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Dancing on Ice: Celebrities Battle it Out to be Crowned Ultimate Skating Champion in Last Ever Series

The last ever series of Skating on Ice kicked off with some of the best celebrity skaters from the past ten years of the show.   

Skating champion Christopher Dean said he had high hopes for the batch of celebrities, chosen from 104 past contestants, now hoping to make an impact on the ice and be crowned the ultimate Ice skating champion.

"This lot are the most competitive the best skaters we've ever had. There's going to be performances like never before," he said.

Presiding rink side over all the action with Christine Bleakly, host Phillip Schofield couldn't contain his excitement. "Viewers are in for an absolute treat this year. Six dancing on ice champions and some show favourites. You ain't seen nothing yet," he said.

For Jane Torvill, the last ever series was bitter-sweet. "It is sad because it has been part of our lives for the last ten years. We're treating it as a celebration of the last series and the last tour."

The first set of skaters to hit the ice included past champions Hayley Tamaddon,2008 semi-finalist Gareth Gates, Bonnie Langford who was a star on the first ever series, 2010 runner up Gary Lucy and the Eddie the Eagle of the ice rink, the much-loved Todd Carty.

With 2010 champion Hayley taking to the ice first, she won the support of Judge James Gardiner at the outset, who said: "This is one of my favourite partnerships of all time, but this is the final and we're looking for the ultimate champion."   

Announcing his return to the ice after a gap of 8 years, Pop Idol star Gareth Gates said confidently: "Gareth Skates is back my friends."

2006 finalist Bonnie Langford brought her very particular brand of energy to the ice, winning high praise from Judge Karen Barber who said: "This lady is our original head banger. That was a master class in how to perform."

And there were signs of a possible romance blossoming on the ice. Jorgy Porter was paired with her best friends skating partner, Sylvain. Getting over the initial awkwardness she said: "I am so excited to be back. If he doesn't try it on with me I'll be really angry."

It's not unheard for the ice training sessions to kindle a romance, with previous celebrities having found love on the ice.

England goalkeeper David Seaman was partnered once more with his real life love, girlfriend Frankie Poultney, who he met on the first series on the show,

Once dubbed Safe Hands, Seaman walked out on his wife of ten years, Debbie, and their two young children and only three months later, he moved into a £500,000 riverside home in Buckinghamshire with Frankie.

Meanwhile, Sam Attwater is due to marry his former skating partner. "I want to thank skating on ice because I've got a new partner, a best friend and a fiancé," he said.

With 14 celebrities battling it out to be the ultimate skating champion the competition begins tonight, with two of the skaters being voted out of the show in the first skate-off of the final series.

The full list of celebrity skaters are:

Bonnie Langford (third in series 1)

Suzanne Shaw (winner in series 3)

Zaraah Abrahams (third in series 3)

Hayley Tamaddon (winner in series 5)

Jorgie Porter (second in series 7)

Beth Tweddle (winner in series 8)

David Seaman (fourth in series 1)

Kyran Bracken (winner in series 2)

Gareth Gates (fourth in series 3)

Ray Quinn (winner in series 4)

Todd Carty (ninth in series 4)

Gary Lucy (second in series 5)

Sam Attwater (winner in series 6)

Joe Pasquale (sixth in series 8)