Torvill and Dean: Dancing On Ice can help inspire young people to skate
The Dancing On Ice live tour will see a host of celebrities putting their skates on from this Friday.
Ice dancing stars Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean believe Dancing On Ice – coupled with last month’s Winter Olympics – has the potential to inspire more youngsters into the sport.
The 1984 Olympic champions are to return to the ice for the first time in four years on Friday as part of the live UK tour following the reprisal of the ITV series.
Britain has not won a medal in the sport at the Winter Olympics since Torvill and Dean took bronze in 1994 but the duo believe the interest following the Pyeongchang Games and recent Hollywood hit I, Tonya could mark a shift.
Speaking at the launch of the Dancing On Ice tour, Dean told the Press Association: “There’s been a lot of skating on, we’ve had the Winter Olympics, Dancing On Ice and the movie (I, Tonya) coming out.
“So it gets people into ice rinks, and gets kids skating. It’s grassroots that we need to get on to the ice and then bring them through and the ones who really want to do it stay with it.
“The more you get at the beginning, you’ll get more through at the end.”
Speaking of their first performance on the ice in four years, Torvill said she was “excited but nervous”.
Dean added: “It’s good to have nerves, but not runaway nerves. Nerves of anticipation … it’s a very exciting competition.”
Former X Factor star Ray Quinn – who has twice been crowned Dancing On Ice champion – will return for the 27-show tour alongside a number of stars from the 2018 series, including Bucks Fizz’s Cheryl Baker and Love Island star Kem Cetinay.
He will also be up against fellow X Factor graduate Jake Quickenden, who was crowned champion of the most recent series.
Quinn – partnered with professional dancer Alexandra Schauman – said of his nearest rival: “Jake’s a great skater, but we’re going to give him a run for his money.
“Of course I want to win, why wouldn’t I?
“I’ve got all the tools, got brand new boots I bought, got an amazing partner, great routines, got the stage, all that is left is to perform and fingers crossed we come out on top.”
He added: “Ice skating for me is a wonderful thing, it gives you a sense of freedom, a sense of escapism no matter what’s going on in your life. Put a pair of boots on and go out and skate, it’s the most wonderful thing.”
Former rugby player Max Evans, ITV weatherman Alex Beresford and actress Donna Air are also on the tour, which kicks off at Wembley’s SSE Arena on Friday before stops across the UK, including Newcastle, Glasgow and Manchester.