Denise Van Outen and Jason Donovan to kick off new series of Dancing On Ice

The celebrities have been training for weeks ahead of show launch
Denise Van Outen and Jason Donovan to kick off new series of Dancing On Ice

 Dancing On Ice contestant Denise Van Outen

Denise van Outen and Jason Donovan are to kick off a new series of Dancing On Ice on Sunday.

The skating competition will again be presented by Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, with the expert judging panel of Jayne Torvill, Christopher Dean, entertainer and actor John Barrowman and Diversity choreographer and dancer Ashley Banjo.

The celebrities have been training for weeks ahead of the launch show, which is subject to strict coronavirus rules.

While former Olympic ice dancing champions Torvill and Dean will have to social distance throughout the competition, they have pre-recorded some routines to be aired during the series.

Six of the competition's 12 couples will perform in week one, including actress and TV presenter van Outen, actors Donovan and Joe-Warren Plant, comedian Rufus Hound, media personality Rebekah Vardy and rapper Lady Leshurr.

During rehearsals for the programme, van Outen partially dislocated her shoulder after suffering a fall, however it is understood that she is still expected to perform.

Earlier this week, Willoughby said it had been a huge effort to prepare to broadcast this year's show.

"It's a massive production and in normal years it's quite a feat getting this show to air," she said.

"So you can imagine this year, more than ever, it's come with challenges and one that the team have seen off at every point, and they have done it and it is quite remarkable, actually.

"I think we are all always proud of our team, but this year more than ever."

Former Olympic skier Graham Bell will not be performing with his partner Yebin Mok during the first episode after she was injured during training when her leg was badly cut by a skate blade.

He will instead be performing in week two with Karina Manta while Mok continues to recover.

Vardy's professional skate partner Andy Buchanan was also injured during training when his face was sliced by one of her blades.

Other celebrities taking part in the series include Coronation Street's Faye Brookes, Towie cast member Billie Faiers, former Olympic hurdler Colin Jackson, television presenter Mylene Klass and radio host Sonny Jay.

Dancing On Ice airs at 6pm on Sunday on ITV.

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