Axed Dancing On Ice champ Alex Murphy has landed a new job on ITV starring in The Real Full Monty, five months after her ‘heartbreaking’ exit from the skating show.
The US pro, who was told her contract was not being renewed in June after winning the 2020 series with partner Joe Swash, is appearing alongside Dancing on Ice judge Ashley Banjo teaching a troupe of celebrities a stripping routine – this time on ice.
Her new primetime gig will soften the blow of her controversial departure, which ex-EastEnders star Joe, 38, labelled ‘a terrible decision.’
‘It did knock me’: Axed Dancing On Ice champ Alex Murphy has landed a new job on ITV starring in The Real Full Monty, five months after her ‘heartbreaking’ exit from the skating show
Speaking for the first time about leaving DOI in an exclusive new interview with MailOnline, Alex says: ‘I was heartbroken.
‘I was on this massive high because I just won, it was the highlight of my career, and then that was it – and they never gave me a reason.
‘It did knock me a bit – and it’s been hard to adjust to the fact I’m not going back because I absolutely loved that show, probably more than any other pro who has ever competed, because of what it means to me.’
She adds: ‘But I understand things have to change every few years, we’re making live TV, we’re not making competitive figure skating.
Moving on: The pro, who was told her contract was not being renewed in June after winning the 2020 series with Joe Swash, is starring alongside Ashley Banjo teaching a stripping routine
‘I’ll be skating again!’: Her new primetime gig will soften the blow of her controversial departure, which ex-EastEnders star Joe, 38, labelled ‘a terrible decision’
‘And I’m a big believer than everything happens for a reason and sure enough something else came up and I’ll be skating again!’
Alex, 32, will be helping celebs including Love Island star Chris Hughes, 27, ex-glamour model Linda Lusardi, 62, and Welsh rugby legend Gareth Thomas, 46, perfect a raunchy routine to be performed on an ice rink.
The show will be broadcast on ITV this winter and will raise money and awareness for cancer research.
After her dramatic axing in June, Alex was unable to travel home to America to see her family due to lockdown restrictions.
She stayed in the UK with her boyfriend Paul Klein, one half of YouTube pranksters Woody and Kleiny who have recently been signed up by I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! chiefs to front the show’s new TikTok account.
Former champs: Alex will be helping celebs including Love Island’s Chris Hughes and ex-glamour model Linda Lusardi, perfect a raunchy routine to be performed on an ice rink
Alex and Kleiny, who met on E4 series Celebrity Coach Trip last year, had only just started dating but decided to isolate together which saw their relationship blossom.
Now Alex is a regular in Woody and Kleiny’s madcap social media videos which are viewed by millions of fans.
Speaking about their unlikely romance, she says: ‘I met my boyfriend on a TV show and now we make viral videos and social content together – it’s been a crazy year.
‘YouTube pranks are not really something I ever wanted to do, but I’ve always been known as the clown or goofy one within my friends and family, so when people back home saw the videos they said “Alex is now showing her true colours online” – they weren’t really shocked.
Lovers: Alex is in a relationship with Paul Klein, one half of YouTube pranksters Woody and Kleiny who have been signed up by I’m A Celeb chiefs to front the show’s new TikTok account
‘But for other people to see them it must be strange as they’re used to the picture perfect figure skater, so for me it’s been liberating.’
She adds: ‘Figure skaters are told to be perfect. Since we were little it was always ‘your costume has to look right.’
‘Your body type and your hair is a huge thing, the way you present yourself.
‘So I think I’ve just broken down all the walls and social media is a good place to show people what I’m actually like.’
‘I’ve broken down all the walls’: The performer said starring in prankster videos alongside her boyfriend has been ‘liberating’ as her fans are used to seeing ‘the picture perfect figure skater’
Alex is also using her profile to raise awareness of Different Strokes, a charity which helps young survivors, after she suffered a near fatal stroke when she was just 24 – three months before she went on to win the Dutch version of Dancing On Ice.
While skating on cruise liners, she collapsed backstage after a routine and was ‘mute for 12 hours’ as medics desperately tried to rescue her.
‘I was a miracle case according to doctors,’ Alex recalls.
‘I went numb on my right side and my face drooped and I didn’t speak.’
Good cause: Alex is also using her profile to raise awareness of Different Strokes, a charity which helps young survivors, after she suffered a near fatal stroke when she was just 24
Alex’s parents later discovered they had the same condition after being tested and her father nearly died of a stroke a year after Alex had hers, but was saved by her mum who was educated about the warning signs following her daughter’s brush with death and got him hospital quickly.
On her work with Different Strokes, Alex explains: ‘I mentor three kids, aged 18, 19 and 20, and I just talk with them and get them through it as there’s such a strange feeling when you have a stroke, it’s like your brain is rewiring.
‘So to be young and to have your brain still developing, it’s so scary and you just don’t know if you’ll get back to how you used to be.’
For more information, visit differentstrokes.co.uk