Dancing On Ice returned to screens with an action packed launch show on Sunday night, with six of the twelve hopeful celebrity contestants set to showcase their talents on the rink.
Hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield opened the show, with the glamorous duo joking that it was ‘nice to get dressed up’ and be out of ‘elasticated waists’ after months of staying at home amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The This Morning host even displayed golden ticket specially placed inside a plastic wallet to make it ‘sanitised for Phillip’ to ensure all the rules were followed.
It’s back! Dancing On Ice kicked off with hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield celebrating a reason to get dressed up on Sunday night
Jason Donovan kicked off the evening with a suave routine alongside pro partner Alexandra, who has been on the show for seven series and even won the show two years ago.
The performer appeared confident as he completed his routine – even doing the Swan and Rotating Stag moves – and scoring 25 out of 40 to make a not so shabby first score of the season.
Speaking after the routine to Micheal Buble’s version of Moondance, Jason said: ‘It’s tough coming out first, but it’s such a great show and look what we’re doing in this very hard time.. we’re giving people hope.’
While Alex also seemed pleased with their efforts, telling the panel: ‘To be dancing with Jason Donovan, it’s a childhood dream come true!’
Chris, who was acting as head judge on Sunday, praised Jason for his impressive first skate telling him he has ‘lots of style, but a little more substance’ would be good for next time.
The new normal! Phillip grinned as he held up a ‘sanitised for Phillip’ golden ticket inside a plastic wallet
Ashley Banjo also agreed, telling Jason his ‘showmanship’ was eye-catching and could make him a serious contender for the whole show while Jayne Torvill added: ‘Micheal Buble on ice, what can I say!’
The pro skaters opened the show was a fantastic and colourful routine with each duo donning a different coloured costume to create a funky rainbow across the ice.
However judge John Barrowman tried his best to match their sparkling entrance in his own multi-coloured sequin blazer, shaking his stuff as he stepped onto the ice for the first time this year.
Host Holly Willoughby looked radiant as ever as she donned her first outfit for this year’s series.
The TV presenter, 39, was back in action for the new season of the ITV show and donned a pink sheer sleeveless dress for her first night of hosting.
The mother-of-three cut a glamorous figure in the figure hugging garment which featured a sequinned detail and a feathered neckline.
Safe: The ticket will see one lucky couple make it through to musicals week after skating on Sunday
So exciting! Judge John Barrowman could not contain his joy at being back on the ice panel as he rocked a multi-coloured blazer
The dress also featured a tassel detail while Holly styled her platinum blonde locks into loose waves for the evening.
The This Morning star shared a stunning snap of herself to Instagram just before she took to the stage alongside co-host Phillip Schofield.
Alongside the post, Holly told of her delight at the show returning to screens amid the ongoing coronavirus lockdown.
She wrote: ‘Well its back… @dancingonice on @itv at 6pm… it’s incredible that the brilliant team, crew and celebs have made this happened… it’s not been easy and I feel so proud. Gosh it feels good to put a sequin on!’
Stars also attempting to impress with their new-found skating abilities include Rebekah Vardy, Myleene Klass, Billie Faiers, Sonny Jay and Jason Donovan.
The show has managed to return despite the UK being in its third nationwide lockdown, however a few changes had been made to ensure the crew and cast remained safe.
What a way to start! Jason Donovan and his pro partner Alexandra set the standards high for the season
First up: The performer looked like a natural on the ice
Perspex dividers were placed between the judges and no live audience were able to cheer the skaters on as they showed off their skills at Bovingdon Airfield in Hertfordshire.
Competitors have also had to create ‘bubbles’ with their pro partners and ensure social distancing from other couples taking part in the show.
It comes after Denise Van Outen dislocated her shoulder during rehearsals for the big launch night, with the painful moment captured on camera.
And the actress, 46, took quite the tumble in the painful-looking moment, as she’s seen falling on her side on the hard rink. Skating alongside pro partner Matt Evers, Denise is seen losing her footing and falling forward.
The moment Dancing On Ice ‘s Denise Van Outen dislocated her shoulder during rehearsal was captured on camera in harrowing footage
Matt goes to grab her, but she slips from his grasp and tumbles onto the ice. While in another shot, a few moments later, she is seen being tended to by a medic, rink-side.
