Dancing On Ice is on very shaky ground, after facing another embarrassing blow last weekend.
Sunday’s show – which had a ‘Love’ theme inspired by this week’s Valentines Day – was the least watched instalment yet and it has been revealed that driving show Top Gear on BBC Two pulled in more viewers than the ice skating competition.
It’s been claimed that the latest episode – which saw Gareth Thomas topping the leaderboard and Jason Gardiner being mocked – attract just 6.5m viewers. The figure was 200,000 down on the previous instalment.
The result makes the edition one of the least watched episodes in the history of the ITV show, and things didn’t get any better on the results show. Only 5.1 million people returned to the channel to see Joe Pasquale and Keith Chegwin going head to head in the skate off and Joe being eliminated.
In this time slot, BBC Two’s Top Gear narrowly edged ahead in the ratings war bringing in 5.14m, while Call The Midwife ruled the roost on BBC One with an audience of 8.7m.
The continuing fall in viewers has led to reports that ITV bosses are considering axing the show, and cancelling a ninth series for 2014.
During the first series approximately 13 million people tuned in to watch Gaynor Faye and Dan Whiston lift the first ever trophy in 2006.
The major ratings decline began last year and producers have tried a major shakeup to try and tempt the lost viewers to return. They replaced Louie Spence with former judge Jason Gardiner, brought back his arch nemesis Karen Barber to the panel at the same time and hired Pussycat Doll star Ashley Roberts to sit between then. They paid more than £1 million to hire Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson, however she was later voted out during the first week’s show.
Last Sunday Dancing On Ice scored only 6.7m viewers, and bosses were left red faced when it was revealed that BBC’s Countryfile had proved more popular.
‘There’s been a lot of chatter on set that there will not be a ninth series,’ a source told the Mirror. ‘The powers that be are unimpressed with viewing figures, especially considering how much it costs to produce… they don’t know what to do.
‘It will be a big decision for ITV, because 6m viewers viewers is not to be sniffed at in this day and age. But the Sunday-night slot is as primetime as it gets and they’d be expecting more people to tune in.’
What do you think readers? Is it time for Dancing On Ice to retire and Torvill and Dean to hang up their skates? Watch the talented pair in all their glory and leave your comments below…..