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Ex-Dancing On Ice judge Jason Gardiner SLAMS the show for going ahead during the Covid-19 crisis

Jason Gardiner has slammed Dancing On Ice for going ahead with its 13th season amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The former judge, 49, hit out at ITV’s decision to bring the show back in a new interview with The Sun on Saturday, in which he labelled the programme a ‘fail’.

ITV confirmed on Friday that Dancing On Ice has been cut short after five celebrities were forced to quit due to injury and coronavirus.

Savage: Ex-Dancing On Ice judge Jason Gardiner slammed the show for going ahead during the Covid-19 crisis and labelled the programme a ‘classic fail’ in a new interview on Saturday

Sharing his displeasure at the show returning, Jason said: ‘They should never have done it in the first place and it’s playing out now they’re going to have to shorten the show — that’s a classic fail, in my view.

‘There’s also the extra pressure on the NHS. There are adverts telling us to stay home, every injury and hospital appointment is obviously a strain the NHS does not need right now.

‘In their minds the public needs entertaining, and they do, but people are worn down. I think that’s why there has been a lot of injuries, they’re not mentally strong enough.’

Hitting out: Sharing his displeasure at the show returning, Jason said: 'They should never have done it in the first place and it's playing out now they're going to have to shorten the show'

Hitting out: Sharing his displeasure at the show returning, Jason said: ‘They should never have done it in the first place and it’s playing out now they’re going to have to shorten the show’

Jason went on to say he felt the show was ‘too toxic’ by the time he left in 2019 and he struggled with his mental health, so much so that he was left in ‘some very dark times’.

He added that he had tried to watch the latest series but felt it was ‘flat’ and ‘predictable’, and claimed it was obvious the stars were under so much pressure they looked worn down while skating.

Jason, who was known for his harsh critiques on the show, also claimed he thought the judges were being too nice to contestants because of the current climate.  

Thoughts: Jason (pictured on the show in 2019) added: 'Every injury and hospital appointment is obviously a strain the NHS does not need right now'

Thoughts: Jason (pictured on the show in 2019) added: ‘Every injury and hospital appointment is obviously a strain the NHS does not need right now’

On Friday, ITV confirmed that the show’s finale will now be taking place on Sunday March 14, instead of the original date of March 21.

A spokesperson for the show said in a statement: ‘ITV have taken the decision to move the final of Dancing on Ice forward by one week. The competition’s final will now take place on Sunday 14th March.

‘Our production team and cast have delivered a fantastic show during incredibly challenging times. 

‘Continuing to make the best TV for our viewers is our top priority and we look forward to the rest of the series, on air from this Sunday at 6pm.’

Shock: On Friday, ITV confirmed that the show would be cut short after five stars have had to quit due to injuries and getting Covid-19 (Jason Donovan and Alexandra Schauman pictured)

Shock: On Friday, ITV confirmed that the show would be cut short after five stars have had to quit due to injuries and getting Covid-19 (Jason Donovan and Alexandra Schauman pictured)

Changes: It was confirmed that the show's finale would now be taking place on Sunday March 14, instead of the original date of March 21 (Billie Faiers and Mark Hanretty pictured)

Changes: It was confirmed that the show’s finale would now be taking place on Sunday March 14, instead of the original date of March 21 (Billie Faiers and Mark Hanretty pictured)

The show was cancelled last week after several celebrity contestants quit due to their skating injuries and positive coronavirus tests.   

Jason Donovan was the latest celebrity to depart the show following a back injury, as he announced on Monday that he would not be returning to the ITV show. 

He became the fifth star to bow out of the ‘cursed’ competition after Denise Van Outen and Billie Faiers had to leave due to injuries and Rufus Hound and Joe-Warren Plant were axed following positive Covid test results.    

Choice: A spokesperson for the show said in a statement: 'ITV have taken the decision to move the final of Dancing on Ice forward by one week'

 Choice: A spokesperson for the show said in a statement: ‘ITV have taken the decision to move the final of Dancing on Ice forward by one week’

Difficult decision: The show was cancelled last week after several celebrity contestants quit the show (Faye Brooks and Hamish Gaman pictured)

Difficult decision: The show was cancelled last week after several celebrity contestants quit the show (Faye Brooks and Hamish Gaman pictured)

Following Jason’s departure, ITV said in a statement: ‘Jason Donovan has brought us so much joy with his performances on Dancing On Ice – from Priscilla through to the tango. 

‘Our thanks go to Jason and his partner Alex for being so wonderful and committed to the series. We’re sorry to see them leave and we wish Jason a speedy recovery.’ 

