Dancing On Ice 2021 line-up: All the celebrity contestants

We’re back on the rink with a new cast! Find out who’s competing in this year’s Dancing on Ice.

By Becky Gamester-Newton Published: 2 February 2021 - 2.35pm
Entertainment Dancing on Ice

Holly Willoughby

ITV Dancing on Ice contestants

The glitziest ice rink on TV is back!

A stellar line-up of celebrities are getting their skates on for the 13th season of Dancing On Ice - while Jayne Torvill, Christopher Dean, John Barrowman and Ashley Banjo return to the judging panel.

Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby are back as presenters – and they think the show, which will be filmed without an audience on a Covid-safe set, will provide some much-needed fun to our living rooms.

Phillip said: “I think Dancing On Ice will be a winter boost for all of us. You can expect a show where the crew and the cast and the presenters will be incredible delighted to be there and absolutely thrilled to be able to put the show on air.”

Holly added: “Dancing On Ice will explode onto your screens with glitter and glamour. You can sit down with your whole family and just disappear and escape. It will feel different but its essence will be the same.”

Exuberant judge John reckons this series will be more spectacular than ever.

“Outside of our dressing rooms are rails of clothing. My rail is like a unicorn has vomited sparkles all over the room!" he laughed.

“The wardrobe people do an amazing job. Not just the skating, not just the choreography, but the outfits – everything with the show just lifts you, and that’s what we need at the moment, to be lifted.”

Take a look at this year’s skaters and what they have to say about their chances of victory…

Jason Donovan

Jason Donovan in Dancing on Ice ITV

Neighbours legend Jason is no stranger to performing, but admits he is worried about the dangers of being on the ice.

“My focus is on the skill of skating and avoiding injury!" he said.

“I have other obligations beyond Dancing On Ice so those have to be considered and balanced. You want to do the best show you can but you want to do a show that’s safe as well. It’s that line between sexy TV and safe TV!”

He laughs that he’ll be more than happy to don the glitziest costumes for his performances.

“Listen, I’ve done Priscilla Queen of the Desert for two years on stage. I was in the Rocky Horror Show. I wore a coat of many colours. This is positively toned down – I am more than comfortable with fantastic costumes.”

Joe-Warren Plant

Joe-Warren Plant in Dancing on Ice ITV

Emmerdale actor Joe-Warren says his age could give him an edge in the competition, though he has to work on his technique.

“With me being 18, I probably have less of a fear factor. It just felt like a good time to go for it," he said.

“I can stand up and get around the rink, but when I tried out for this I was told straight away: your technique is all wrong! So I’ve got to scrap all those bad habits and start all over again.”

He also says he’s looking forward to viewers seeing the real him, rather than his soap character.

“I’ve been on Emmerdale for 10 years so all people see me as is Jacob and not myself, so it will be nice to show people the real me.

“It’s exciting to try something new.”

Denise Van Outen

Denise Van Outen in Dancing on Ice ITV

TV and stage star Denise says she’s looking forward to going skating with her daughter rather than clinging on to the side when they have family trips to the ice rink.

“Betsy has just turned 10 so for the last few years when I’ve taken her to Lapland UK or Somerset House, anything like that, I never get on the ice," she confessed.

"She’s like ‘skate with me mummy’ and I’m holding on to the side, not because I’m scared but because I can’t actually skate. So I’ve had to send on [partner] Eddie or friends with her.

“I don’t want to be that mum who can’t do something or can’t give it a try.”

She adds that she’d love to perform the Bolero dance in front of Torvill and Dean.

“I was a kid when I watched that. I’ll always remember seeing Torvill and Dean and just being in awe of them.”

But Denise admitted she's terrified of forgetting her routine, despite all her experience on a stage.

“I don’t want to forget my routine. I just keep worrying that I’m going to have a mind blank, because I have had that before.

“I did Strictly in 2012 and I know what it’s like, you suddenly get nervous just when you’re about to go on, you think ‘I can’t remember it’.

"Nine times out of 10 it all comes back to you but we did have a moment where my pro partner forgot the salsa, forgot part of the routine and he was just looking at me blank and I was thinking ‘I don’t know what to do, you’re the pro!’.

"So we did this weird shimmy thing which you can sort of get away with on something like Strictly but I feel like it’s less forgiving on Dancing on Ice because you’re on ice.”

 

Rebekah Vardy

Rebekah Vardy in Dancing on Ice ITV

TV star Rebekah says her competitive streak will probably come through in the show.

“I’m not going to lie, I am really competitive but not in a bad way. Anything I do, I like to give it 100% and you’ll probably see quite a bit of determination from me," she promised.

