Skating legend and Dancing on Ice judge Christopher Dean has addressed Rufus Hound‘s COVID-related withdrawal from the competition, saying that he thinks the comedian “secretly really enjoyed” his time on the show.
Speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com, Dean said that, together with his fellow head judge Jayne Torvill, he empathised with Hound’s situation.
“We feel sorry for him because he showed so well on that first performance and I think he was excited by it, if not surprised by it and he was looking for it,” he said.
“You know, I think he had a secret passion for it by the end. I mean, he had a lot of levity about it – ‘Well, I’m doing it for the mortgage’ – but I think he actually got into it and secret really enjoyed it and was looking forward to coming back to doing his second performance.
“So, you know, we can empathise with, most probably, how he’s feeling.”
Stand-up comedian Hound, who was partnered with professional Robin Johnstone, announced he was leaving the competition on Wednesday after contracting COVID-19.
Announcing the news in a video posted to Twitter, Hound said he would no longer be participating in the competition, adding: “Unfortunately having come into contact with somebody with COVID and then isolating, it transpired I myself had COVID so I have dealt with that and quarantined and the like.”
He added that, while he was in quarantine, he hoped that there might be “a window of opportunity” for him to return to the show, however, due to Dancing on Ice’s strict coronavirus restrictions, that window “doesn’t exist”.
Hound will be replaced on Sunday by comedian Matt Richardson, who is taking to the ice with professional Vicky Ogden for the first time.