Belfast Telegraph

Soap star to make his point on ice

Coronation Street star Andy Whyment is hoping to prove his castmates wrong by nailing his first performance on Dancing On Ice.

The actor, who plays loveable factory worker Kirk Sutherland in the soap, is one of 15 celebrities set to compete in the new series of the ITV1 show.

Father-of-two Andy admitted his Corrie co-stars were surprised to learn he was donning ice-skates and skin-tight Lycra for the contest.

"A lot of them are saying that I'm crazy. A few of them are taking the mickey and saying it's going to be like Bambi on ice, but I think they're going to be pleasantly surprised when they see me," he said.

Among the other stars taking part in the show, which returns to screens on Sunday night, are EastEnders star Laila Morse, Dallas actress Charlene Tilton, 1980s actor Corey Feldman, Sugababe Heidi Range and skier Chemmy Alcott.

There is no return for sharp-tongued judge Jason Gardiner, with two new judges - former Olympic champion Katarina Witt and choreographer Louie Spence - joining Robin Cousins on the panel.

Andy said: "I'm kind of glad Jason's not doing it. I'm all for a bit of constructive criticism but I think he took it overboard a bit, he got a bit nasty at times... Although I'm still up for the fight - if he was still there he would've got a bit of gip off me I think."

Also appearing in the series - fronted by Phillip Schofield and new host Christine Bleakley - are fitness guru Rosemary Conley, children's TV presenters Sam Nixon and Mark Rhodes, actress Jennifer Ellison, TV presenter Andy Akinwolere, Emmerdale actor Matthew Wolfenden, Hollyoaks star Jorgie Porter, and founder of freerunning Sebastien Foucan.

Singer Chesney Hawkes is a doubt for this weekend's show after sustaining an ankle injury.

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