Dancing on Ice returns to ITV next Sunday for the launch of the show’s last ever series, featuring an all-star lineup of previous winners and popular contestants such as former X Factor star, Ray Quinn…
And in fact, Ray is currently the early favourite to win the final series, which, according to the man himself, is an added pressure he could well do without.
Particularly so given that the first time he ventured back out onto the ice for training, he realised that he’d forgotten many of the skills he’d formerly learned.
Speaking to The Sun’s TV Biz, Ray said, “Everybody keeps saying I’m the favourite…
“It’s like they’re playing a game to put pressure on me.”
He added, “But I went back on the ice for the first time and I was like, ‘Whoa, I don’t like this mate.’
“It was like skating through glue.”
In the new series, Ray will be up against alums Beth Tweddle, Gareth Gates, Bonnie Langford, David Seaman, Gary Lucy, Jorgie Porter, Joe Pasquale, Kyran Bracken, Sam Attwater, Todd Carty, Suzanne Shaw and Zaraah Abrahams.
Of the competition, Ray remarked, “The competition is so high. We’re all starting on a level now.
“None of us are starting from scratch.
“The first show is going to be what you would normally see on week six. Nobody realises how difficult it is.
“Everybody keeps telling me it’s at a much higher standard than it was when I did it.”
But despite his initial reservations, Ray concluded, “It’s great to be back, it really is.”
However, earlier this week, the paper reported that DOI bosses are “piling on the pressure” by hoping to make the show’s swansong series the most exciting yet by requesting ever-more daring routines on the ice.
A show insider said, “The pressure is really on this year. The contestants are under no illusions that bosses want to see fireworks on the ice.
“Producers are determined that the show will go out with a bang and that has been heavily impressed upon the celebrities from the start.
“They’re expected to wow the audience from the minute they step on the ice to the minute they step off, and the pressure is getting to some people.”
The source continued, “For many of the pro skaters, Dancing on Ice has been a key part of their lives for years.
“This is their last hurrah and they want to make the most of it…
“They’re choreographing tougher routines than ever and adding in tricks and lifts that have never been attempted on the show.
“Several of these are very dangerous, but if the stars do manage to pull them off, we could see some really incredible performances.”
And as we reported earlier, former winner Hayley Tamaddon has already suffered several injuries, and fears sustaining more.
Let’s hope that she – and her fellow contestants – don’t suffer more problems because it would be a shame if anyone had to pull out of the show at the eleventh hour.
Here’s a look at the final series’ trailer…