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Corrie's Ashley to take to the ice

His character's body is barely cold after being bumped off in Coronation Street but actor Steven Arnold is slipping back on to TV screens - as a Dancing On Ice contestant.

The star - whose character Ashley Peacock died in the tram crash during the soap's 50th birthday spectacular - is one of 16 figures who have been in training for the ITV1 skating show.

Joining him in the line-up will be Kerry Katona, presenter Jeff Brazier, rapper Vanilla Ice and ex-newsreader Angela Rippon.

Victoria Cross hero Lance Corporal Johnson Beharry is also in training to compete, the first contestant from outside the worlds of sport and showbiz.

Another former Coronation Street star, Denise Welch, former EastEnders star Sam Attwater, Australian Craig McLachlan - known for his role in Neighbours - and Hollyoaks actress Jennifer Metcalfe are other soap stars to appear in the show.

Cricketer Dominic Cork, Chris Moyles' BBC Radio 1 sidekick David Vitty - known to listeners as Comedy Dave - and Chloe Madeley - daughter of Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan - are also in the running.

Completing the line-up are Nickelodeon presenter Laura Hamilton, Frank Lampard's ex-girlfriend Ellen Rives and actress Nadia Sawalha.

Even though 16 have been preparing for the show since October, a rule change means only 12 aspiring skaters will make it through to the competition stage.

Viewers will be able to vote to whittle them down, eliminating four celebrities before they have had the chance to compete. The series kicks off with two special shows on January 9 and 16 with two wannabes axed during each show.

Other changes to the show include the promotion of ice dancer Karen Barber from judge to head coach, a role which will allow her to fight the contestants' corner when faced with criticism from the panel. Spice Girl Emma Bunton and choreographer Jason Gardiner remain on the judges' panel, along with former figure skater Robin Cousins, who is head judge. Former judge Nicky Slater, who announced last month he was leaving the show, is not being replaced, so the panel has been reduced from four to three.

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