Jason had previously announced he’d pulled out of the Valentine’s Day live episode after being advised to rest due to a back injury, but had vowed to return.

It was then revealed all of DOI would be taking a weeks break and the show did not air on Sunday (February 21), to give skaters time to recover following a series of axes.

He's out! Jason became the fifth star to bow out of the 'cursed' competition following Denise Van Outen, Billie Faiers,  Rufus Hound and Joe-Warren Plant's departures

He’s out! Jason became the fifth star to bow out of the ‘cursed’ competition following Denise Van Outen, Billie Faiers,  Rufus Hound and Joe-Warren Plant’s departures

Jason, who has since shared clips of himself undergoing electric physio treatment, said in a statement at the time: ‘I’ve had back pain the past couple of days and I’m under doctor’s orders to take it easy and sit this week out. 

‘I’m resting up, I’ll be watching from home and cheering everyone on and I look forward to returning next week.’ 

However on Monday the actor announced his permanent exit from the competition, sharing a video to Facebook as he told fans he’s ‘completely gutted’ to withdraw.

Jason said: ‘I am devastated to announce that due to this ongoing back issue which occurred on DOI about 10 days ago and at the advice of my medical team in the show that unfortunately I can’t continue the competition and therefore have to withdraw.

'Ongoing back issue': Speaking in a video shared on Facebook on Monday, the performer said the injury 'occurred on DOI about 10 days ago' and he had to leave on the advice of doctors

‘Ongoing back issue’: Speaking in a video shared on Facebook on Monday, the performer said the injury ‘occurred on DOI about 10 days ago’ and he had to leave on the advice of doctors

‘It’s a nightmare and I’m completely gutted, we put so much work into getting to this point, but I have to respect my heath and body moving forward and that’s my biggest priority.’ 

The actor continued by thanking everyone at Dancing On Ice, from the judges to the hosts and crew, for their support during his stint on the rink.

He continued: ‘And I want to thank the celebs whose become friends and the pros who just do such a good job with us all. I want to thank the fans for voting for me. 

'Gutted': Jason said he was devastated to leave the competition and thanked his pro partner Alexandra who'd been 'a beacon of support' (pictured on the show in January)

‘Gutted’: Jason said he was devastated to leave the competition and thanked his pro partner Alexandra who’d been ‘a beacon of support’ (pictured on the show in January)

‘At times those costumes were colourful and moves slightly dubious but we tried! We went out there and gave it our best.’

However his biggest praise was saved for his ‘patient’ professional partner Alex, who he called a ‘beacon of support’ during the competition. 

Jason gushed: ‘Most importantly I want to thank Alex, my dance partner who has been a beacon of support and believed in me at times I didn’t even believe in myself.

‘She’s been patient and that time we’ve spent together on the ice rehearsing and getting these routines has been what this whole experience has been about, and that friendship that I have with her goes beyond the show.’

Oh dear: Denise (pictured with Matt Evers last month) was forced to drop out too, after she dislocated her shoulder

Oh dear: Denise (pictured with Matt Evers last month) was forced to drop out too, after she dislocated her shoulder

Dropping numbers: Reality star Billie was the second celebrity to leave the show when she suffered a concussion in training

Dropping numbers: Reality star Billie was the second celebrity to leave the show when she suffered a concussion in training

The star finished his emotional video by saying: ‘I want to wish everyone the best for the series, I will be sitting at home this Sunday night and watching and cheering you all on. In the meantime, stay safe and stay healthy and take lots of care.’

This year’s series has been hit by a long line of celeb exits, leaving some to think the season is ‘cursed’, and producers to run out of ‘back ups’ for the first time.

Emmerdale’s Joe-Warren and his pro partner Vanessa were forced to withdraw after they both tested positive for COVID-19 while Denise exited the show after injuring her shoulder in three places and dislocating it.

Billie was then forced to quit the competition after hitting her head and suffering from a concussion, while Rufus announced his shock exit after testing positive for coronavirus. 

Another drop out: Comedian Rufus quit the show entirely, after testing positive for COVID-19

Another drop out: Comedian Rufus quit the show entirely, after testing positive for COVID-19

As well as the celebs, pro skater Yebin Mok, who was partnered with Graham Bell, had to bow out of the show following a freak accident which saw her suffer ‘a very nasty wound from an ice blade’.  

And skater Hamish, who had been competing with Faye,  also withdrew from the series following an injury while putting on a sock.  

News of Jason’s exit from the show follows speculation that Joe-Warren and Vanessa may return after completing their 10-day Covid isolation.

