Former EastEnders actress and DJ Patsy Palmer said she is worried about hurting herself on Dancing On Ice but is doing it for 50-year-old women like herself.
Palmer is partnered with Matt Evers, who has been a part of the ITV skating competition since it launched in 2006.
Ahead of her first performance, she said: “I thought I wasn’t going to do this because it’s going to be too hard. I was also thinking about my age and that I might hurt myself, and I’m (based) in LA, I didn’t know how it would work.
“But then I thought it could work out quite well. It’s definitely going to be a brilliant challenge. I always want my kids to see it’s good to be doing fun things, challenging yourself and getting out there.”
Palmer said she thought last year’s winner, 26-year-old Regan Gascoigne, was “incredible” but added that she should probably be watching clips of the “more mature contestants”.
Comparing the experience to being on Strictly Come Dancing in 2005, she said: “When I was doing Strictly I used to get sick from spinning. I hadn’t really watched it so I didn’t realise how much spinning was involved.
“I was really gutted about that because it used to set me back. If I hadn’t had that I think I could have gone way further in the competition.
“I’m hoping that with the momentum on ice, it won’t happen. I’m obviously nervous about hurting myself, especially at my age as I’m 50 now – I don’t want to break any bones or anything.
“Mainly it’s just the physical side that makes me scared but I know for a fact that I’ll be super nervous when it comes to the live shows. I do get very nervous but it’s good to have a little bit of nerves.”
The actress, best known for her role as Bianca Jackson in the BBC soap EastEnders on and off from 1993 until 2019, said she is not very strong because she has had four children and “Caesareans really weaken your muscles”.
She added: “Everything else I do in life, I say ‘anything is possible’ and there is always a solution to everything.
“I would love to be in it to win it and I need to get that mentality, but in my realistic head I’m thinking it’s never going to happen and these people are going to be phenomenal.
“But I’m in this, I’m 50 years old and I’m there for the 50-year-old women. You can do this! Maybe I could win it, who knows?”
Dancing On Ice judge Ashley Banjo said he was most looking forward to seeing Palmer perform on the ice.
“I’m super excited because I just think she’s great energy,” the Diversity dance star said.
Meanwhile, newest judge Oti Mabuse is looking forward to seeing Hollyoaks actress and West End star Carley Stenson make a “great TV comeback” on the show.
Stenson said: “My husband is so raring for me to just embrace something for me. We’ve had a baby and I’ve put me to the back. He’s just like ‘go get it, go get it ’ – he’s so excited for me.”
The 40-year-old added that she had reached out for advice from fellow Hollyoaks star and former Dancing On Ice contestant Jorgie Porter, who came second in the 2012 series and has just given birth to her first child.
Stenson said: “She was exquisite (on the show). Jorgie is so elegant and beautiful, she was like a gorgeous fairy you put on top of the Christmas tree.
“She said ‘Do it. I had such a blast.’ She gave me advice as I gave her advice because she’s having a baby – we’ve kind of life-swapped!”
Dancing On Ice returns on January 15 at 6.30pm on ITV1 and ITVX.