Tonight, comedian Matt Richardson joined the series in place of Rufus Hound who is still self-isolating after testing positive for coronavirus - as hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby admitted they were “hanging on by their fingernails”.
Richardson is the second reserve to be called up for this year’s Dancing On Ice, following gymnast Amy Tinkler’s debut last week in place of Denise Van Outen who had to leave after breaking her shoulder.
Billie Shepherd has also had to quit the show after suffering a concussion in training on Friday, but there are no more reserve contestants left to replace her.
As hosts Willoughby and Schofield explained the latest line-up changes at the beginning of the episode, Schofield joked: “We’re hanging on by our fingernails.”
Willoughby added: “We’re going to have to get on the ice soon if they keep dropping like this.”
Richardson, who was shown falling on his face in training, admitted: “I thought being a reserve would be great because I wouldn’t have to do it, but it turns out I have to do it all.
“I just remember going down, hitting my face, and thinking ‘oh my God, I look like an idiot.’ It made me want to be good.”
Hound was also shown dialling in to wish Richardson luck, saying he felt fine despite his COVID diagnosis.
Richardson scored a respectable 23.5, although judge Christopher Dean only awarded him five points, as John Barrowman shared some surprising information with viewers.
Barrowman said of the Paso Doble-themed routine: “I, who have trained as a matador in Spain, I thought it was a great effort.”
1/2: During rehearsals for this week’s show, @BillieFaiers has had a fall. Taking the expert advice of the Dancing On Ice medical team, she sadly cannot perform this weekend and will therefore now withdraw from the competition. pic.twitter.com/tXAW9dRXyj
— Dancing on Ice (@dancingonice) February 7, 2021
Schofield also caught up with Shepherd’s pro skater partner Mark Hanretty, as footage was shown of her fall in training.
Hanretty said: “We’d been working really hard and then on Friday night after a good, positive, happy week, I said let’s just do one more run through and of course that’s the run through where it happened.
“My sadness is that she’s such a lovely lady, such a good human, she’s just had some really rough luck at the moment and I send so much love out to her, thank you for being a part of it.”
Watch: John Barrowman shocks Lorraine viewers with strong Scottish accent