Dancing on Ice

Image:Dancing on Ice logo.jpg



Phillip Schofield (2006-14, 2018-23)
Holly Willoughby (2006-11, 2018-)
Coleen Nolan (stand-in for Holly Willoughby, 2011)
Christine Bleakley (2012-14)
Stephen Mulhern (stand-in for Phillip Schofield, 2022; full-time, 2024-)


Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean (experts, also judges 2018-)

Robin Cousins (2006-14)
Jason Gardiner (2006-11, 2013-14, 2018-19)
Karen Barber (2006-10, 2013-14)
Nicky Slater (2006-10)
Karen Kresge (2006)
Natalia Bestemianova (2007)
Ruthie Henshall (2008-09)
Emma Bunton (2010-11)
Louie Spence (2012)
Katarina Witt (2012)
Ashley Roberts (2013-14)
Ashley Banjo (2018-)
John Barrowman (2020-21)
Oti Mabuse (2022-)

Guest Judges:
Michael Ball (2010)
Angela Rippon (2010)
Arlene Phillips (2022)

Head coach:
Karen Barber (2011-12)

Marc Silk (2006)
Bob Lawrence (2007-08)
John Sachs (2009-14)

Tony Gubba (2006-13)
Simon Reed (semi-final and final, 2013; full series 2014)
Matt Chapman (first episode, 2018)
Sam Matterface (2018-)
Alex Crook (stand-in for Sam Matterface, 2022)

Digital host:
Jordan Banjo (2018)
Kem Cetinay (2019-20)

ITV2 coverage (Dancing on Ice: Defrosted): Stephen Mulhern (2006-07)

Other spin-offs:

Dancing on Ice Extra: Andi Peters and Andrea McLean (2006)

Dancing on Ice Exclusive: Ben Shephard (2007)

Dancing on Ice Friday: Ben Shephard and Coleen Nolan (2010)


Granada for ITV1, 14 January to 4 March 2006 (8 episodes in 1 series)

ITV Productions for ITV1, 20 January 2007 to 8 March 2014 (86 episodes in 8 series)

ITV Studios for ITV, 7 January 2018 to 14 March 2021 (38 episodes in 4 series)

Lifted Entertainment for ITV, 16 January 2022 to present


ITV's long-awaited answer to Strictly Come Dancing. A group of (fairly) famous people are tutored in ice dance by Torvill and Dean, and are whittled down week by week until a winner is found.

Torvill, Dean, Schofield and Willoughby attempt to express an emotion through mime. If you can work out which one, please let us know at the usual address.

The number of callbacks to S.C.D. is quite breathtaking - almost as if the director's used the same shot list. There's five judges (from 2011, three) instead of four, and the scores (originally out of six, in half-point steps, but now out of ten - still in half-point steps - so that it remains out of 30 overall) are revealed in on-screen style like an ice dancing competition with only a few chats with the judges. The set appears to be a car crash of leftovers from You Bet! and Ice Warriors, although the glass roof is rather nice. One thing it did initially have over SCD was that the practice of only opening phone lines after everyone has performed was clearly fairer than Strictly's then practice of keeping them open all week. It also benefited from the regular inclusion of themed nights (which Strictly didn't go for until 2010) and "required elements" (refined into "ultimate skills" in 2011) which allowed for a specific point of comparison between the celebs.

Actor Kieron Richardson and professional skater Brianne Delcourt receive their marks from the judges, including stand-in Angela Rippon.

The strange thing is that despite being just about the most derivative show we have ever seen, and despite the inherent limitations of the ice dance format, somehow (and believe us, we're scratching our heads over how on earth this happened) ITV have pretty much pulled it off. And not "pulled it off" as in "yanked it from the schedules after three weeks", either. It doesn't work as well as Strictly Come Dancing in any department (except perhaps in the choice of host), and it does seem to drag a bit over the course of a series, but nevertheless it works. Just about.

Each series includes a "props week". Here, Johnson Beharry and pro skater Jodeyne Higgins perform with doo-wop group The Overtones providing live vocals.

