Dancing on Ice

Image:Dancing on Ice logo.jpg

Contents

Host

Phillip Schofield (all series) with Holly Willoughby (2006-11), Coleen Nolan (stand-in for Holly Willoughby, episode 8, series 6), Christine Bleakley (2012-4)

Co-hosts

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean

Judges:
Robin Cousins
Jason Gardiner (2006-11, 2013-4)
Karen Barber (2006-10, 2013-4)
Nicky Slater (2006-10)
Karen Kresge (2006)
Natalia Bestemianova (2007)
Ruthie Henshall (2008-9)
Emma Bunton (2010-11)
Louie Spence (2012)
Katarina Witt (2012)
Ashley Roberts (2013-4)

Guest Judges:
Michael Ball (2010)
Angela Rippon (2010)

Head coach:
Karen Barber (2011-2)

Announcer:
Marc Silk (2006)
Bob Lawrence (2007-8)
John Sachs (2009-14)

Commentator:
Tony Gubba
Simon Reed (2013 semi-final and final)

ITV2 coverage (Dancing on Ice: Defrosted): Stephen Mulhern (2006-7)

Other spin-offs:

Dancing on Ice Extra: Andi Peters and Andrea McLean (2006)

Dancing on Ice Exclusive: Ben Shephard (2007)

Dancing on Ice Friday: Ben Shephard and Coleen Nolan (2010)

Broadcast

Granada for ITV1, 14 January to 4 March 2006 (8 episodes in 1 series)

ITV Productions for ITV1, 20 January 2007 to 22 March 2009 (30 episodes in 3 series)

ITV Studios for ITV1, 10 January 2010 to 8 March 2014 (56 episodes in 5 series)

Synopsis

ITV's long-awaited answer to Strictly Come Dancing. A group of (fairly) famous people are tutored in ice dance by Torvill and Dean, and are whittled down week by week until a winner is found.

Torvill, Dean, Schofield and Willoughby attempt to express an emotion through mime. If you can work out which one, please let us know at the usual address.

The number of callbacks to S.C.D. is quite breathtaking - almost as if the director's used the same shot list. There's five judges (from 2011, three) instead of four, and the scores (originally out of six, in half-point steps, but now out of ten - still in half-point steps - so that it remains out of 30 overall) are revealed in on-screen style like an ice dancing competition with only a few chats with the judges. The set appears to be a car crash of leftovers from You Bet! and Ice Warriors, although the glass roof is rather nice. One thing it did initially have over SCD was that the practice of only opening phone lines after everyone has performed was clearly fairer than Strictly's then practice of keeping them open all week. It also benefited from the regular inclusion of themed nights (which Strictly didn't go for until 2010) and "required elements" (refined into "ultimate skills" in 2011) which allowed for a specific point of comparison between the celebs.

Actor Kieron Richardson and professional skater Brianne Delcourt receive their marks from the judges, including stand-in Angela Rippon.

The strange thing is that despite being just about the most derivative show we have ever seen, and despite the inherent limitations of the ice dance format, somehow (and believe us, we're scratching our heads over how on earth this happened) ITV have pretty much pulled it off. And not "pulled it off" as in "yanked it from the schedules after three weeks", either. It doesn't work as well as Strictly Come Dancing in any department (except perhaps in the choice of host), and it does seem to drag a bit over the course of a series, but nevertheless it works. Just about.

Each series includes a "props week". Here, Johnson Beharry and pro skater Jodeyne Higgins perform with doo-wop group The Overtones providing live vocals.

