Dancing On Ice will be bigger and stronger than ever – Christopher Dean
Love Island’s Kem Cetinay also talked about his ice skating training on the red carpet.
Dancing On Ice judge Christopher Dean has said the series will be “bigger and stronger” when it returns after a hiatus.
The ice skater will reunite with his partner Jayne Torvill to sit on the panel of the ITV ice skating contest when it makes its comeback next year.
As the 12 celebrity contestants begin their gruelling training schedule for the competition, Torvill and Dean donned glittering blue outfits for the ITV Gala at the London Palladium on Thursday.
Dean told the Press Association: “We’re really thrilled, it’s great that it’s coming back.
“I think the three-year hiatus has been good for the show and it will come back really fresh.
“It left on a really good note, high up there, and I think it will come back bigger and stronger.”
The line-up for the 2018 season includes former The Great British Bake Off champion Candice Brown, Love Island winner Kem Cetinay and Coronation Street stars Brooke Vincent and Antony Cotton.
Torvill said: “We haven’t seen any of the contestants – we have to be impartial and wait until the first show.
“First and foremost, we will be looking at the quality of skating, then the choreography, then how entertaining they are.
“I am interested to see Candice from Bake Off. She comes from a totally different area but she’s probably quite competitive.”
Dean added: “I’m a big Corrie fan, so I can’t wait to see how Antony and Brooke get on.”
Asked who a dream star contestant for the show would be, he pitched Hunger Games actress Jennifer Lawrence.
Meanwhile, Cetinay confessed that he was still finding learning to skate and dance simultaneously a tough challenge.
Accompanied by partner and fellow Love Island champion Amber Davies, he said: “It’s hard. Very, very hard. Extremely hard.
“I’m really struggling but I’m just plugging away and hoping it will click. At the moment it’s not but it will come with time – I’ve done enough hours.
“They keep telling me to loosen up, but the more I try, the stiffer I get. I am so inflexible, I can’t even work on my leg lifts because I can’t get my leg up.
“At least I’ve fallen over a few times so I already know how that feels.”
Despite vowing her support for her boyfriend, Davies added: “I am more scared for his partner because she is putting her life in his hands.
“So I’ll make sure he practises … but I’m not going on the ice with him.”
Torvill and Dean will be joined on the panel by judges Ashley Banjo and Jason Gardiner when Dancing On Ice returns next year, with presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield at the helm.