2011 saw a largely positive series of tweaks to the format. Although the new arrangement of the set is a bit of a puzzler (the judges are now up one end of the rink rather than along the side, which can't be an improvement), the show really upped its game with new "twists" - some not as dramatic as they'd clearly hoped for (the "ice pick", in which the elimination vote was given, Fame Academy-style, to the other skaters rather than the judges, was a particularly damp squib) and some a bit awkward (the group routines were a good idea in principle, but the reward - the members of the winning team had their points doubled - unbalanced the scoring that week in a really rather silly way) but mostly quite sound. In particular, the "Ultimate Skills Test" placed a particular emphasis on technical ability at just the right stage of the contest, and the solo performances in the semifinal were a natural extension of the show's premise. The traditional "flying" element of the final (which always promised more than it delivered) was also wisely dropped in favour of Strictly-style showdances. Not everything works, but overall the changes have definitely given the show a lift. One recommendation we would make for future series though: stop forcing those bits of comic business into the script - the contrast between Phil and Holly's natural hosting and the lines imposed on them by the show's credited writer has become so jarring it's getting embarrassing.

2012 saw the ratings slide a little, though the reason for this is moot; we felt the series was lacking a bit of variety, with too many "theme" nights deployed in lieu of proper technical challenges, though ITV appear to have concluded that it was the absence of panto villain judge Jason Gardiner which was to blame. 2013 saw Gardiner return to the panel and a desperate attempt to play up the possibility of ructions between him and Karen Barber. The new four-person panel still awards points individually out of ten, meaning that for the first time the maximum score is forty rather than thirty - the same as Strictly Come Dancing. Which is where we came in...

The series was running out of steam, and went out with an all-stars contest in 2014. After four years, and various unsuccessful attempts to fill the Sunday evening slot, ITV went back to the rink for another series in 2018. Torvill and Dean were now on the judging panel, alongside Jason Gardiner and Ashley Banjo from Diversity. Gardiner flounced off after a couple of series after rowing with Gemma Collins and was replaced by John Barrowman, who in turn was replaced a couple of years later by Oti Mabuse, in a series we have so much to say about (see #Trivia).

Phillip Schofield resigned from ITV in May 2023 for personal reasons; only in December was it confirmed that he would be replaced by Stephen Mulhern, who had filled in for him on one episode in 2022 when he tested positive for COVID-19. At the same time, it was confirmed that Holly Willoughby would continue to present the show, following a short break from TV after she left This Morning in October due to security concerns.

Make Me a Star

Alongside the 2008 series, there was a spin-off called Dancing on Ice: Make Me a Star, hosted by Willoughby alone, in which amateurs competed for the chance to perform in the main series final. The judges were Torvill and Dean themselves and there was no public vote. This secondary competition returned in 2009, but was incorporated into the main Dancing on Ice results show.

Key moments

Torvill and Dean's regular performance at the start of the Saturday (now Sunday) night show. The old magic's still there, so much so that the duo starred in a performance, featuring contestants from the first two series, in October 2007.

Todd Carty stumbling and disappearing off the set during his performance of "Help!" leaving the audience and commentator Tony Gubba in complete stitches.

Karen Barber laying into Jason Gardiner after he was particularly scathing about a performance by Johnson Beharry.

Whenever anyone attempts "The Headbanger", a spectacular and scary move in which the male dancer spins around while holding the female dancer by her ankles and lowering her head to within really not enough distance at all from the ice. If that goes wrong, you're in trouble. There's only been one injury from this so far, when David Seaman's partner Pam O'Connor hit the ice during a camera rehearsal in the first series - amazingly, not during the actual move but by missing her footing on the recovery. She got away quite lightly with a couple of cuts, but we wonder how much of a delay there is on the live transmission, just in case.

Gemma Collins falling flat on her face during her performance of "It's All Coming Back to Me Now".


The show hasn't really produced a proper full-blooded catchphrase, but the closest it's got is probably "...to be revealed after the break". Phil also likes to throw in the odd reference to the dancers at the bottom of the leaderboard being "on thin ice" but it's never really developed from a stock phrase into a catchphrase. Weirdly, as of 2012, both of the aforementioned phrases seem to have been dropped, as if they're deliberately avoiding the cultivation of catchphrases. "The nth couple safe and skating next week is..." might qualify, but it's still a bit weak as catchphrases go. Must try harder, Schofield. C+.