2011 saw a largely positive series of tweaks to the format. Although the new arrangement of the set is a bit of a puzzler (the judges are now up one end of the rink rather than along the side, which can't be an improvement), the show really upped its game with new "twists" - some not as dramatic as they'd clearly hoped for (the "ice pick", in which the elimination vote was given, Fame Academy-style, to the other skaters rather than the judges, was a particularly damp squib) and some a bit awkward (the group routines were a good idea in principle, but the reward - the members of the winning team had their points doubled - unbalanced the scoring that week in a really rather silly way) but mostly quite sound. In particular, the "Ultimate Skills Test" placed a particular emphasis on technical ability at just the right stage of the contest, and the solo performances in the semifinal were a natural extension of the show's premise. The traditional "flying" element of the final (which always promised more than it delivered) was also wisely dropped in favour of Strictly-style showdances. Not everything works, but overall the changes have definitely given the show a lift. One recommendation we would make for future series though: stop forcing those bits of comic business into the script - the contrast between Phil and Holly's natural hosting and the lines imposed on them by the show's credited writer has become so jarring it's getting embarrassing.

2012 saw the ratings slide a little, though the reason for this is moot; we felt the series was lacking a bit of variety, with too many "theme" nights deployed in lieu of proper technical challenges, though ITV appear to have concluded that it was the absence of panto villain judge Jason Gardiner which was to blame. 2013 saw Gardiner return to the panel and a desperate attempt to play up the possibility of ructions between him and Karen Barber. The new four-person panel still awards points individually out of ten, meaning that for the first time the maximum score is forty rather than thirty - the same as Strictly Come Dancing. Which is where we came in...

Make Me a Star

Alongside the 2008 series, there was a spin-off called Dancing on Ice: Make Me a Star, hosted by Willoughby alone, in which amateurs competed for the chance to perform in the main series final. The judges were Torvill and Dean themselves and there was no public vote. This secondary competition returned in 2009, but was incorporated into the main Dancing on Ice results show.

Key moments

Torvill and Dean's regular performance at the start of the Saturday (now Sunday) night show. The old magic's still there, so much so that the duo starred in a performance, featuring contestants from the first two series, in October 2007.

Whenever anyone attempts "The Headbanger", a spectacular and scary move in which the male dancer spins around while holding the female dancer by her ankles and lowering her head to within really not enough distance at all from the ice. If that goes wrong, you're in trouble. There's only been one injury from this so far, when David Seaman's partner hit the ice during a camera rehearsal in the first series - amazingly, not during the actual move but by missing her footing on the recovery. She got away quite lightly with a couple of cuts, but we wonder how much of a delay there is on the live transmission, just in case.

Catchphrases

The show hasn't really produced a proper full-blooded catchphrase, but the closest it's got is probably "...to be revealed after the break". Phil also likes to throw in the odd reference to the dancers at the bottom of the leaderboard being "on thin ice" but it's never really developed from a stock phrase into a catchphrase. Weirdly, as of 2012, both of the aforementioned phrases seem to have been dropped, as if they're deliberately avoiding the cultivation of catchphrases. "The nth couple safe and skating next week is..." might qualify, but it's still a bit weak as catchphrases go. Must try harder, Schofield. C+.

This doesn't really qualify as a visual catchphrase either, but this is probably as good a place as any to note that we like the way he taps his ear to indicate that he's being given the results through his earpiece, lest we should think that he's either (a) reading off cards being held up in the distance, or (b) telepathic.

Theme music

Theme by Paul Farrer. Hear it at Screened Music.

Trivia

The show's working title was... well actually, over the long period between the show being announced and finally making it to air, there were any number of working titles: The Torvill and Dean Project, Skating with Celebrities, Celebrities Dancing on Ice, Skating on Thin Ice, Celebrities on Thin Ice, Stars on Ice, Ice Dance with the Stars... basically, just about every possible permutation seemed to be attached to the show before they settled on the most boring one. Still, you can't say it doesn't live up to its name.

While Robin Cousins was away in Vancouver, commentating on the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, his place on the ice panel was taken by singer Michael Ball, and then by presenter Angela Rippon. When he was away at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, his position of head judge was taken by Karen Barber. The vacant space on the panel was taken by former judge Nicky Slater.

