By Alex Green, PA Senior Entertainment Reporter
Dancing On Ice host Phillip Schofield has described the show as “incredibly dangerous” but stressed it has “contingency plans for everything” ahead of its return.
The ITV celebrity skating show will be back on TV screens in January with a star-studded line-up, including Coronation Street actress Sally Dynevor, Love Island’s Liberty Poole and Happy Mondays dancer Bez.
The last series, which was won by Capital FM presenter Sonny Jay, took place amid the pandemic and saw a number of celebrities withdraw after being injured or testing positive.
Speaking during an online panel, Schofield described the series as “fun but scary”.
He added: “You never want to see anybody hurt but we have had people hurt.
“I think it is incredibly dangerous. Ice skates are very sharp and so we have had nasty cuts, we have had big falls. And a fall is always great fun so long as nobody hurts themselves. That’s the bottom line.
“We have contingency plans for everything, whether you cut to us, whether you go to a break, whether we just all go home.
“When you have a year like we had last year – and we have been very honest about it, last year was really tough. We had injuries, we had Covid.
“The one thing when you start a series like this all those years ago, is the fact that actually you are going to have to come off. We will have to come off and recover because you can’t do the show. That’s a shocker.”
Schofield, who hosts alongside Holly Willoughby, said he had been banned from the rink by show bosses because he lacked the correct insurance.
— Dancing on Ice (@dancingonice) October 12, 2021
He said: “When we first started I borrowed some skates, went out on the ice, I think Chris (Dean) might have taken me round a bit, Matt Evers took me round.
“I thought, ‘I am going to learn how to skate here, how perfect’.
The presenter added: “I have got the best skaters ever to teach me how to do this. So I skated round and had a bit of a go, and then I looked up and there were about five suits standing on the judging lectern and I thought, ‘That doesn’t look very good’.
“They said, ‘You are not insured, you can’t skate, you have to come off’. I thought that if I take responsibility for myself it’s nobody’s fault if I fall over and hurt myself. I can still do the show with a broken leg. It’s not a problem.
“So the next week I went out again and got into proper, proper trouble. So that was the end of my skating. I was not allowed on the ice.”
Welcome to the Dancing On Ice family, Oti Mabuse! ⛸️❄️
Meet the judges for the brand-new series, returning this January on ITV and ITV Hub. @torvillanddean @OtiMabuse @AshleyBanjo pic.twitter.com/wyJFY3U80a
— Dancing on Ice (@dancingonice) December 22, 2021
Strictly Come Dancing professional Oti Mabuse will replace John Barrowman on the judging panel this series, alongside Ashley Banjo, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean.
Barrowman has said his departure was unrelated to the accusations that he repeatedly exposed himself on the set of Doctor Who and its sister show Torchwood.
The actor, who starred as Captain Jack Harkness, said his exit was prompted by him taking on another role on All Star Musicals, another ITV series.
Guiding the celebrity novices through their routines will be professionals including reigning champion Angela Egan, who lifted the trophy with Jay last series, and Matt Evers, who has been a part of show since its launch in 2006.