This doesn't really qualify as a visual catchphrase either, but this is probably as good a place as any to note that we like the way he taps his ear to indicate that he's being given the results through his earpiece, lest we should think that he's either (a) reading off cards being held up in the distance, or (b) telepathic.

Theme music

Theme by Paul Farrer. Hear it at Screened Music.


The show's working title was... well actually, over the long period between the show being announced and finally making it to air, there were any number of working titles: The Torvill and Dean Project, Skating with Celebrities, Celebrities Dancing on Ice, Skating on Thin Ice, Celebrities on Thin Ice, Stars on Ice, Ice Dance with the Stars... basically, just about every possible permutation seemed to be attached to the show before they settled on the most boring one. Still, you can't say it doesn't live up to its name.

While Robin Cousins was away in Vancouver, commentating on the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, his place on the ice panel was taken by singer Michael Ball, and then by presenter Angela Rippon. When he was away at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, his position of head judge was taken by Karen Barber. The vacant space on the panel was taken by former judge Nicky Slater.

Bizarrely, the episode transmitted on 16 February 2020 contained a dedication to Caroline Flack, despite her having no direct link to the show.

It's fair to say the thirteenth series, broadcast in 2021, was an unlucky one for the show. First, the live audience was dropped as a consequence of COVID-19, then five celebrities had to withdraw during the series either due to injury (Denise Van Outen, Billie Shepherd and Jason Donovan) or testing positive for the virus (Rufus Hound and Joe-Warren Plant). To put the second point into context, in all of the show's prior history just three celebrities had had to withdraw mid-series - Michael Underwood did so due to injury in the third series, likewise Gareth Thomas in the eighth, while Caprice withdrew for mental health reasons in the twelfth series. So beleaguered was the thirteenth series, in fact, that it was ultimately reduced from the planned ten episodes to eight: first the episode scheduled for 21 February 2021 was scrapped (the official line being that the crew were resting), before the final was brought forward by a week, from 21 to 14 March. A clip show entitled Dancing on Ice: The Greatest Show on Ice aired on 21 February instead, while All Star Musicals aired on 21 March.

The fourteenth series, in 2022, suffered from failure after failure. First, John Barrowman was replaced on the judging panel by Oti Mabuse, after allegations of inappropriate behaviour resurfaced from his time on Doctor Who and Torchwood about ten years previously - however, one of the contestants in this series was Celebrity Big Brother winner Bez, who served a prison sentence in 2010 after refusing community service for assaulting his ex-girlfriend. ITV had to put the final back a week, from 20 to 27 March, when they realised that the 2021–22 FA Cup quarter-final match between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool was on the 20th and had an evening kick-off time - which, to their credit, they did learn from, as to avoid a repeat of this scenario, the show was cut to nine episodes for the fifteenth series, in 2023.

But most egregious of all was the series' hosting arrangements. Ahead of the fourth episode (airing on 6 February), Phillip Schofield tested positive for COVID-19, and he was replaced for this episode by Stephen Mulhern - fair enough, they replaced commentator Sam Matterface with Alex Crook due to him commentating on Liverpool's FA Cup fourth-round match against Cardiff City earlier that day. But why, oh why, oh why, when Holly Willoughby herself tested positive for the virus just before the semi-final five weeks later, was she not replaced and Phillip allowed to host the semi-final alone? ITV's claim that Holly tested positive too late to find someone else really didn't wash as Oti Mabuse and fellow judge Ashley Banjo are both talented TV presenters quite capable of stepping in at a moment's notice, especially given that ITV apparently had no problem with not having the same number of judges each week, having installed Arlene Phillips as a guest judge in the sixth episode. (The counterpoint is that maybe reducing the judging panel to three would have been a step too far, and after unnecessarily imposing a stand-in co-presenter the first time, they actually got the balance right second time round.)


