The 2021 series of Dancing on Ice is currently in full swing, with two celebrities having been eliminated in the first three weeks and another – Denise Van Outen – dropping out due to injury.


Unfortunately, the long-running ITV show has lost another contestant, but this time COVID is to blame – with comedian Rufus Hound leaving the competition after testing positive for COVID-19.

Despite turning out two highly entertaining performances and receiving the show's first Golden Ticket, Dancing on Ice confirmed that Hound was unable to return to the competition after contracting the virus.

The comedian missed Week Three as he was self-isolating for COVID-19, tweeting: "I've had COVID. Isolated when I knew I'd come into contact with it, tested five days later, am coming to the end of having had it, luckily v mild case."

Hound and his professional partner Robin Johnstone will be replaced in this weekend's show by comedian Matt Richardson.

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Here's everything you need to know about Rufus Hound, his Dancing on Ice journey and what he's said about leaving.

Who is Dancing on Ice contestant Rufus Hound?

Dancing on Ice 2021 line-up official pictures
Rufus Hound and Robin Johnstone ITV

Age: 41

Instagram: @dogfacedboi

Twitter: @rufushound

Job: Actor and comedian

Rufus Hound is a comedian and actor, who has regularly appeared on comedy panel game shows Nevermind the Buzzcocks and Celebrity Juice. He is also well known for his performances in the West End. The actor has played a fictionalised version of himself in CBBC TV series Hounded, and also starred in Doctor Who, and Channel 4's acclaimed drama Cucumber.

He won the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special in 2013, and most recently appeared in Sky 1 sitcom Trollied.

Will Rufus Hound return to the Dancing on Ice final?

It's good news for fans! According to his professional skating partner, Rufus will return for "one last skate."

Following Rufus' exit, Robin took to Instagram to thank fans for their support, as she confirmed they'd been back for a final skate once he had recovered.

She said: "I just want to thank everyone who was supporting Rufus and I this year unfortunately you can not predict what may happen in these crazy times and I'm very sorry Rufus and I can't continue with @dancingonice

"I'm very proud of everything he's learned and thank you for our fun laughs on the ice. I'm disappointed we couldn't perform this weeks fun number we had!

"Rufus I'm so glad you are doing well and thank you to everyone at @itv for keeping everyone safe we are ever grateful to have this opportunity to bring smiles and fun to everyone."

Revealing they'd both be returning, she added: "Looking forward to joining the pros in a few weeks to skate some fabulous numbers and come back for one last skate and spin with Rufus in the final."

What has Rufus Hound scored so far?

Rufus nabbed a score of 25/40 in his first skate-off, but he also secured the Golden Ticket which meant he was safe from elimination. Rufus missed out on performing in Week Three as he was self-isolating after coming into contact with someone coronavirus positive, and has now withdrawn from the competition after testing positive himself.

What has Rufus Hound said about joining Dancing on Ice?

Announcing the news on Martin and Roman Kemp's ITV show Sunday Best, Rufus joked: "I'm doing it for the money. I don't know if you've heard but about six months ago this global pandemic hit and made just about everything I've ever done to earn a pound note disappear! And so this point has arrived and they said 'we'll pay you' and I said 'do you know something? I love ice skating!"

He then added: "The God's honest truth is, and [gesturing to Martin Kemp] you're actually a magnificent example of this, as life goes on you find yourself at a moment where you go right I could do this, I could do that, I could have a go and actually the adventure of it is doing things that you might start off thinking not in a million years and then fate conspires and you end up doing the most fun things."

What has Rufus Hound said about leaving Dancing on Ice?

In a tweet posted on Wednesday 3rd February, Rufus announced that he would be dropping out of Dancing on Ice after contracting COVID-19.

"COVID is – as I'm sure we're all well aware – a b*****d and sadly the world isn't short of those," he wrote.

In an accompanying video, Rufus explained: "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 went onto praise his professional partner Robin Johnstone and thanking her to all her effort.


Dancing on Ice starts on ITV on Sunday 17th January at 6pm. Find out who else is taking part with our Dancing on Ice 2021 line-up guide. If you’re looking for something to watch tonight, check out our TV Guide.