Fire and ice

doi maria rayIt started so well. Blessed with the presence of Britain’s most famous (read: only) Olympic ice dancing champions and unbeatable concept of “celebrities” (read: retired athletes, some bloke off Hollyoaks and Chico) emoting to Eighties power ballads while wobbling round a frozen pond with knives strapped to their feet, Dancing on Ice proved a sturdy solution to the problem “What will ITV viewers do during the long, X Factor-less months?”

Nine series later, with ratings somewhere south of Antiques Roadshow reruns, the show came to an ignominious end – and you could hardly blame people for switching off. Holly Willoughby and her ample charms were replaced by soporific Christine Bleakley, respected skating judges by nonsense-spewing Pussycat Dolls, and engaging contests by the weekly battle to remember who the hell these people were and why they were auditioning for Casualty dressed as Eurovision also-rans.

Nevertheless, this cheerfully loony programme deserved a good encore, and it has one in its farewell tour. The line-up features contestants from the final all-stars series, with the usual mix of skilled skaters, enjoyable performers and cringe-worthy comedy acts.

Read my full Dance Today review here

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