According to the Sun, if the Emmerdale actor and his pro partner receive a negative test before the next show they will be allowed to return, after it was announced on Friday they would be leaving the programme. 

It has previously been stated by the skating show that one positive test would mean permanent exclusion from the series.

Upset: Joe-Warren and his partner Vanessa were forced to withdraw after they tested positive for Covid, but there's speculation they could return after their 10-day isolation

Upset: Joe-Warren and his partner Vanessa were forced to withdraw after they tested positive for Covid, but there’s speculation they could return after their 10-day isolation

However due to the show’s dropping number of contestants due to several injuries, it is no surprise they appear to be considering revising the rules.

It is understood that bosses have not extended the same offer to other pairings because they all missed more than one public vote. 

Joe-Warren and Vanessa will likely be allowed to return as they have only missed one week of the public vote due to their positive Covid test.

MailOnline contacted Dancing On Ice, Joe-Warren and Vanessa’s representatives for further comment at the time. 

Dancing On Ice will continue this Sunday at 6pm with Rebekah Vardy, Lady Leshurr, Colin Jackson, Sonny Jay and Faye Brookes remaining in the competition.

Dancing On Ice 2021: The ‘Cursed’ Series

January 13

Graham Bell’s partner Yebin Mok suffers a freak accident after suffering ‘a very nasty wound from an ice blade’. 

While it was initially thought she would return to the competition, the injuries were worse than anticipated and she was replaced by Karina Manta. They were voted out the following weekend.

Ouch! Graham Bell's partner Yebin Mok suffers a freak accident after suffering 'a very nasty wound from an ice blade'

Ouch! Graham Bell’s partner Yebin Mok suffers a freak accident after suffering ‘a very nasty wound from an ice blade’

Out! While it was initially thought she would return to the competition, the injuries were worse than anticipated and she was replaced

Out! While it was initially thought she would return to the competition, the injuries were worse than anticipated and she was replaced

January 26

Denise Van Outen announces she’s quit Dancing On Ice after learning she’d fractured her shoulder in an accident during training. 

The presenter, 46, shared an Instagram statement telling fans she’d withdrawn the show after being told by doctors the injury would leave her severely limited in training.

Denise was replaced by retired Olympic gymnast Amy Tinkler, 21, who made her debut on the ice the following weekend alongside pro Joe Johnson. Amy and Joe were voted off on February 14.

Injury! Denise Van Outen announced she'd quit after fracturing her shoulder in training

Injury! Denise Van Outen announced she’d quit after fracturing her shoulder in training

Gone! The presenter told fans she'd withdrawn the show after being told by doctors the injury would leave her severely limited in training [pictured with pro partner Matt Evers]

Gone! The presenter told fans she’d withdrawn the show after being told by doctors the injury would leave her severely limited in training [pictured with pro partner Matt Evers]

January 28 

Billie Shepherd reveals her grandmother Wendy has tragically passed away. She died age 77 from pneumonia.

In the wake of the news it was revealed that the former TOWIE star wouldn’t appear in the next episode of the ITV skating show following the death.

January 31

Rufus Hound misses the live show due to coming into contact with someone with COVID-19.

Positive! Rufus Hound quit the show entirely, after testing positive for COVID-19

Positive! Rufus Hound quit the show entirely, after testing positive for COVID-19

February 3 

Rufus Hound quits the show entirely, after testing positive for COVID-19. 

The comedian, 41, took to Twitter to announce the news. He posted an accompanying video message explaining why he regretfully had to withdraw from the ITV skating competition.

Show bosses confirmed that Rufus and his professional partner Robin Johnstone would be both be stepping down and replaced by Matt Richardson, 29, and his pro-skater partner Vicky Ogden.

They were voted out after just one performance. 

Tragedy! Billie Shepherd's grandmother died, after which she suffered a concussion and had to pull out [pictured with pro Mark Hanretty]

Tragedy! Billie Shepherd’s grandmother died, after which she suffered a concussion and had to pull out [pictured with pro Mark Hanretty]

February 6  

Billie Shepherd is forced to quit the show after suffering a concussion following a fall in training. 

The Mummy Diaries star, 31, reportedly went to hospital for an MRI scan after being left unconscious following the accident.

The next day, Billie shared a photo of herself with professional partner Mark Hanretty from their ‘first and last’ dance as she confirmed her exit.

An ITV representative also confirmed to MailOnline that Billie would not be replaced for the remainder of the competition. 