“I wouldn’t say I’m in it to win it, but that’s the show at the end of the day and it’s a challenge and someone’s got to win.”

She laughs that she’s looking forward to performing in the glitzy outfits, too.

“I love the glam, I love the sparkles.

“I am totally up for embracing that! I want a Britney jumpsuit.”

She says that although she skated as a child, she had to relearn the basics.

“I skated as a kid – but when I say skated, I mean messed around on ice. My dad used to take us when we were kids, when we used to stay at his. He literally laced up my boots, pushed me on and went ‘off you go’ basically. So I was this free-spirited, crazy child that would just bomb around on an ice rink probably knocking into everyone and knocking everyone flying.

“But to go from that to not knowing how to technically do it right is completely different to obviously what we’re doing now. I’ve had to relearn a lot of things that I taught myself that were incorrect. And I think that’s really hard.

"It doesn’t matter how much you do something or how much you think you can do it but to actually learn it technically right, it’s quite challenging, especially when you get older as well. I don’t pick things up as quick as I would have done as a kid.”

Graham Bell

Graham Bell in Dancing on Ice ITV

Former Olympic skier Graham might be more at home on the ice than the other contestants, but says he’s still terrified.

“Ice doesn’t scare me. I’m used to ice but dancing, proper dancing – not just the kind that’s drunk on a table wearing ski boots, that’s not dancing," he admitted.

"And performing as well – it’s not in my comfort zone. I’m not a professional performer, I’m certainly not a dancer.

“I can do a bit of skating, I have skated before but that’s only about a third of it.

"For me, the challenge has been trying to look elegant. I can already skate about a bit on hockey skates but this whole kind of elegance thing is all new to me. I look like a gorilla on ice."

He also reveals that he’s met Torvill and Dean before, during a more controversial time of his life.

“I met them in ’84! It was my first Olympics. I was 18 and raced the men’s downhill, didn’t ski particularly well but I had a great time.

“I got arrested stealing an Olympic flag. Best party of my life!”

Lady Leshurr

Lady Leshurr on Dancing on Ice ITV

Rapper Lady Leshurr says she’s looking forward to putting on weight from all the training involved.

“Apparently, you get a nice bum so I’m all for that! I only weigh seven-and-a-half stone so I’m trying to put on some weight, get some muscles so that’d be nice.”

She adds that she used to be terrified of going on the ice, so now she wants to prove her friends wrong.

“My mates used to do it and I’d go with them to an ice rink in Birmingham. We’d be there every Christmas and I’d go thinking ‘yeah I’m going to do this’ but the doubt would come over me and I’d just find myself at the side watching them being brilliant, going backwards and doing tricks. I’ve tried skating since then… it has mainly been me holding onto the sides!

“Now, I’m not even telling my mates I’m doing it. I’m just going to be like ‘turn the TV on’ and they’ll be like ‘what the hell?’.”

Myleene Klass

Myleene Klass in Dancing on Ice ITV

Musician and presenter Myleene can’t wait to impress her children by showing what she can do.

“I have a 13-year-old daughter and a nine-year-old daughter who are obsessed with ice skating. Both of my daughters ice skate and I don’t want to be the one that just gets dragged around at Christmas.

“They both skate. I did want that for them. We live really close to an ice rink so I wanted that for them but then I stand there and hold the coats. That’s my role – to tie the shoe-laces and hold the coats. So, I don’t skate at all.

“They’re so excited. They’re over the moon, so excited. Every day is the same question – when can I tell my friends?”

She also reveals the part of her body she’s most worried about injuring – her fingers.

“I’m terrified of my piano fingers getting rolled over. I don’t know why that’s a recurring fear but it just is. Any time I’ve done a concert I’ve had to sign an indemnity insurance clause and I’ve had to sign all of these things that look after my fingers – and now I’m actually in the line of fire I feel lke I’m really going to have to look after my fingers.”

She laughs that she's not especially happy about microphones being used during the performances.

“I tell you what I didn’t know they’d do, which is simply terrifying: they’ve miked us up now – they’ve got a secret boob mic, ladies! Where would you hide a mic in a leotard? I’ll tell you where they hide it: they hide it in your right boob!

“And they are recording everything we say on the ice. So that’s news to me, because that’s when Lukasz has to go ‘Turn around here, jump up here’. You’re going to literally hear it, warts and all, and that’s a little bit worrying as well.”

Faye Brookes

Faye Brookes in Dancing on Ice ITV

Former Coronation Street star Faye is a trained dancer but says the show will provide a whole new challenge.

“I don’t know if I can dance on ice so this is going to be a real test to me personally," she said.