Champions

2006 Gaynor Faye and Daniel Whiston
2007 Kyran Bracken and Melanie Lambert
2008 Suzanne Shaw and Matt Evers
2009 Ray Quinn and Maria Filippov
2010 Hayley Tamaddon and Daniel Whiston
2011 Sam Attwater and Brianne Delcourt
2012 Matthew Wolfenden and Nina Ulanova
2013 Beth Tweddle and Daniel Whiston
2014 Ray Quinn and Maria Filippov

Dancing on Ice Goes Gold: Steve Williams and Katie Stainsby

Participants

2006

  • Gaynor Faye (actress)
  • Andi Peters (TV host)
  • David Seaman (former footballer and Strictly Ice Dancing champion)
  • Bonnie Langford (entertainer)
  • Andrea McLean (TV presenter)
  • Tamara Beckwith (socialite/journalist)
  • Dame Kelly Holmes (last line of the nation's defences)
  • Sean Wilson (Coronation Street actor)
  • John Barrowman (entertainer)
  • Stefan Booth (The Bill actor)

2007

  • Kyran Bracken (rugby player)
  • Ulrika Jonsson (TV presenter)
  • Stephen Gateley (ex-Boyzone singer)
  • Neil Fox (fake doctor and DJ)
  • Emily Symons (Emmerdale actress)
  • Lisa Scott-Lee (ex-Steps singer)
  • Lee Sharpe (ex-footballer)
  • Kay Burley (Sky News presenter)
  • Clare Buckfield (actress)
  • Phil Gayle (newsreader)
  • Duncan James (ex-Blue singer)

2008

  • Suzanne Shaw (ex-Hear'Say singer)
  • Gareth Gates (sometime Pop Idol runner-up)
  • Samantha Mumba (ex-pop star and actor)
  • Tim Vincent (TV presenter)
  • Greg Rusedski (ex-tennis player)
  • Sarah Greene (TV presenter)
  • Chris Fountain (ex-Hollyoaks actor)
  • Linda Lusardi (ex-Emmerdale actress and model)
  • Aggie Mackenzie (How Clean is Your House? host)
  • Michael Underwood (TV presenter and game show veteran)
  • Zaraah Abrahams (ex-Coronation Street actress)
  • Natalie Pinkham (sports presenter)
  • Steve Backley (javelin athlete)

2009

  • Ray Quinn (The X Factor reject
  • Gemma Bissix (ex-Hollyoaks and Eastenders actress)
  • Todd Carty (Grange Hill's Tucker Jenkins)
  • Jeremy Edwards (Hollyoaks and Holby City actor)
  • Ellery Hanley (rugby player)
  • Graeme Le Saux (football player)
  • Donal MacIntyre (investigative journalist)
  • Melinda Messenger (Fort Boyard frontswoman)
  • Coleen Nolan (Loose Women presenter)
  • Roxanne Pallett (Emmerdale actress and Soapstar Superstar veteran)
  • Zoe Salmon (Blue Peter presenter)
  • Jessica Taylor (singer with Popstars failures Liberty X)
  • Michael Underwood (returning following injury)

2010

  • Hayley Tamaddon (ex-Emmerdale actress)
  • Emily Atack (The Inbetweeners actress)
  • Sharron Davies (swimmer/presenter)
  • Bobby Davro (comedian)
  • Mikey Graham (Boyzone singer)
  • Doctor Hilary Jones (doctor)
  • Gary Lucy (The Bill actor)
  • Heather Mills (ex-model and tabloid hate-figure)
  • Tana Ramsay (Gordon's missus)
  • Kieron Richardson (Hollyoaks actor)
  • Jeremy Sheffield (ex-Holby City actor)
  • Sinitta (singer and friend of Simon Cowell)
  • Danniella Westbrook (EastEnders actress)
  • Danny Young (ex-Coronation Street actor)

