Brendan Cole topped the leaderboard during the 'Dancing On Ice' launch night.

Brendan Cole impressed on the ice

Brendan Cole impressed on the ice

The 45-year-old ballroom dancer and his partner Vanessa Bauer impressed the judges with their first effort of the series, scoring 30.5 out of 40 points.

After Brendan's first routine, judge Christopher Dean said: "Tonight it was on form, you were strength, strong, superior and masculine. What I really appreciate is that you're really getting into the ice."

Christopher also pointed out that Brendan's dancing background helped him to impress on the ice.

He explained: "He's learned to skate, which enables to show off him his dancing ability."

Ashley Banjo was similarly enthusiastic about Brendan's performance on the opening night.

He also point out that it's not easy to make the transition from the ballroom to the ice.

Ashley said: "As someone who could dance before I could skate, they are completely different worlds."

Elsewhere, Pussycat Doll Kimberley Wyatt and her professional partner Mark Hanretty - who performed to 'What About Us' by Pink - scored 30 out of 40.

By contrast, Happy Mondays' Bez and his partner Angela Egan failed to impress the judges.

The music star - who wore a crash helmet after suffering injuries during training - performed to his own song 'Step On', but was awarded a meagre 12.5 out of 40.

Christopher said: "Skating is hard, you've shown how hard it is. You've got a mark for turning up, standing up and a mark for that jump."

However, Ashley admitted to being "genuinely entertained" by Bez's performance.

He explained: "You've got my respect, if anyone needed to wear a crash helmet - I don't think they'd come out. But you have. Forgot the scores I was genuinely entertained."