'Dancing On Ice' taken off air this weekend while cast recover from injuries and coronavirus

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Mandatory Credit: Photo by Matt Frost/ITV/Shutterstock (11747857e)
Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby
'Dancing On Ice' TV show, Series 13, Episode 4, Hertfordshire, UK - 07 Feb 2021
Dancing On Ice is being taken off air for a week. (ITV/Shutterstock)

Dancing On Ice has been axed from TV schedules this weekend – while its cast recovers from injury and coronavirus.

The ITV celebrity skating competition has already seen four contestants withdraw for health reasons, and 52-year-old singer and soap star Jason Donovan has been ordered by doctors to take time out after injuring his back.

An official statement said: "ITV have taken the decision to pause Dancing On Ice this week and there will be no live show on Sunday 21st February.

"Each week our production team and cast have delivered a fantastic show during incredibly challenging times.

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"The welfare of all of those involved is important to us and we felt it prudent to take a week's break at this juncture.

"Continuing to make the best TV for our viewers is of paramount importance to us and we look forward to resuming the competition next week, with the show back live on Sunday 28th February.

Dancing on Ice: SR13 on ITV, Pictured: Jason Donovan.
Jason Donovan has been told by doctors to rest his back. (ITV)

"In place of Dancing On Ice this weekend a special entitled Dancing On Ice: The Greatest Show On Ice will be shown on ITV at 6pm on Sunday. This one-off show will celebrate the most memorable moments in the show's history.

"Dancing On Ice will be back, live on Sunday 28th February."

The show has already seen actress Denise Van Outen pull out due to a broken shoulder, while former The Only Way Is Essex star Billie Shepherd had to quit after a concussion.

Cast are subjected to regular coronavirus testing to limit the spread of COVID-19, and comedian Rufus Hound left after a positive COVID test, followed by Emmerdale's Joe-Warren Plant, who has also tested positive.

Dancing on Ice: SR13 on ITV. Pictured: Colin Jackson CBE, Denise Van Outen, Graham Bell, Lady Leshurr, Sonny Jay, Faye Brookes, Billie Shepherd, Jason Donovan, Joe-Warren Plant, Myleene Klass, Rebekhah Vardy and Rufus Hound. Dancing On Ice (ITV)
There are just six couples left competing in Dancing On Ice 2021 with five weeks left to go. (ITV)

Gymnast Amy Tinkler was eliminated from the contest at the weekend, just one week after she was brought in to replace injured Van Outen.

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Viewers hadn't been convinced that it was fair for the competition to continue, with just six couples left competing and Donovan sitting last week out on doctors' orders.

The show was also hit by controversy after featuring a performance by Rita Ora – who was caught celebrating her birthday at a restaurant during lockdown in November.

Pro skater Yebin Mok had to pull out of the series before it began after her partner, Graham Bell, accidentally stabbed her in the leg with his skate during training.

She had only just made her return to the ice last week, to perform a professional routine with Shepherd's former partner Mark Hanretty.

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