Patsy Palmer announced as first contestant for Dancing On Ice 2023

Former EastEnders star Patsy Palmer has been announced as the first contestant for Dancing On Ice 2023.

The 50-year-old actress, best known for her role as Bianca Jackson in the BBC soap, was unveiled for the forthcoming series during Monday’s episode of This Morning.

Discussing her motivation for signing up, she told the ITV programme: “I wanted to challenge myself and get back to work, get out of my comfort zone.

“And I just thought ‘I’ll just go for it’, it seems like a lot of fun.”

Palmer admitted she had been asked to compete on the show before but had been “absolutely terrified” about taking part.

Explaining why she thinks now is the right time, she said: “I feel like my pact that I made with myself when I was 50, which I was this year, was I have to do things to challenge myself for the next couple of years and get out of my comfort zone because I don’t want to get stuck in this thing of ‘Ah, I’m 50’. It’s such a weird age.

“So this is for all the 50-year-olds out there that think they can’t challenge themselves, so feel free to follow me and watch me do whatever I need to do.”

Presenters Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby teased the news earlier in the show by showing a red wig and DJ decks.

Palmer starred as Natasha in the children’s drama series Grange Hill during the 1980s and then took on the role of Bianca Jackson in EastEnders in 1993, playing the part on and off until 2019.

She has also been DJing since 2012 and previously competed in Strictly Come Dancing in 2005 with professional dancer Anton Du Beke.

– Dancing On Ice is set to return to ITV and ITVX in 2023 with 11 new celebrities who will take on the challenge of skating live each week in a bid to impress both the panel and viewers at home.