Dancing on Ice 2021 – Is it going ahead following Covid reports?

Abby Robinson
·4-min read
Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

From Digital Spy

The Covid-19 pandemic has proved a logistical nightmare for many industries, not least the television business, with productions forced to adapt in ways alien to many.

Social distancing, a zealous emphasis on hand washing and various other precautions have been employed to ensure that cast, crew and, in some cases, a much-reduced audience, remain safe.

But no system is flawless, as Dancing on Ice discovered recently.

Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

It was reported by The Sun that a number of crew members, five to be exact, had recently tested positive for Covid. We're all well aware of just how easily the virus is able to jump from one host to another, and with the latest strain believed to be more contagious, it's nothing short of a disaster for ITV and the Dancing on Ice team.

But fans of the reality ice skating competition will be pleased to hear that as it stands, series 13 (the odds really are stacked against it this year) is still scheduled to go ahead on Sunday.

"The welfare of everyone who works on Dancing On Ice is our first priority," said an ITV spokesperson.

"We have had a robust set of measures in place ever since work on the series commenced to ensure the well­being of everyone connect­ed with the production."

Photo credit: Matt Frost/ITV/REX
Photo credit: Matt Frost/ITV/REX

One such course of action is the axing of the studio audience, as seen with the likes of the Britain's Got Talent live shows and Strictly Come Dancing, although the BBC did allow small numbers of the contestant's friends and family to mask up and enjoy the spectacle from the ballroom.

The judges' desks have also been fitted with clear perspex screens to ensure that Jayne Torvill, Christopher Dean, Ashley Banjo and John Barrowman remain separate at all times – a tactic used on The Masked Singer and University Challenge.

Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

That means that Torvill and Dean will not be performing live, but instead via a pre-recorded video.

And the celebrities and their professional partners will have to watch their competitor's routines in a dedicated area, cut off from everyone else.

It's certainly a new look, but the essence of the show remains the same.

Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby will once again be hosting, with a brand new group of famous faces taking to the ice in the hope of claiming the DOI crown.

Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

Here's the official lineup:

  • Capital radio presenter Sonny Jay and professional Angela Egan.

  • Actor, singer and presenter Denise Van Outen and professional Matt Evers.

  • Singer and actor Jason Donovan and professional Alexandra Schauman.

  • Emmerdale actor Joe-Warren Plant and professional Vanessa Bauer.

  • Former professional hurdler Colin Jackson and professional Klabera Komini.

  • Rapper Lady Leshurr and professional Brendyn Hatfield.

  • Singer and presenter Myleene Klass and professional Lukasz Różycki.

  • Reality TV personality Billie Shepherd and professional Mark Hanretty.

  • Media personality Rebekah Vardy and professional Andy Buchanan.

  • Comedian and actor Rufus Hound and professional Robin Johnstone.

But Ex-Olympic skier Graham Bell will miss out on this weekend's launch show after his partner Yebin Mok suffered a "laceration on her leg", as explained by Willoughby on This Morning.

Schofield added: "We had a Zoom meeting yesterday with the team and they showed us a picture that we cannot show you on TV. Holly couldn't even look at it. She had to look away. It was a very nasty stab wound from an ice blade. You could see the tendons. It's a very dangerous show."

Bell will debut the following week with new partner Karina Manta, with Hound's first performance brought forward to plug the gap.

Vardy also told The Times that she "cut Andy's face open" with her skate during training.

"It's just a wake-up call that what we do is really dangerous and you've just got to be careful," he said on Instagram.

"It's traumatic when that happens and Becky bounced back and came in ready to go and was a great partner."

Dancing on Ice returns this Sunday at 6pm on ITV.

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