Dancing On Ice’s latest drama leaves series with no reserve skaters left, reveals Phillip Schofield

Editorial use only  Mandatory Credit: Photo by Matt Frost/ITV/Shutterstock (11736470fw)  Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby  'Dancing On Ice' TV show, Series 13, Episode 3, Hertfordshire, UK - 31 Jan 2021
A (socially-distanced) Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield have returned as presenters (Matt Frost/ITV/Shutterstock)

This year’s Dancing On Ice has set a for a rather unwelcome reason, presenter Phillip Schofield has revealed.

Given how dangerous learning to ice skate can be, bosses always book two reserve celebrities who can swoop in and replace anyone struck down by injury.

This year, ITV have called on Amy Tinkler to replace Denise Van Outen, who broke her shoulder last month, and Matt Richardson has stepped in for Rufus Hound, after his positive Covid-19 test.

Read more: Rufus Hound out of DOI after contracting the coronavirus

This means that – for the first time in the show’s history – bosses have used both of their reserves and have no replacements left to call if more stars are struck down by injuries or coronavirus.

Speaking on Thursday’s episode of This Morning, Schofield explained: "It is very strict at the rink, which is how we've been able to keep the show on, but we are really sad that Rufus should go.

"I asked my team about this and we realised that is the first time ever we've used both of our reserves."

He then listed the (many) stars who have been forced to quit DOI early during its 13 series.

"Series three Michael Underwood was injured so Zara Abraham stepped in and came third," he said. "Series seven, Chesney Hawkes withdrew because of an injury and was replaced by Chico who came third.

Dancing on Ice: SR13 on ITV Pictured: Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield. (ITV)
Dancing on Ice: SR13 on ITV Pictured: Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield. (ITV)

"Gareth Thomas withdrew, but wasn't replaced. Monty Panesar [was] injured before transmission and replaced by Lemar,” Schofield continued. “Michael Barrymore was also injured in pre-transmission.

"Now Rufus Hound and Denise Van Outen have left from this year."

Holly Willoughby, his DOI and This Morning co-host, quipped: “I'm amazed we get anyone to sign up for the show quite frankly. You're sort of doing us a disservice here, Phil."

Denise Van Outen. Dancing On Ice (ITV)
Denise Van Outen was forced to pull out after breaking her shoulder in three places (ITV)

Judge Christopher Dean, who was appearing on the ITV daytime programme via videolink revealed that he “always” tells the reserves to make sure they’re training and keeping up with the main cast.

“[They’ve] got a 60% chance of being part of the show,” he said. "This year is no different. It's exciting for them and exciting for us as well.”

Comedian and presenter Richardson will make his debut on the ice this Sunday.

This week’s episode will also see the return of Billie Faiers, who did not perform last week due to a family bereavement.

Watch: Joe Swash says he’s lost his DOI trophy