After weeks of speculation, the TV hit - dubbed “the greatest show on ice” - will return to its prime time spot, with long-time host Phillip Schofield, warning fans “we have a real competition on our hands this year”.
The veteran presenter will be joined rink side by This Morning co-star, Holly Willoughby; whilst Torvill and Dean and Ashley Banjo resume their seat on the judge’s panel, joined by newbie and Strictly Come Dancing star Oti Mabuse.
The 12 celebs set to strap on their skates are Coronation Street actress Sally Dynevor, Happy Mondays dancer Bez, Paralympian Stef Reid, Love Island’s Liberty Poole, rugby star Ben Foden, Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt, Paul Gascoigne’s son, dancer Regan, pop star Rachel Stevens, professional dancer Brendan Cole, presenter Ria Hebden, BMX Olympic medallist Kye Whyte and The Vamps’ Connor Ball.
But who will take the crown, alongside their professional partner? And will Covid cause problems for the dancers?
Schofield says of the 14th series: “It will be great to have everybody back and with a little bit of luck we will make it through unscathed. It’s no secret we really struggled to get it on air last year but we’re back, we are confident, and the line-up is amazing.
Mabuse replaces John Barrowman and Schofield adds: “Oti will definitely be the one to pick them up on their dancing skills and that’s really important. So, you’ve got Ashley with the overall showbiz nature and difficulty with the moves; obviously Jayne and Chris who have ice skating sewn up; and then you’ve got Oti, who knows exactly what’s required. She will be a great part of the team.”
As for the celebs, Schofield says: “I think there is more than one person who is going to wow this year. You’ve got dancers who I think are going to do particularly well, and I think Kye Whyte is fearless so that always helps when you’ve got someone who isn’t actually scared of the ice or scared of breaking something!
“They are all friends, and it is a lovely family. Every so often there are scraps in every family but it’s mostly a family. You always find, well certainly with the sports people, that they take it very seriously and are so self-critical and they beat themselves up.”