Next out! Joe-Warren Plant was the fourth celebrity forced to bow out after he tested positive for coronavirus

Next out! Joe-Warren Plant was the fourth celebrity forced to bow out after he tested positive for coronavirus

Crestfallen! The Emmerdale actor, 18, said he was 'disappointed' to not be able to continue with the show, while his skating partner Vanessa Bauer, 24, said she was 'heartbroken'

Crestfallen! The Emmerdale actor, 18, said he was ‘disappointed’ to not be able to continue with the show, while his skating partner Vanessa Bauer, 24, said she was ‘heartbroken’

February 12

Joe-Warren Plant becomes the fourth celebrity forced to bow out after he tested positive for coronavirus.

The Emmerdale actor, 18, said he was ‘disappointed’ to not be able to continue with the show, while his skating partner Vanessa Bauer, 24, said she was ‘heartbroken’.

The professional skater revealed the pair got the ‘shock’ phone call during rehearsals on Thursday evening and said they ‘both feel fine’.

February 14

Jason Donovan, 52, pulls out of the Valentine’s Day live show with the star being advised to rest after suffering from back pain.

The former Neighbours actor said in a statement: ‘I’ve had back pain the past couple of days and I’m under doctor’s orders to take it easy and sit this week out. 

‘I’m resting up, I’ll be watching from home and cheering everyone on and I look forward to returning next week.’

He sent a video message into the show wishing his fellow contestants luck for the episode. 

Painful! Jason Donovan, 52, pulled out of the Valentine's Day live show with the star being advised to rest after suffering from back pain

Painful! Jason Donovan, 52, pulled out of the Valentine’s Day live show with the star being advised to rest after suffering from back pain

Another one bites the dust! Hamish Gamin was forced to bow out after injuring his hand 'whilst putting on a sock'

Another one bites the dust! Hamish Gamin was forced to bow out after injuring his hand ‘whilst putting on a sock’

February 15

ITV announce that Dancing On Ice will not air on February 21, but will be back, live on February 28. 

The purpose of the break was to allow the stars a week off to give both cast and crew a chance to ‘recharge and rest up’.

In a statement from an ITV spokesperson, it was revealed that show bosses felt it ‘prudent to take a week’s break at this juncture’ to protect ‘the welfare of all of those involved.’

February 16

Pro skater Hamish Gaman quits what is increasingly being referred to as the ‘cursed’ show. 

Hamish, 37, is forced to bow out after injuring his hand ‘whilst putting on a sock’.

An ITV spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘Sadly we can confirm that Hamish Gaman, who has been partnered with Faye Brookes, has had to withdraw from the competition.

‘We thank him for all his hard work and wish him the very best as he takes some time out to allow his injury to fully heal.’

Faye remains in the competition but is instead partnered with Matt Evers, who was previously partnered with Denise Van Outen.   

Bye! An ITV spokesperson told MailOnlin - 'Sadly we can confirm that Hamish Gaman, who has been partnered with Faye Brookes, has had to withdraw from the competition'

Bye! An ITV spokesperson told MailOnlin – ‘Sadly we can confirm that Hamish Gaman, who has been partnered with Faye Brookes, has had to withdraw from the competition’

February 22

Jason Donovan quits the show after failing to recover from a back injury.

The Neighbours star, 52, had pulled out of the Valentine’s Day live episode to recover but on the advice of medics is not returning to the competition. 

He announced the news on Facebook, saying he’s ‘completely gutted’ to leave as he thanked his pro partner Alexandra Schauman for all her support. 

Jason said: ‘I am devastated to announce that due to this ongoing back issue which occurred on DOI about 10 days ago and at the advice of my medical team in the show that unfortunately I can’t continue the competition and therefore have to withdraw.    

‘It’s a nightmare and I’m completely gutted, we put so much work into getting to this point, but I have to respect my health and body moving forward and that’s my biggest priority.’

February 26

ITV confirmed that the show’s finale will now be taking place on Sunday March 14, instead of the original date of March 21

A spokesperson for the show said in a statement: ‘ITV have taken the decision to move the final of Dancing on Ice forward by one week. 

‘The competition’s final will now take place on Sunday 14th March. Our production team and cast have delivered a fantastic show during incredibly challenging times.

‘Continuing to make the best TV for our viewers is our top priority and we look forward to the rest of the series, on air from this Sunday at 6pm.’

Another exit: Jason Donovan quits the show after failing to recover from a back injury, announcing the news on Facebook (pictured with Alexandra Schauman in February)

Another exit: Jason Donovan quits the show after failing to recover from a back injury, announcing the news on Facebook (pictured with Alexandra Schauman in February)


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