2006 Gaynor Faye and Daniel Whiston
2007 Kyran Bracken and Melanie Lambert
2008 Suzanne Shaw and Matt Evers
2009 Ray Quinn and Maria Filippov
2010 Hayley Tamaddon and Daniel Whiston
2011 Sam Attwater and Brianne Delcourt
2012 Matthew Wolfenden and Nina Ulanova
2013 Beth Tweddle and Daniel Whiston
2014 Ray Quinn and Maria Filippov
2018 Jake Quickenden and Vanessa Bauer
2019 James Jordan and Alexandra Schauman
2020 Joe Swash and Alex Murphy
2021 Sonny Jay and Angela Egan
2022 Regan Gascoigne and Karina Manta
2023 Nile Wilson and Olivia Smart
2024 Ryan Thomas and Amani Fancy

Dancing on Ice Goes Gold: Steve Williams and Katie Stainsby



  • Gaynor Faye (actress)
  • Andi Peters (TV host)
  • David Seaman (former footballer and Strictly Ice Dancing champion)
  • Bonnie Langford (entertainer)
  • Andrea McLean (TV presenter)
  • Tamara Beckwith (socialite/journalist)
  • Dame Kelly Holmes (last line of the nation's defences)
  • Sean Wilson (Coronation Street actor)
  • John Barrowman (entertainer)
  • Stefan Booth (The Bill actor)


  • Kyran Bracken (rugby player)
  • Ulrika Jonsson (TV presenter)
  • Stephen Gateley (ex-Boyzone singer)
  • Neil Fox (fake doctor and DJ)
  • Emily Symons (Emmerdale actress)
  • Lisa Scott-Lee (ex-Steps singer)
  • Lee Sharpe (ex-footballer)
  • Kay Burley (Sky News presenter)
  • Clare Buckfield (actress)
  • Phil Gayle (newsreader)
  • Duncan James (ex-Blue singer)


  • Suzanne Shaw (ex-Hear'Say singer)
  • Gareth Gates (sometime Pop Idol runner-up)
  • Samantha Mumba (ex-pop star and actor)
  • Tim Vincent (TV presenter)
  • Greg Rusedski (ex-tennis player)
  • Sarah Greene (TV presenter)
  • Chris Fountain (ex-Hollyoaks actor)
  • Linda Lusardi (ex-Emmerdale actress and model)
  • Aggie Mackenzie (How Clean is Your House? host)
  • Michael Underwood (TV presenter and game show veteran)
  • Zaraah Abrahams (ex-Coronation Street actress)
  • Natalie Pinkham (sports presenter)
  • Steve Backley (javelin athlete)


  • Ray Quinn (The X Factor runner-up 2006)
  • Gemma Bissix (ex-Hollyoaks and Eastenders actress)
  • Todd Carty (Grange Hill's Tucker Jenkins)
  • Jeremy Edwards (Hollyoaks and Holby City actor)
  • Ellery Hanley (rugby player)
  • Graeme Le Saux (football player)
  • Donal MacIntyre (investigative journalist)
  • Melinda Messenger (Fort Boyard frontswoman)
  • Coleen Nolan (Loose Women presenter)
  • Roxanne Pallett (Emmerdale actress and Soapstar Superstar veteran)
  • Zoe Salmon (Blue Peter presenter)
  • Jessica Taylor (singer with Popstars failures Liberty X)
  • Michael Underwood (returning following injury)


  • Hayley Tamaddon (ex-Emmerdale actress)
  • Emily Atack (The Inbetweeners actress)
  • Sharron Davies (swimmer/presenter)
  • Bobby Davro (comedian)
  • Mikey Graham (Boyzone singer)
  • Doctor Hilary Jones (doctor)
  • Gary Lucy (The Bill actor)
  • Heather Mills (ex-model and tabloid hate-figure)
  • Tana Ramsay (Gordon's missus)
  • Kieron Richardson (Hollyoaks actor)
  • Jeremy Sheffield (ex-Holby City actor)
  • Sinitta (singer and friend of Simon Cowell)
  • Danniella Westbrook (EastEnders actress)
  • Danny Young (ex-Coronation Street actor)


