'Dancing on Ice' returning after most chaotic series in show's history

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'Dancing On Ice' is back for 2022. (ITV)

Dancing On Ice is set to make a return a year on from the most disastrous series in its history.

The 2022 series will begin on ITV on Sunday, 16 January, following last year's chaotic run which was plagued by illness, injury and scandal.

Read more: The most searched TV shows of 2021 revealed

It was even forced to cut its run from 10 weeks down to eight thanks to the number of drop outs - we take a look back at the biggest issues the show faced.

Injured skaters

Denise Van Outen was the first celebrity out due to injury. (ITV)
Denise Van Outen was the first celebrity out due to injury. (ITV)

By its nature, Dancing On Ice usually includes a few cast injuries as the amateur skaters try their best to impress with daring moves.

However, the 2021 series included some particularly nasty accidents, with Denise Van Outen the first celebrity in the cast to fall victim to injury when she broke three bones in her shoulder and partially dislocated it, leaving her still in physio months later.

Read more: Brendan Cole in A&E with concussion after Dancing On Ice fall

Van Outen tried her best to soldier on, but only managed one live performance before having to quit.

She was swiftly followed by Billie Shepherd, who took part in the first two weeks before suffering a concussion in training.

Jason Donovan was the last celebrity to have to drop out. (ITV)
Jason Donovan was the last celebrity to have to drop out. (ITV)

Jason Donovan lasted slightly longer, but became the fifth celebrity to withdraw from the contest after four weeks on air because of an old back injury that had been made worse by training.

The celebrities weren't the only ones wounded - pro skater Yebin Mok was originally partnered with Graham Bell, but had to drop out before the series began when he accidentally stabbed her in the leg with his skate during training, leaving her needing surgery.

Pro skater Hamish Gaman, who had partnered Faye Brookes, also had to quit over a finger injury.

COVID-hit cast

Rufus Hound. Dancing On Ice 2021 (ITV)
Rufus Hound had looked like a promising skater. (ITV)

As well as the three injured celebrities, two more had to drop out after testing positive for COVID.

The first was Rufus Hound, who had been touted as Dancing On Ice's answer to Strictly Come Dancing winner Bill Bailey when he did unexpectedly well in the first show and won a golden ticket through to the next round - but never reappeared on the rink, thanks to his COVID diagnosis.

Following him after week three was Joe-Warren Plant, another promising contestant, whose time on the ice was cut short by coronavirus.

Scheduling changes

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Mandatory Credit: Photo by Matt Frost/ITV/Shutterstock (11795927gy)
Sonny Jay and Angela Egan celebrate being crowned Dancing on Ice champions 2021 by Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield
'Dancing On Ice' TV show, Series 13, Episode 8, Final, Hertfordshire, UK - 14 Mar 2021
Sonny Jay was the eventual series winner. (ITV/Matt Frost)

Losing five celebrities from the cast was a show record and although two reserve contestants were waiting in the wings to step in, their time competing was shortlived.

Amy Tinkler had three weeks in the show, but Matt Richardson only managed one live show before he was voted out.

Read more: Who's taking part in Dancing On Ice 2022?

With celebrities continuing to get ill and injured, and no more reserves to call on, bosses had no choice but to take a week's break mid-series, airing a pre-recorded show of the most memorable Dancing On Ice moments ever instead (which itself proved controversial when former contestant and Hollyoaks actor Chris Fountain complained that many of his best routines had been overlooked).

The series then had to end a week earlier than planned, limping towards the final with Sonny Jay eventually taking the crown in an anti-climax of a grand final.

Cast controversies

John Barrowman will not return to judge 'Dancing On Ice'. (Getty Images)
John Barrowman will not return to judge 'Dancing On Ice'. (Getty Images)

Rufus Hound might only have appeared in one live show, but he managed to make his mark by sparking Ofcom complaints over his remarks on being the surprise winner of the golden ticket through to the next round.

Making reference to the Government reversing its decision not to extend the free school meals voucher scheme into the summer holidays after pressure from a campaign by footballer Marcus Rashford, he said: “I’ve spent most of this year not being emotionally stable because the world stopped making sense and this does not make more sense of it. Thank you, I don’t know what is happening.

“We live in a world where the people we elect don’t want to feed hungry children, this is the least mad thing that has happened to me in a long time.”

Read more: Oti Mabuse confirmed as Dancing On Ice judge

But the controversies rumbled on even after the series ended when judge John Barrowman was caught up in a historic sexual harassment scandal.

After Noel Clarke was accused of sexual harassment by more than 20 women, an old interview of Clarke talking about Barrowman having regularly exposed himself to cast and crew on the set of Torchwood surfaced.

Barrowman has since claimed that his "silly behaviour" was not sexual harassment, but is not returning to judge this year, with Strictly pro dancer Oti Mabuse taking his place instead.

Dancing On Ice 2022 will begin on ITV on Sunday, 16 January at 6.30pm.

Watch: Dancing On Ice 2022 trailer