Credit: ITV

Dancing on Ice returned to our screens on Sunday, with the promise of 10 weeks of ice chemistry, good music and judges debate, along with a mix of eclectic celebs. Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby are back to present the perfect show for our conclusion of weekend entertainment.

This year sees a diverse group of celebs from the sport, TV and music world, along with our favourite professionals and the ever scrutinising judging panel. Joining veteran judges Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, as well as Ashley Banjo, is newcomer judge, Oti Mabuse, taking the place of former judge John Barrowman.

The first instalment saw 6 of the 12 contestants take to the ice. Corrie’s Sally Dynevor (dancing with Matt Evers), Pussycat Dolls singer Kimberly Wyatt (paired with Mark Hanretty), Strictly Dancer Brendan Cole (teamed with Vanessa Bauer), 90’s Happy Monday’s band member Bez (dancing with Angela Egan), presenter Ria Hebden (teamed with Łukasz Różycki) and Olympian Kye Whyte (dancing with Tippy Packard) all performed their much practiced routine, eager to impress the panel of judges as they (and us) waited with bated breath. 

Bez, already likely to be the people’s champion completed a fun filled performance to his bands 90’s hit, Step On, with a melon embossed helmet as an accessory. Prior to the show, he was favourites to go first, but his down to earth manner and cult following may prove to get him a lot further in the contest than initially thought. Kimberley and Mark performed elegantly, albeit a bit stiff at times to Pink’s What About Us. Kye and Tippy skated with energy to the catchy Dizzee Rascal, Bonkers. Sally and Matt danced beautifully together to Billy Joel’s She’s Always A Woman. Ria and Łukasz performed to Harry Styles, Treat People with Kindness with smiles and synchronicity. Brendan and Vanessa skated beautifully. With his natural ballroom rhythm and pizazz, the pair scored a 30.5, being quoted as performing “The best first dance,” the show has seen. Unsurprisingly, now the Bookies favourite to win. 

All contestants demonstrated how hard it is to perform on the ice, some clearly more naturally co-ordinated and flexible than others.

Viewers were invited to vote alongside the judges, with a score out of 10 giving an overall score for each dance. The remaining contestants will perform with all their might next Sunday, before the skate off against a disappointed Ria and Łukasz, who were the lowest scorers on the night. Alongside this, views will be treated to a performance by Torvill and Dean themselves.

Over the weeks, we will hopefully witness the skill development and performance chemistry of the celebs, with as little injury as possible! Who will go far in the contest and who will slide into the favourites? Tune in to watch DOI 6:30pm Sundays, ITV for the next 10 weeks.

Credit: ITV

Top row, L-R: Connor Ball, Ben Foden, Liberty Poole, Stef Reid, Bez, Sally Dynevor
Bottom row, L-R: Kimberly Wyatt, Ria Hebden, Kye Whyte, Brendan Cole, Rachel Stevens, Regan Gascoigne 

Helen Aitchison

Helen is a journalist for Radio Gateshead, a local lass who has spent the last two decades working in health and social care. She has recently set up a community interest company called Write on the Tyne which amalgamates her passion for supporting and empowering marginalised groups to thrive with her love of writing. Her debut novel, The Dinner Club, was released in March 2022 with UK based Cahill Davis Publishing, and her second book The Life and Love (Attempts) of Kitty Cook will be released in March 2023.