Only a few months on from Jamie Laing’s dramatic early Strictly exit, one of skating rival Dancing on Ice‘s contestants has suffered a similar misfortune.
Injured contestant Michael Barrymore will no longer be taking part and will be replaced in the Dancing on Ice 2020 celebrity line-up by Radzi Chinyanganya, a Blue Peter veteran and upcoming presenter with some skating lessons to catch up on.
“Getting a place in the show was a bolt from the blue, replacing the legend that is Michael Barrymore. I’m just accepting whatever is thrown at me and whatever is asked of me,” he said. “You get one chance to dance on ice, and when it comes your way you grab it by both horns and you try to hang on.”
Dancing On Ice 2020 cast line-up: Radzi Chinyanganya – Key Facts
Known for: Presenting Blue Peter, Cannonball and Match of the Day Kickabout
Professional partner: Jessica Hatfield
Why is Radzi Chinyanganya famous?
Born and raised in Wolverhampton, Chinyanganya first appeared on screen as a contestant on Gladiators, on which he reached the semi-final.
He began his television presenting career as the official weightlifting correspondent at the London 2012 Olympics in the Excel Arena, and resumed his hosting duties for the 2012 Paralympic Games.
He then fronted school body image documentary Your Body: Your Image for BBC2, before being announced as the 37th presenter of Blue Peter following the departure of Helen Skelton.
Ice skating is not his only sporting interest – he hosted children’s spin-off Match of the Day: Kickabout for several years, was the Sky Sports NBA presenter and is now the backstage interviewer for WWE’s NXT UK brand. Since his Olympic debut he has also covered several other sports events for the BBC, including the 2018 Winter Olympics and the 2019 World Athletics Championships.
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In 2017 Chinyanganya co-hosted short-lived ITV gameshow Cannonball with Freddie Flintoff, Frankie Bridge, Ryan Hand and Maya Jama, and also had a voice cameo in Kung Fu Panda 3.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, Chinyanganya has been a contestant on several celebrity gameshows – he recently won Pointless Celebrities, took part in The Crystal Maze and Ninja Warrior UK and tried some ice-free dancing in Strictly’s 2017 Children in Need special.
Most recently he co-presented the Sports Personality of the Year red carpet arrival, and in November 2019 co-presented the Lord Mayor’s Show for BBC1.
What has Radzi Chinyanganya said about Dancing On Ice?
Chinyanganya has graciously sent his condolences to Michael Barrymore, and is aware how little time he has to train.
Chinyanganya said: “I am thrilled and privileged to be part of the Dancing On Ice 2020 cast. I am absolutely gutted for Michael, who is one of my all-time favourite TV presenters, and I wish him a speedy recovery.”
Dancing on Ice continues Sundays at 9pm on ITV