Despite lockdown measures in place and an accident, ITV's Dancing on Ice will be skating onto screens this weekend.
Tough social distancing measures have been put into place to allow the show to go forward, but that shouldn't stop the star-studded Dancing on Ice 2021 line-up giving it their all on the ice.
Some pretty big names will be donning skates this season, including Denise Van Outen, Myleene Klass and Colin Jackson, but how will they fare in the competition?
Well, Judges Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean have some thoughts on that. Speaking during a Dancing on Ice press event, which also included hosts Phil Schofield and Holly Willoughby, weighed-in on how they thought this season might play out, and who are the amateur skaters to watch.
Denise Van Outen
Denise van Outen is no stranger to performing, given her turn on Strictly Come Dancing, but that doesn't mean she'll automatically nail Dancing on Ice. "Denise has done everything in showsbusiness, and she's such an amazing, talented entertainer," Chris said. "But, you know, you strap some blades to put yourself on slippery stuff and it's a whole new ballgame. But you've got to learn those basics of skating and I think Denise has found that challenging. She wants to do everything that she can do on the stage and bring it to the ice. And again, it's just another challenge!"
Neighbours actor Jason Donovan is no stranger to the stage but, as host Holly pointed out, that's exactly the reason "he's putting himself under a huge amount of pressure". Judge Jayne agreed, adding: "He does want to get everything absolutely right. He is a bit similar to James Jordan in that way. You know that they have to get it perfect and if they're not, they get frustrated with themselves."
Actor and comedian Rufus Hound's appearance was brought forward to Week One due to an injury suffered by one of the professional skaters. "He’s been quite open in saying the only reason he’s doing this is to pay his mortgage," Phil said, but Chris was quick to point out the comedian's motives had evolved. "That may have been the driving force to begin with, but he's got a bit between teeth now and I think he's actually really starting to take on the challenge and enjoy it," he said. Jayne agreed: "I think he was a slow starter but he is going to be one of those that will catch up."
Despite Rebekah accidentally catching her professional partner Andy Buchanan with her blade in training, Jayne thinks she is "showing some really good promise in skating". "O actual basic skating, that's quite strong from what we've seen so far," she added. "But I think, Andy [has been] been pushing her to do some of the big lifts and, you know, sometimes when you're upside down, you're not always sure where your foot is."
It's not just the pros who have been suffering scrapes in the lead-up to the launch. Lady Leshurr was injured herself just before Christmas and had to stop training. But judge Chris isn't worried: "I think if you look at all of them, at some point, there's been an issue. Nobody has escaped without some kind of little injury to the extent of missing a few weeks, so yeah. I mean, it's a real challenge strapping on the blades. I take my hat off to them."
The judges didn't comment on Joe Warren Plant's performance, but Phil did say he was "excellent", despite being the youngest contestant they've ever had on the show.
The judges didn't want to name a definite winner just yet, though they said they would "write it down on a piece of paper". "We'll hand it to each other, and then we will open it up and see who wins," Chris joked. Holly, on the other hand, went with Myleene Klass. "I think she's got musicality, because obviously she's a musician. She's a performer anyway. And I just, I don't know, I think she's gonna fall in love with it – based on nothing!"
Colin Jackson, Billie Shepherd and Faye Brookes are also set to appear in the second week of the competition. Graham Bell, who was meant to be part of Week One's batch, will join them following his professional Dancing on Ice partner Yebin Mok's accident.
Dancing on Ice returns to ITV on Sunday 17th January 2021 at 6pm. If you’re looking for something to watch tonight, check out our TV Guide.