2011

  • Steven Arnold (ex-Coronation Street actor)
  • Sam Attwater (ex-EastEnders actor)
  • Lance Corporal Johnson Beharry (Victoria Cross winner)
  • Jeff Brazier (TV presenter)
  • Dominic Cork (cricketer)
  • Laura Hamilton (Nickelodeon presenter)
  • Vanilla Ice (rapper)
  • Kerry Katona (ex-Atomic Kitten singer)
  • Chloe Madeley (daughter of Richard & Judy)
  • Craig McLachlan (ex-Neighbours actor)
  • Jennifer Metcalfe (Hollyoaks actress)
  • Angela Rippon (former Dancing on Ice guest judge)
  • Ellen Rives (Frank Lampard's ex)
  • Nadia Sawalha (TV presenter)
  • Dave Vitty (Comedy Dave from Chris Moyles radio show)
  • Denise Welch (Loose Woman)

2012

  • Andy Akinwolere (former Blue Peter presenter)
  • Chemmy Alcott (alpine skier)
  • Rosemary Conley (fitness expert)
  • Jennifer Ellison (actress)
  • Corey Feldman (former child actor)
  • S├ębastien Foucan (freerunning creator)
  • Chesney Hawkes (singer)*
  • Laila Morse (EastEnders actress)
  • Sam Nixon (TV presenter and one half of Sam and Mark)
  • Jorgie Porter (Hollyoaks actress)
  • Heidi Range (Sugababes singer)
  • Mark Rhodes (TV presenter and the other half of Sam and Mark)
  • Chico Slimani (ex-X Factor contestant)*
  • Charlene Tilton (actress)
  • Andy Whyment (Coronation Street actor)
  • Matthew Wolfenden (Emmerdale actor)

* - Chesney Hawkes was announced as a participant. However, days before the series began, he suffered a severe ankle sprain and a fractured fibula during training, and was replaced by Chico Slimani.

2013

  • Pamela Anderson (Baywatch star)
  • Luke Campbell (boxer)
  • Keith Chegwin (TV presenter)*
  • Samia Ghadie (Maria Connor on Coronation Street)
  • Lauren Goodger (from The Only Way is Essex)
  • Oona King (Baroness and former MP)
  • Matt Lapinskas (Antony Moon from Eastenders)
  • Joe Pasquale (TV presenter and king of the Jungle 2004)
  • Gareth Thomas (rugby player)
  • Anthea Turner (TV presenter)
  • Beth Tweddle (gymnast)
  • Shayne Ward (The X Factor winner 2005)

* - Keith Chegwin was scheduled to take part in the 2012 series of the programme, but fell during training, breaking several ribs, thereby forcing him to withdraw from that year's competition.

2014
An All-Stars series, featuring contestants from previous years.

  • Bonnie Langford (third in 2006)
  • David Seaman (fourth in 2006)
  • Kyran Bracken (winner in 2007)
  • Suzanne Shaw (winner in 2008)
  • Zaraah Abrahams (third in 2008)
  • Gareth Gates (fourth in 2008)
  • Ray Quinn (winner in 2009)
  • Todd Carty (ninth in 2009)
  • Hayley Tamaddon (winner in 2010)
  • Gary Lucy (second in 2010)
  • Sam Attwater (winner in 2011)
  • Jorgie Porter (second in 2012)
  • Beth Tweddle (winner in 2013)
  • Joe Pasquale (sixth in 2013)

Dancing on Ice Goes Gold, a special edition involving sports stars, was shown on 22 July 2012:

  • Jamie Baulch (sprint relay)
  • Gail Emms (badminton)
  • Colin Jackson (hurdles)
  • Olga Korbut (gymnast)
  • Tessa Sanderson (javelin)
  • Steve Williams (rowing)
  • Pippa Wilson (Yngling sailing)

Web links

Official site

Wikipedia entry

The show publicised the hashtags #dancingonice and later #DOI.

See also

Weaver's Week review

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