  • Steven Arnold (ex-Coronation Street actor)
  • Sam Attwater (ex-EastEnders actor)
  • Lance Corporal Johnson Beharry (Victoria Cross winner)
  • Jeff Brazier (TV presenter)
  • Dominic Cork (cricketer)
  • Laura Hamilton (Nickelodeon presenter)
  • Vanilla Ice (rapper)
  • Kerry Katona (ex-Atomic Kitten singer)
  • Chloe Madeley (daughter of Richard & Judy)
  • Craig McLachlan (ex-Neighbours actor)
  • Jennifer Metcalfe (Hollyoaks actress)
  • Angela Rippon (former Dancing on Ice guest judge)
  • Ellen Rives (Frank Lampard's ex)
  • Nadia Sawalha (TV presenter)
  • Dave Vitty (Comedy Dave from Chris Moyles radio show)
  • Denise Welch (Loose Woman)


  • Andy Akinwolere (former Blue Peter presenter)
  • Chemmy Alcott (alpine skier)
  • Rosemary Conley (fitness expert)
  • Jennifer Ellison (actress)
  • Corey Feldman (former child actor)
  • Sébastien Foucan (freerunning creator)
  • Chesney Hawkes (singer)*
  • Laila Morse (EastEnders actress)
  • Sam Nixon (TV presenter and one half of Sam and Mark)
  • Jorgie Porter (Hollyoaks actress)
  • Heidi Range (Sugababes singer)
  • Mark Rhodes (TV presenter and the other half of Sam and Mark)
  • Chico Slimani (ex-X Factor contestant)*
  • Charlene Tilton (actress)
  • Andy Whyment (Coronation Street actor)
  • Matthew Wolfenden (Emmerdale actor)

* - Chesney Hawkes was announced as a participant. However, days before the series began, he suffered a severe ankle sprain and a fractured fibula during training, and was replaced by Chico Slimani.


  • Pamela Anderson (Baywatch star)
  • Luke Campbell (boxer)
  • Keith Chegwin (TV presenter)*
  • Samia Ghadie (Maria Connor on Coronation Street)
  • Lauren Goodger (from The Only Way is Essex)
  • Oona King (Baroness and former MP)
  • Matt Lapinskas (Antony Moon from Eastenders)
  • Joe Pasquale (TV presenter and king of the Jungle 2004)
  • Gareth Thomas (rugby player)
  • Anthea Turner (TV presenter)
  • Beth Tweddle (gymnast)
  • Shayne Ward (The X Factor winner 2005)

* - Keith Chegwin was scheduled to take part in the 2012 series of the programme, but fell during training, breaking several ribs, thereby forcing him to withdraw from that year's competition.

An All-Stars series, featuring contestants from previous years.

  • Bonnie Langford (third in 2006)
  • David Seaman (fourth in 2006)
  • Kyran Bracken (winner in 2007)
  • Suzanne Shaw (winner in 2008)
  • Zaraah Abrahams (third in 2008)
  • Gareth Gates (fourth in 2008)
  • Ray Quinn (winner in 2009)
  • Todd Carty (ninth in 2009)
  • Hayley Tamaddon (winner in 2010)
  • Gary Lucy (second in 2010)
  • Sam Attwater (winner in 2011)
  • Jorgie Porter (second in 2012)
  • Beth Tweddle (winner in 2013)
  • Joe Pasquale (sixth in 2013)


  • Donna Air (television presenter)
  • Alex Beresford (Good Morning Britain weatherman)
  • Cheryl Baker (Bucks Fizz singer)
  • Candice Brown (Bake Off winner 2016)
  • Kem Cetinay (Love Island winner 2017)
  • Antony Cotton (Sean Tully on Coronation Street)
  • Max Evans (played rugby for Scotland)
  • Lemar (Fame Academy singer)
  • Jake Quickenden (The X Factor and I'm a Celebrity contestant)
  • Perri Shakes-Drayton (sprinter)
  • Brooke Vincent (Sophie Webster on Coronation Street)
  • Stephanie Waring (Cindy Cunningham on Hollyoaks)


  • Saara Aalto (The X Factor runner-up)
  • Richard Blackwood (entertainer)
  • Gemma Collins (The Only Way is Essex)
  • Didi Conn (Frenchie in Grease)
  • Jane Danson (Leanne Battersby from Coronation Street)
  • James Jordan (former Strictly Come Dancing professional)
  • Saira Khan (business television presenter)
  • Mark Little (Neighbours star)
  • Brian McFadden (20% of Westlife)
  • Wes Nelson (from Love Island)
  • Ryan Sidebottom (cricketer)
  • Melody Thornton (one of the Pussycat Dolls)


