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Kerry is ice queen as ratings rocket

The new series of Dancing On Ice enjoyed the most successful start to the ITV1 show in five years.

The TV contest notched up a peak audience of 10.7m, a 37pc share of viewing, the broadcaster said, up 500,000 on last year's opening.

The programme, whose line-up this year includes Kerry Katona and rapper Vanilla Ice, drew an average of 9.3m, a 34pc share, between 6.30pm and 8.30pm on Sunday.

The show became the most successful first episode, in terms of both peak and average figures, since the first series, won by Gaynor Faye, launched in 2006 to an average of 9.5m and a peak of 11.2m viewers. In terms of share of viewers, it was the most successful since 2008.

Ex-newsreader Angela Rippon and former EastEnders actress Nadia Sawalha became the first contestants to be voted off the show, after a skate-off along with Nickelodeon presenter Laura Hamilton.

Other contestants, including Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan's daughter Chloe Madeley and model Elen Rivas, will perform next week in the second of the qualifying rounds.