ITV is set to unveil a new biopic based on the lives of Winter Olympic ice dancing legends Torvill and Dean.
The figure skaters who set the world alight with their stunning gold medal winning dance to Ravel’s Bolero at the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics are to be the subject of a new ITV drama, likely to air at the end of this year, RadioTimes.com can reveal.
ITV has been preparing the drama, expected to be formally commissioned soon, for a number of months. The single drama from producers Darlow Smithson will tell the story of Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean’s early years, charting the formation their amazing professional partnership and how it led to their dazzling success.
Their formative years are not very well known, and despite the glamour they exuded on the ice, neither of them was handed successes in their early lives. The pair started skating together in 1975 when they were both in their teens.
Christopher Dean’s early life in Nottingham was particularly tough. In the 2014 book written by the pair, Our Life On Ice, Dean revealed how his father’s adultery broke up the family, with his mother leaving home and his stepmother moving in.
He wrote: “Home was a flat – a kind of maisonette, really. It sounds quite posh but I promise you it wasn’t. We had lino instead of carpets and all of the furniture was either second-hand or on its last legs.
“I had one bath a week (a fact my children find stomach-churning), except in the summer when I had a stand-up strip-wash – the weather being far too hot to light a fire – and we had no immersion heater.”
One ITV source described his story as “Billy Elliott on Ice”.
In the same book Jayne Torvill wrote, “I do worry about him sometimes. I always have. There’s a real vulnerability to Chris. He’s no good on his own. I love him dearly. I couldn’t imagine life without him.”
An ITV spokesperson said that it was “early days” for the drama project, which has not yet been cast. They added, “Torvill and Dean is a single drama about how Jayne and Chris first met as teenagers. The drama will depict the forming of their extraordinary relationship which led to their incredibly successful ice dancing partnership.”
According to sources, the drama could be shown around Christmas 2018, or just after ITV’s entertainment series Dancing On Ice. Torvill and Dean have just finished the latest series as head judges.