Dancing On Ice kicks off with performances by Jason Donovan and Denise van Outen

PA

The new series of Dancing On Ice is under way.

Actor and singer Jason Donovan opened the show, while Emmerdale star Joe-Warren Plant and actress Denise van Outen have also performed.

Opening the programme, presenter Holly Willoughby said: “Welcome to the greatest show on ice. We are back.”

Her co-host Phillip Schofield added: “It’s just nice to get dressed up.”

Donovan was the first celebrity to take to the ice, with his partner Alexandra Schauman.

The actor and singer was scored 25 by the judges.

Christopher Dean, who is the head judge for the evening, said: “What a great way to start the show. What a showman.”

He added that he saw a couple of “toe trips” during his performance.

Donovan said it was “tough coming out first”, but it is “fantastic” to be able to perform for viewers during a “dark time”.

Dancing On Ice 2021
Dancing On Ice 2021

Plant and his partner Vanessa Bauer danced second and were also scored 25 by the judges.

This was despite the fact that Plant, 18 – who is the youngest ever competitor on the show, fell over during his performance.

Judges Ashley Banjo and Jayne Torvill said they took a whole point off for the stumble, while John Barrowman said he only deducted 0.5 from his scorecard.

Dean said: “He was smiling when he fell down, he was smiling when he got up and he’s still smiling.”

Up next was van Outen and her partner Matt Evers, who were scored 19.5 by the judges.

Note to self: ✍️ ice ✍️ is ✍️ slippy #DancingOnIce@denise_vanoutenpic.twitter.com/uIFOBKQFCF

— Dancing on Ice (@dancingonice) January 17, 2021

She skated with strapping on her shoulder after she partially dislocated it during training earlier this week.

Dean said: “Well nobody said it would be easy. You have come from treading the boards to gliding on the ice and it is a big step.”

He added that her performance was “tentative” and she was “holding on to Matt a little bit” while she was skating.

Dean said he expected her to improve once her shoulder has healed further.

Other celebrities taking part in the series include Coronation Street’s Faye Brookes, Towie cast member Billie Faiers, former Olympic hurdler Colin Jackson, television presenter Mylene Klass, former Olympic skier Graham Bell and radio host Sonny Jay.

They will perform next week.

A number of contestants suffered injuries in the run-up to the launch of the ITV programme in addition to van Outen.

Bell’s partner Yebin Mok was also injured during training when her leg was badly cut by a skate blade.

He will instead be performing in week two with Karina Manta while Mok continues to recover.

Vardy’s professional skate partner Andy Buchanan was also injured during training when his face was sliced by one of her blades.

Lady Leshurr also injured her knee while preparing for Sunday’s show.

Dancing On Ice airs at 6pm on Sundays on ITV.

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