“I just want to give it my all. I’m not afraid to fall over, that’s at the bottom of my list. I don’t mind if I get on the ice and I’m like Bambi but I hope I can get to grips with it all and find my style and just do my best with the challenge that’s ahead.”

She adds that being on the ice competitively is “beyond all my wildest dreams”.

“My dad used to play ice hockey so we’d get on the ice with him as kids. This is going to be really exciting for him because it’s something that we enjoyed as kids and I don’t get to see my dad that often because he works away on the oil rigs.

“Ice skating for me was a childhood lovely memory so to do it now as a competition is beyond all my wildest dreams.”

She continues: "I’m nervous but I’m really excited. I’m desperate to get on the ice now, I can’t wait. My tummy is flipping – I am so nervous. I just want to get it done!”

Sonny Jay

Sonny Jay in Dancing on Ice ITV

DJ Sonny has reality show experience, having been a member of the group Loveable Rogues who reached the finals of Britain’s Got Talent in 2012 - but he’s worried about being out there on his own this time, and falling onto the ice.

“I was on Britain’s Got Talent in 2012 and this is scarier. When I did BGT I was with two other people… this time I’m doing it on my own so I can’t look to my two mates.”

He adds: “The idea of falling live on TV just makes me feel weird. The thing is with the show, I’m going to take it quite seriously.”

Sonny admits that he is a strong skater - but that does come with its own problems.

“I think I’m quite a fast skater. I think I’ve got a bit of power. The downfall to the power is that once I get the power, then everything goes out of the window to go with it. I might be fast, but my arms might be waving everywhere.”

Colin Jackson

Colin Jackson in Dancing on Ice ITV

Athlete Colin has already appeared in Dancing On Ice Goes Gold, the one-off special for Olympians. However, he says that doesn’t necessarily mean that he has an advantage.

“I had a bit of a taster back then – I’d never skated before and I’ve never skated since! I literally haven’t gone on the ice since but I really wish I had now. I’ll have to relearn everything as it’s been such a long time.”

He adds that his age shouldn’t be seen as a hindrance.

“Each year, I always want to improve myself and I want to show people that age is only a number. Also, I physically feel better now than I did at 20 because I’m not pushing myself in the same way.

“This, for me, is more of a mental challenge than a physical one. I think that is something you should always keep testing, your mental strength.”

The athlete admits that he's found the training a real challenge.

“The technicalities in skating are just unbelievable. You’ll look at a skater and think ‘well that’s quite easy’, but if you just slightly let your arms drift a little bit your whole body goes where your arms are going. You’re like ‘hang on a minute, I don’t want to go over there – I want to go over there!’. It’s crazy.”

Billie Shepherd

Billie Shepherd in Dancing on Ice ITV

Towie star Billie says she’s looking forward to doing something without her sister Sam Faiers.

“I’ve never done anything like this before. I’ve never done anything on my own, I’ve always done stuff with my sister. I’ve never given myself a personal challenge like this so I feel like now at this point in my career it’s good for me to step up and do something like this," she said.

“I’ve never pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I’ve always done things in TV that I feel comfortable with and if something came in, I’d rather miss the opportunity than push myself.”

And she reckons her daughter will be her biggest fan.

“I think it will be good for my six-year-old daughter Nelly to see me do this. I think it’s going to be cool for her to see her mum taking part in the show. She loves ice skating.”

Rufus Hound

Rufus Hound in Dancing On Ice ITV

Comedian Rufus says he’ll be using the show as a springboard to get fit.

“I think it’s probably pretty obvious to anyone who has seen my silhouette that physical exercise and I have remained cordial but unfamiliar," he joked.

"Taking part in a show that traditionally requires so much physical prowess is obviously something that doesn’t immediately feel like a natural fit, but you only get fit by doing exercise.

“With the world as upside-down as it is, being able to do some exercise and have a reason to get out of the house is very welcome.”

However, he adds that he might surprise people.

“I might be the one person in the mix who is like ‘I am unemployed, I don’t want to do this – I am doing it because I have to try and find a way of earning money’. Then in week two when it starts going well or week four when I land a perfect score or whatever then the story may change.”

He jokes that when he went to his local ice rink as a child, he got bored of going round in circles - and hadn't skated again until he started Dancing On Ice training.

“I remember clear as day, there was a moment where I was ice-skating for the fourth time that year thinking to myself ‘hang on a second, this is just going round and round in a circle’. And at the point that thought occurred, I never went ice-skating again because I thought if the aim of this is to end up where I started, I may as well just stay here.” 

 

Dancing On Ice begins at 6pm on Sunday, January 17, on ITV. Catch up on the ITV Hub.

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