Denise thanked her fans for their support after she was rushed to hospital on Thursday following the shock fall.
She took to Instagram on Sunday morning to share candid images from a medical centre after partially dislocate her shoulder, and sources say she will still make her debut on the show later in the day.
Media personality Denise also expressed her gratitude towards ITV and her professional partner Matt for ‘taking care of me when I feel like crying’.
The TV star wrote: ‘Thank you for all your lovely messages this morning. Told you I’m clumsy on the ice!.
‘Massive thanks to everyone @itv. (Medics & production) and our glorious @nhswebsite for looking after me because I know how overstretched you are at the moment.
‘Also thank you to @themattevers for being a true friend and taking care of me and making me laugh when I feel like crying ❤️ . @dancingonice @itv #dancingonice.’ (sic)
And the actress, 46, took quite the tumble in the painful-looking moment, as she’s seen falling on her side on the hard rink
‘Told you I’m clumsy!’ Denise thanked her fans for their support after she was rushed to hospital on Thursday following the shock fall
Support: Denise’s partner Eddie Boxshall reveals the DOI star will perform a ‘changed routine’ for launch show
According to The Sun, Denise will perform despite her injury, with an insider claiming: ‘Denise had a huge scare, but she’s determined not to let a dislocated shoulder stop her from performing on the launch show.
‘She’s had huge support from her skating partner Matt Evers. He’s going to be on hand to make sure tonight goes to plan, despite the difficult circumstances.’
In one photo, the mother-of-one appears to be inhaling air through a device, while another picture saw her flashing a thumbs down sign as she held an ice pack up to her forehead.
American pair skater Matt, 44, also posted his well wishes for his pal on social media, branding her ‘the most improved star’ he’s worked with in the competition’s history.
The sportsman, who has served as a dancer on the series since its inception in 2006, said: ‘You’ve come a long way baby!
Unfortunate: The actress took to Instagram on Sunday morning to share candid images from a medical centre after partially dislocating her shoulder
What’s going to happen? The mother-of-one is expected to still make her debut on the show
‘A true friend’: The TOWIE narrator also expressed her gratitude to ITV and her professional partner for ‘taking care of me when I feel like crying’ (pictured above with a medic)
‘Tonight @vanouten_denise is the night! Out of my 13 @dancingonice celebs over the years you get the most improved star. Proof that through hard work and dedication you can make a change and even learn to skate.’ (sic)
TOWIE narrator Denise initially revealed the news to The Sun, stating: ‘I’ve taken a few tumbles since we started training but with this one I knew immediately it wasn’t good.’
Following the assessment at the studio rink at Bovingdon Airfield, Hertfordshire, she was taken to A&E where she had an emergency X-Ray done.
The procedure revealed she had partially dislocated her left shoulder and damaged her tendons, while she was also badly bruised.
According to the publication, Denise was advised to rest in order to recover and help improve her chances of making her debut.
‘You’ve come a long way baby!’ Matt Evers, 44, posted his well wishes for his pal on social media, branding her ‘the most improved star’ he’s worked with in the competition’s history
Denise claimed she couldn’t move her shoulder much following the injury and felt it was ‘touch and go’ whether she could skate before Sunday, though she said she is having ongoing physio.
She added that she and Matt have changed their routine so that she doesn’t put too much strain on her shoulder, if she will be able to skate.
Rather than rush her recovery, Denise explained that she and Matt are taking things ‘hour by hour’ and will make a decision before the show airs.
Following the news, Denise shared a post from Lady Leshurr who wished her a speedy recovery as she shared a picture of them posing in a socially distanced snap.
Fingers crossed: Reflecting on the accident, Denise said she remembered thinking ‘please don’t let it be a break’ after hitting the ice
Despite being a West End star, with professional dance training and prior experience competing in a live TV show following her appearance on Strictly Come Dancing, Denise admitted on Thursday that she’s still ‘petrified’ of doing Dancing On Ice.
She explained: ‘You would not believe it – I would fall over from standing talking but you do get used to it. I am less bruised now, which is good. I am less likely to fall than I was three months ago.
