Dancing On Ice: Phillip Schofield jokes he and Holly Willoughby will have to skate amid drop-outs

Denise Van Outen and Matt Evers


46-year-old Denise is a performer and presenter, best known for The Big Breakfast.

Have you got any fitness goals from doing this as well?

Of course. I never used to do any exercise years ago and I do now. I’m 46 and I want to keep my body in shape, tone my bum and thighs and prevent the old middle-aged spread!

Would you say this is the scariest thing you’ve taken on?


How competitive do you feel about it – are you in it to win it?

Well, this is how it is with everything I do – I don’t ever go into anything thinking I’m going to win it but as the game picks up and the competition picks up you do get competitive, you can’t help it. I wouldn’t say I’m like I have to win this. I just want to learn to skate, do the best that I can and hope that I could win it. It’s more proving to myself and enjoying it and learning to do some of the tricks that I’ve watched other people do. But don’t get me wrong – I’d love to do Bolero! I was a kid when I watched that. I’ll always remember seeing Torvill and Dean and just being in awe of them.

How do you feel about skating in front of the panel and are you ready for their feedback?

Yes, I’ve met Jayne and Chris before and I know they don’t mince their words when they critique you. I can take criticism because I’ve had to dish it out myself in the past too. I’ve been a judge so I know what a judge’s role is so I’m ready to take the constructive criticism.

If you were to describe to your pro partner what your strengths and weaknesses are, what would you tell them?

I would say I was a dancer in my youth and the last time I danced was on Strictly which was in 2012. I’m a very good dancer in my kitchen after a few glasses of wine but that’s as far as it goes and I’ve never taken it to the rink! I think if I can master the skating then the old dancing ability will hopefully come back and I can marry the two and hopefully be elegant and graceful…rather than disgraceful.

Angela Egan and Sonny Jay 


Sonny,  27, is a singer and radio presenter, best known for his daily Breakfast Show on Capital Radio.

Apart from learning new skills, have you got any fitness goals?

I really want to get fit. I’ve already started working with a personal trainer. Only because I firstly want to go out every week feeling comfortable and confident. I think if you do feel like that you’ll really perform well. And this is a good opportunity to get fit. I’m hoping I’ll come out of the show in the best shape I’ve ever been in. That’s the goal.

Second to this what is the scariest thing you’ve ever done?

I was on Britain’s Got Talent in 2012 and this is scarier. When I did BGT I was with two other people doing that. That was scarier because I realised it was one of the biggest things I could ever do. This time I’m doing it on my own so I can’t look to my two mates.

How competitive are you and are you in it to win it?

I didn’t realise how competitive I am until I got confirmed for this show and now I want to win it! I don’t think you should ever come onto a show like this and not want to win it. I really want to take it seriously, learn a skill and just do well enough that hopefully people want to see more each week. 

How do you think you’ll react to any potential criticism from the panel?

I don’t mind criticism. I think the judges all actually give constructive criticism and the show for me is all about a journey and if you can come back week after week and be better than the week before that’s what it should be about. Getting Torvill and Dean to give you feedback on skating – I mean you can’t buy that! That’s ridiculous so bring it on.

A lot of people underestimate how rigorous the training schedule can be, how are you feeling about that?

I’m genuinely excited to leave my show in the morning, go on to do something else. I really am. I’ve got a little Vespa and I’m going to nip on my Vespa straight from work to training each day. I’ve got it all planned.

Joe-Warren Plant and Vanessa Bauer 


The 18-year-old actor is best known for his role as Jacob Gallagher in Emmerdale.

How do you think you’ll react to potential criticism from the panel?

It’s part of the experience isn’t it. Criticism is there to help you so you’ve got to take it as it is. It’s not something that I’d be upset by, everybody gets criticism and it’s there to help me become better.

If you had to describe your strengths and weaknesses to your professional partner what would they be?

I wouldn’t say I’m particularly strong so that’s something to work on before trying a headbanger! And my balance isn’t always brilliant BUT I’m unfazed by taking on all the lifts.

What made you decide to take on the show this year?

I think my age. With me being 18 I probably have less of a fear factor. Just felt like a good time to go for it.

Dancing on Ice is renowned for its sequins and fake tan and make up, are you looking forward to that part?

I love all that aspect. I did a bit of theatre some time ago, I played Oliver and I loved it. Getting dressed up in the costumes is all part of the fun and I’m looking forward to it. 

How do you think your castmates at Emmerdale will react to you doing Dancing on Ice?

They’ll be so supportive, Roxy [Shahidi] and Matthew [Wolfenden] especially. Matthew won the show in 2012 of course and he’s always said you should do it to me. He told me it takes a lot of hard work and the dedication has got to be there but I’m ready for it. I know Matthew was really busy with storylines when he did it so he said to me listen, if you were ever to do it remember that it takes a lot of work. He’ll be over the moon for me doing it I think.