  • Caprice Bourret (model)
  • Radzi Chinyanganya (Blue Peter and Cannonball host)
  • Libby Clegg (sprinter)
  • Trisha Goddard (from Trisha)
  • Ben Hanlin (magician)
  • Maura Higgins (Love Island finalist)
  • Perri Kiely (from Diversity)
  • Kevin Kilbane (footballer)
  • Lucrezia Millarini (ITV News host)
  • Joe Swash (I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! winner)
  • Ian "H" Watkins (H from Steps)

Michael Barrymore had been announced as one of the contestants, but had to withdraw after sustaining an injury while training. He was replaced by Radzi Chinyanganya.


  • Graham Bell (skier)
  • Faye Brookes (Kate Connor on Coronation Street)
  • Jason Donovan (actor)
  • Rufus Hound (comedian)
  • Colin Jackson (hurdler)
  • Sonny Jay (broadcaster)
  • Myleene Klass (Popstar)
  • Lady Leshurr (rapper)
  • Joe-Warren Plant (Jacob Gallagher on Emmerdale)
  • Matt Richardson (telly host)
  • Billie Shepherd (from The Only Way is Essex)
  • Amy Tinkler (gymnast)
  • Denise Van Outen (telly host)
  • Rebekah Vardy (footballer's wife)

A lot of replacements in this series, through injury and illness. Denise Van Outen, Rufus Hound, Billie Shepherd, Joe-Warren Plant, and Jason Donovan all pulled out; the first two were replaced by Amy Tinkler and Matt Richardson. The later run of withdrawals caused the show to take a mid-season break, and to conclude a week earlier than scheduled.


  • Connor Ball (from The Vamps)
  • Bez (from Happy Mondays)
  • Brendan Cole (former Strictly Come Dancing star)
  • Sally Dynevor (Sally Metcalfe on Coronation Street)
  • Ben Foden (rugby player)
  • Regan Gascoigne (footballer's son)
  • Ria Hebden (television presenter)
  • Liberty Poole (from Love Island)
  • Stef Reid (athlete)
  • Rachel Stevens (from S Club 7)
  • Kye Whyte (BMX cyclist)
  • Kimberly Wyatt (singer and dancer)


  • Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu (Love Island winner)
  • Joey Essex (former The Only Way is Essex star)
  • John Fashanu (Gladiators)
  • Mollie Gallagher (Coronation Street)
  • Darren Harriott (stand-up comic)
  • Michelle Heaton (Popstars contestant and member of Liberty X)
  • Siva Kaneswaran (singer of The Wanted)
  • Patsy Palmer (Bianca on Eastenders)
  • Carley Stenson (Hollyoaks Steph Cunningham)
  • The Vivienne (RuPaul's Drag Race UK winner)
  • Nile Wilson (gymnast)


  • Amber Davies (Love Island winner)
  • Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards (ski-jumper)
  • Ricky Hatton (boxer)
  • Miles Nazaire (from Made in Chelsea)
  • Ricky Norwood ("Fatboy" on Eastenders)
  • Adele Roberts (radio presenter)
  • Greg Rutherford (long jumper)
  • Lou Sanders (stand-up comedian)
  • Roxy Shahidi (Emmerdale's Leyla Harding)
  • Hannah Spearritt (from S Club 7)
  • Claire Sweeney (from Brookside and Coronation Street)
  • Ryan Thomas (reigning Celebrity Big Brother champ)

Dancing on Ice Goes Gold, a special edition involving sports stars, was shown on 22 July 2012:

  • Jamie Baulch (sprint relay)
  • Gail Emms (badminton)
  • Colin Jackson (hurdles)
  • Olga Korbut (gymnast)
  • Tessa Sanderson (javelin)
  • Steve Williams (rowing)
  • Pippa Wilson (Yngling sailing)

Web links

Wikipedia entry

The show publicised the hashtags #dancingonice and later #DOI.

See also

Weaver's Week review


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