Dancing On Ice judge Jason Gardiner is of course not afraid to speak his mind, or to blow his own trumpet, and he’s once again proved that by saying that his return to the DOI judging panel this year has saved the show from being axed.
Adding that without him, the show had been “boring” outspoken Jason told the Mirror, “ITV did the show without me for a year and it obviously didn’t work, so they asked me back.
“They realised it desperately needed what I can bring and, in asking me back, they have admitted they were wrong…
“On my first day Jane Torvill and Christopher Dean said to me, ‘You’re going to bring back the competitive element we’ve missed’.
“I give the celebrities the fear factor and the motivation to improve and up their game. I never patronise them.
“They’ve got enough judges on the panel who are going to do that and just tell them how wonderful they are all the time. Well, the other judges can say what they want.
“I’ll tell it how it is, and if they’re happy being vanilla, that’s fine.”
Jason of course originally left the show after rumours surfaced that his friend Louie Spence was being lined up to replace him on DOI.
Of that, Jason said, “I honestly thought I would never go back…
“I’m the only person ever to have been brought back to a big reality show after a whole series off.
“I was in my place in Ibiza in July and I got a text out of the blue from one of the executives.
“She said, ‘Jason, we’d love to sit down and talk to you’. I immediately told her I didn’t think it was a good idea and I genuinely meant it.
“When I left the show the tone had become extremely nasty. I had turned from pantomime villain to bully.
“ITV told me to be controversial then hung me out to dry. So much heat was on me.
“Then I started getting death threats. Really scary, horrible stuff… people saying they would put a ¬bullet in my brain.
“We had to take them seriously. They were ex-servicemen.
“We reported it to the police and I had to have extra security at the shows. It was a horrible time.
“Despite all that, a year off gave me a chance to take a step back. I decided I wanted to give it another go.”
Are you glad that Jason returned to DOI? Or did you prefer it when he wasn’t on the panel?
For now, here’s a look at one of his most controversial moments…