Graham Bell and Yebin Mok

Graham, 54, is an ex-Olympic skier, who is also a TV presenter, adventurer and journalist…

In it to win it? 

I’m competitive but I’d rather go into it with the goal of trying to achieve what I can possibly achieve. The winning of it is something I don’t have control over. I can control how well we perform – ‘we’ because it is a team event. From watching the show in the past it’s about developing that trust with your partner. My goals are to try and perform well, to try and skate well and to put on a good show that the outcome of winning it – I wouldn’t put money on myself! 

How do you feel about receiving feedback from the panel? 

Feedback is a gift. It’s whether you can take it or not that’s the key. I like feedback, it’s really important. I’ve never been involved in a judged sport. In fact, a lot of sports that I’ve got into after ski racing have been against the clock. The clock never lies but this is a different thing. It’s a different beast.

Have you met Torvill and Dean before?

I met them in 84! It was my first Olympics. I was 18 and I raced the men’s downhill, didn’t ski particularly well but I had a great time. I got arrested stealing an Olympic flag. Best party of my life! I had never been to Sarajevo before either and I had a great time.

Would you describe yourself as a bit of an adrenaline junkie then?

Yes! In fact, for Ski Sunday I did a psychological analysis test and I came up very high on thrill seeker, short attention span, easily bored. All of those kinds of things. Generally, I don’t get scared by things. 

Lady Leshurr and Brendyn Hatfield

Lady Leshurr is a 30-year-old rapper.

A lot of people underestimate the training they’ll have to put in, how prepared are you for that?

Yes, I’m prepared. Because I want to learn in general I feel like I’m going to get really invested. As soon as I get on the ice and start seeing progression I know I’ll want to push myself to get better and better.

How daunting is the prospect of lifts and headbangers? Umm…someone else said this headbanger word, what is that?

Well, your partner would hold you at your ankles and spin you around essentially…

[nervous laughter] I literally don’t know what I’m getting myself into! Initially I thought another celebrity was going to be my partner and I would be a bit concerned. Now I know it’s a pro, I’m going to trust in him. And I’m only 7 and a half stone – it would be easy to fling me around! Really, I don’t think I have anything to worry about…I hope!

Dancing on Ice is known for it’s glamorous make-up, false eyelashes, sequins, how do you feel about getting your glam on each week?

Listen, my mouth stretched so wide when they told about feathers and glitter. It reminds me of when I did theatre work. It’s dress-up! I am looking forward to that most of all. The outfits will be amazing. The Lion King performance last year, the gargoyle! I love it.at’s better than doing it in front of millions of people.’

Mark Hanretty and Billie Shepherd

Billie, 30, is an ex-TOWIE star and reality personality.

If you had to describe your strengths and weaknesses to your professional partner what would they be?

I have got slight rhythm and I did learn a routine for my wedding. It was fun, nothing serious and I was surprised at how quickly I picked that up. Kimberly Wyatt form The Pussy Cat Dolls taught us the routine and filmed it so we could watch it at home and practice. I watched it back and I thought my dancing looked ok, I didn’t do too bad and it was just on one session. My biggest weakness is definitely my nerves.

How do you think you’ll react to the potential criticisms from the panel?

I do think my face says it all, I can’t hide it. Its constructive criticism so I would take it on board to try and better myself. 

People talk about the fear factor associated with the show, how much of an adrenaline junkie are you?

Not at all. Before children I used to do everything but since having kids I’m so much more of a chicken. I’ve just become a little bit more cautious, although I’ve signed up to this show and I’m told its dangerous!

How daunting is the prospect of lifts and headbangers?

I was watching clips of Jorgie Porter when she was on the show and she was amazing. I think if I’m good enough I would love to do them. When you think of Dancing On Ice you think of someone doing the headbanger. I think you’d have to feel confident enough to be able to do it but that would be my goal to be able to lifts and the headbanger.

So why did you decide to take part now?

It’s a personal challenge. I’ve never pushed myself out of my comfort zone, I’ve always done things in TV that I feel comfortable with and if something came in I’d rather miss the opportunity than push myself. I think it’s an opportunity I shouldn’t miss out on, I just had to go for it and do it and hopefully I’ll do well.

What do your family think about you taking part in the show?

They are really excited. I know it’s going to be really hard and very full on and I might not be around as much when we are rehearsing but I think it will be good for my six-year-old daughter Nelly to see me do this. I think it’s going to be cool for her to see her mum taking part in the show. She loves ice skating.

Do you know anyone who has taken part in the series and, if so, have they offered any advice?

I do know Gemma Collins but I haven’t reached out to her. I don’t know if I’d get from Gemma what I want to hear. I used to see her when she was training for it and she would say it was really hard and she was exhausted. I know it’s going to be really hard, I’m prepared for that. There are so many positives that I think I’m going to get from taking part.

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