Dancing On Ice kicking off with first six celebrity skaters

The first group of skaters includes former Eastenders actress Patsy Palmer and Love Island winner Ekin-Su Culculoglu.

Dancing On Ice kicking off with first six celebrity skaters ITV

Six celebrities will star as Dancing On Ice 2023 begins later on Sunday with the first of two episodes in its split premiere.

The first group of skaters – including former EastEnders actress and DJ Patsy Palmer – will open the ITV reality competition’s 15th series before another five celebrities brave the ice next Sunday.

Palmer, 50, will compete with her professional partner Matt Evers, 46, who has been a part of the show since it launched in 2006.

Ahead of her first performance, Palmer 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.”

Also on the first show are former The Only Way Is Essex cast member Joey Essex and his professional skating partner Vanessa Bauer and Love Island winner Ekin-Su Culculoglu, who will take to the ice alongside Brendyn Hatfield.

Essex, 32, has already revealed a training accident that left him needing stitches in his finger.

He said: “I’ve been trying not to fall because I feel I’ve got the falling out of the way. I had stitches in my finger. It is quite bad.”

Also taking part in the first show are Former Liberty X pop group member Michelle Heaton with professional Lukasz Rozycki, as well as pop star Siva Kaneswaran from boy band The Wanted with Klabera Komini.

Kaneswaran, 34, said he signed up to “face his fears” after witnessing the “infectious” courage of his late bandmate Tom Parker.

He said he was also reminded that “life was worth living” after Parker’s death from a brain tumour at age 33 last year.

Retired Olympic gymnast Nile Wilson is partnered with a new addition to the 2023 line-up, ice dancer Olivia Smart.

Next week will welcome to the ice ex-footballer John Fashanu and professional Alexandra Schauman; Coronation Street actress Mollie Gallagher and professional Sylvain Longchambon and comedian Darren Harriott and professional Tippy Packard.

Drag queen The Vivienne, who won the first series of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, will skate with professional Colin Grafton, while soap star and West End musicals performer Carley Stenson completes the line-up with professional Mark Hanretty.

The 11 celebrities will be judged by Olympian skaters Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, Diversity dance troupe founder Ashley Banjo and former Strictly Come Dancing professional Oti Mabuse, combined with a public vote.

At the end of the second premiere episode, the couples with the lowest combined score from each show will compete in a skate-off to see who leaves the competition.

This Morning’s Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby are hosting the reality show again.

Dancing On Ice returns tonight, January 15, at 6.30 on ITV1 and ITVX.

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