Jason Gardiner has announced he will not be returning to Dancing On Ice as a judge.
The acid-tongued panellist has been the subject of tabloid speculation over his future on the ITV skating show in recent weeks, following a series of rows with contestant Gemma Collins on the last series.
Confirming news of his exit in a video he posted on Instagram, Jason claimed it had been his decision to step down from the Ice Panel.
He said: “I know there has been a lot of speculation about me and the upcoming series of Dancing On Ice.
“I wanted to set the record straight.
“I’ve been an original judge since 2006. I’ve done every series except one, when I was replaced by my good friend and dance sister Louie Spence in 2012.
“The show had been off air for four years and when it was revived I was the only original judge to return.
“The past two series have seen new additions to the panel with the brilliant Ashley Banjo and the legends (Jayne) Torvill and (Christopher) Dean. I have absolutely loved sharing the panel with them.
“After all these years I feel it’s time for me to say goodbye to my judging role and instead I would like to return to things I have kind of put on the back burner for a while.”
Thanking fans for their “support and encouragement”, he continued: “I know we’ve gone through some controversies and I really am so grateful that you got my unique judging style and honestly.
“It’s because of you I never cowered or shied away from serving up the truth.”
Addressing Torvill and Dean and the hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, he said: “Holly, Phil, Jane and Chris we created something that we can be very proud of after the ice has finally thawed.
“We’ve had a lot of laughs over the years a lot of trials and tribulations and I have absolutely loved working with all of you.”
Jason also praised former judge Karen Barber, who he famously clashed with on the show in 2011.
“To the real unsung heroes of DOI, the pros and coaches, including Karen Barber, without your hard work and patience, courage we would never have had the success we’ve had, so I salute and applaud you,” he added.
Dancing On Ice originally ran from 2006 until 2014, before making a comeback in 2018.
This year’s series became engulfed in controversy thanks to Jason and Gemma’s various on-air clashes.
She previously addressed speculation Jason was leaving the show during a recent interview on Good Morning Britain, calling it “great news”.
“Will we miss him this year? Hell no,” she continued. “Some people might think that’s a bit strong but… you can criticise someone but you don’t have to get personal. Criticise me all day long, but you don’t have to get personal. Especially with mental health and bullying and stuff like that.”
Dancing On Ice returns to ITV in January.
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost.