dancing on Ice?
Throughout the original series it was Tony Gubba who commentated, although he sadly passed away in 2013. Eurosport’s Simon Reed has also previously sat in the DOI commentary box.
Dancing on Ice airs Sundays on ITV