Dan Whiston returns to Dancing on Ice in a new role
Dan Whiston returns to Dancing on Ice in a new role

With the imminent return of Dancing on Ice to our screens, we caught up with professional ice skater Dan Whiston to find out all about his new role on the show, as he moves from the realm of competing to becoming the associate creative director.

Here's what he had to say about that, as well as the new group of celebrities, and some of his favourites from the past...

How did you find the response from fans last year when Dancing on Ice made its return?

Dancing on Ice seems to have extremely loyal fans, many of whom have told me they’ve watched the show since it first hit TV screens back in 2006. When the series made its return after a few years, the response from fans was just brilliant and it was really heartwarming to know they were still championing it.

You'll be working with all of the celebs this series in your new role; can you tell us a little bit about what you'll be doing this time round?

I loved every series of being a professional skater on Dancing on Ice but this year I was offered an amazing opportunity of stepping into a new role as associate creative director. This means that each week I’ll be working with a host of talented creatives putting together group performances we hope will thrill the audience. It’s going to be so much fun working with all the cast to create group routines that will showcase their skating and also assisting with everyone's competition pieces.

Photo Credit: ITV
Photo Credit: ITV

Do you think you'll miss competing on the show this series?

I had an amazing 10 years competing on the show, and partnered some lovely celebrities who have become good friends, so I think it’s only natural I’ll miss competing. However my new role is a dream come true for me, and just too good an opportunity to turn down. Besides I’ve not hung up my skates just yet, I’ll still be making an appearance on the ice during the series, so watch this space...

Karen Barber's also back this series! Are you excited to work with her again?

Karen is an Olympic coach and her knowledge of skating makes her a real asset to the show. We’ve known each other since I was a teenager and she has taught me a huge amount over the years. We always have such a great time working together and I’m looking forward to creating some magic moments on the ice with her this year.

Who have you got your eye on this year as a potential early pick for winner, or even a dark horse?

Quite a few people have asked me this and I really don’t know just yet, it’s still too early to tell. In previous series the celebrities have found their skating feet at different times, some start off well and then plateau, others become skating stars all of a sudden. That’s what makes Dancing on Ice so exciting to watch, as the leaderboard can dramatically change from week to week.

Who have been some of your favourite celebrities to work with throughout the years?

I have been so lucky with the celebrities I’ve worked with over the years and it’s almost impossible to pick a favourite. I guess each of the partnerships where we’ve gotten through to the final have an extra special place in my heart but I’ve genuinely had a blast with every skating partner I’ve had.

I'm personally hopeless when it comes to ice skating! What advice do you have for people like me who just cannot seem to take to the ice? Any top tips?

Wrap up warm, wear lots of protective pads on elbows and knees and a crash helmet. The key to skating is soft knees, which means bend them. Failing that you could always do what one of my past celebs did, which is arrive to training with an Aga cooking pad down her trousers to protect her derriere. I’ll not name names... you can ‘make your own minds up’ as to who it was.

How will you be spending the time in the run up to the show's January debut?

For the past few weeks I’ve been working on exciting new ideas for performances throughout the series. I’ve been going through music edits, working out props and costumes and also doing a lot of training with our celebrity and professionals. This show has to be bigger and better than ever before, so I’ll continue to work with the Dancing on Ice team to push the bar and give everyone at home the most spectacular show to date.

Dancing on Ice 2019 kicks off with a two-hour show at 6pm on Sunday, January 6, where six of the 12 celebrities of the year will compete in the first live show of the series.

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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