‘I have always been petrified of being on the ice and having an injury and falling. I have fallen over in most of my sessions. I was so nervous when I was first on the ice that my whole body would tense and then I would keep falling over.
‘I am trying to stay relaxed and not think about injuries so much because you can never predict what you’re going to happen when you’re on ice.
‘I hope I can get through the competition and not be taken over by injury. It is scary.’
Helpful: Denise (pictured with Myleene Klass, Lady Leshurr and Sonny Jay) only admitted on Thursday that she’s still ‘petrified’ of doing Dancing On Ice
Safety first: Denise added that she and Matt have changed their routine so that she doesn’t put too much strain on her shoulder, if she will be able to skate
Dancing On Ice pro Yebin Mok was also injured ahead of the show’s launch after celeb Graham Bell ‘lacerated her leg’ during training on Monday.
She was taken to hospital for treatment and is now out of action for a ‘couple of weeks’ while resting and getting physio for her injury. Taking to Instagram after the accident, Yebin said she was ‘absolutely gutted’.
Stars attempting to impress with their new-found skating abilities include Rebekah Vardy, Myleene Klass, Billie Faiers, Sonny Jay and Jason Donovan.
ITV reassured fans on earlier this month that the show will be back as planned despite the UK being plunged into a third lockdown, however a few new precautions will be in place including perspex dividers between the judges and no audience.
The news came amid claims the celebs and their professional skating partners were concerned about coronavirus hitting the show and it being cancelled.
The judging panel will be sat far apart, keeping in line with social distancing measures, and perspex panels will be placed between them.
For the first time in its history the studio at Bovingdon Airfield in Hertfordshire will have no audience, a move mirroring that of Strictly Come Dancing.
The skating celebrities will also watch each other perform from socially-distanced tables to keep everyone safe from COVID-19.
Changes: The new series will see the judges protected by perspex screens and there will be no studio audience amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and there will be no audience
Dancing On Ice 2021: Who are the celebrities?
Profession: Musician and radio host
Myleene says: ‘My girls have always wanted me to do this but I’ve always been too scared someone will skate over my fingers!’
Profession: Actor and singer, best know for playing Scott Robinson in Neighbours
Jason says: ‘To be able to learn a skill and spend some time focused is quite exciting, and I’m looking forward to seeing you guys.’
Profession: Actress best known for her role as Kate Connor in Coronation Street
Faye says: ‘I’m so excited! The producers get to know you and this is the first time I think people are just going to see me, not being a character… Just being me – Faye!’
Profession: Former sprint and hurdling athlete, who has since carved out a career as a TV personality
Colin says: ‘You go out there, you enjoy yourself and you learn a new skill and to hone the skill of skating will just be a huge, huge plus. I’m looking forward to it.’
Profession: TV personality
Rebekah says: ‘I’m really looking forward to getting my teeth into that. I’m going to give my 100% effort for it all.’
Rufus says: ‘I’m doing it for the money. I don’t know if you’ve heard but about six months ago this global pandemic hit and made just about everything I’ve ever done to earn a pound note disappear!’
DENISE VAN OUTEN
Profession: Performer and presenter, best known for The Big Breakfast
Denise says: ‘I’m really excited. Finally, I get to tell people. I’ve kept this a secret from most of my friends and family. Betsy [her daughter] doesn’t even know….’
Profession: Singer and radio presenter, best known for his daily Breakfast Show on Capital Radio
Sonny says: ‘I don’t want to fall over, not in front of the nation. I don’t want to be a meme the next day!’
Profession: Actor best known for his role as Jacob Gallagher in Emmerdale
Joe-Warren says: ‘I’m super excited. I’m glad I have the time off Emmerdale to really focus on training…’
Profession: Former Olympic skier, who is also a TV presenter, adventurer and journalist
Graham says: ‘Ice doesn’t scare me, it’s the dancing… [My experience was confined to] ‘dancing on tables, wearing ski boots in après ski. It’s not graceful and elegant!’
Lady says: ‘I’m petrified, (but) I’ve always wanted to ice skate so what’s better than doing it in front of millions of people.’
Profession: Television personality
Billie says: ‘I am soooo excited to announce that I will be taking part. I still can’t believe I am actually doing it!!’