Dancing on Ice is a British television show co-hosted by Christine Bleakley and Phillip Schofield, in which celebrities and their professional partners figure skate in front of a panel of judges. The format, devised by LWT and Granada Television, has been a prime-time hit in eight different countries, including Italy and Chile. In Australia, where it was titled Torvill and Dean's Dancing on Ice, it was axed after just one series owing to production costs.
Originally titled Skating With Celebrities the show was renamed following the failure of ITV's celebrity oriented 2005 summer schedule. Dancing on Ice is frequently compared to BBC's Strictly Come Dancing. The BBC actually did a Strictly Come Dancing special entitled Strictly Ice Dancing at Christmas 2004 which was won by England goalkeeper David Seaman.
ITV's show was given a January premier amidst network doubts about its viability but became a surprise hit in Britain, where it became the third highest rated television show of 2006. It attained an impressive thirteen million viewers for the final in March. Britain's best-known ice-skating duo and former Olympic champions Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean help to train the aspiring dancers, and also appear throughout the show with comments and advice. Head Coach Karen Barber also trains the skaters for the live show. Since the beginning Torvill and Dean have opened every episode with a performance, with the exception of the second, third and fourth shows of the fourth series, when Torvill performed alone due to Dean's recovery from a shoulder operation.
Schofield previously presented with Holly Willoughby, with commentary from Tony Gubba and voiceovers done by John Sachs. The members of The Ice Panel were originally Karen Barber, Jason Gardiner, Nicky Slater and Robin Cousins, and the fifth judge varied from series to series: Karen Kresge in the first series, Natalia Bestemianova in the second, Ruthie Henshall in the third and fourth and Emma Bunton in the fifth. In series 6, there were only three judges: Gardiner, Cousins and Bunton.
During the shows first two series it ran two supplementary programmes - Dancing on Ice Defrosted presented by Stephen Mulhern, and Dancing on Ice Exclusive (or Dancing on Ice Extra during its first series) hosted by Andi Peters alongside Andrea McLean in series one and Ben Shephard in series two. In mid 2007, it was announced that both shows would not return to accompany the third series as the audience attracted is out of ITV2's target range.
As part of ITV's new revamped schedule at the start of 2008, from the third series, the show aired on a Sunday night and featured updated music and new titles as well as redesigned graphics. The third series finale was a massive draw for ITV pulling an average 11.7 million viewers (up from 9.6 million the previous year) peaking at 12.6 million viewers over the two hour slot, up over a million from season two.
The seventh series began on 8 January 2012, with Torvill and Dean as coaches for which they will be paid £250,000 each series. Christine Bleakley was announced as the new co-host of the show replacing Holly Willoughby, whilst Katarina Witt and Louie Spence replace Emma Bunton and Jason Gardiner on the judging panel.
It was announced on 20 November 2012, that Jason Gardiner is set to return to the panel for the 2013 series, he will replace Spence. Another female judge will replace Witt who will join Cousins and Gardiner on the panel.
Famous quotes containing the words dancing and/or ice:
“Johann StraussForty couples dancing ... one by one they slip from the hall ... sounds of kisses ... the lights go out”
—H.L. (Henry Lewis)
“Adjoining a refreshment stand ... is a small frame ice house ... with a whitewashed advertisement on its brown front stating, simply, Ice. Glory to Jesus. The proprietor of the establishment is a religious man who has seized the opportunity to broadcast his business and his faith at the same time.”
—For the State of New Jersey, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)