New series of Dancing on Ice underway as Brendan Cole tops leader board

·3 min read
Former Happy Mondays star Bez is taking part in the new series of Dancing on Ice.  (ITV)
Former Happy Mondays star Bez is taking part in the new series of Dancing on Ice. (ITV)

The new series of Dancing On Ice is under way as six celebrities took to the rink with Brendan Cole leading the pack after week one with “the best dance ever”.

Opening the ITV programme, co-host Phillip Schofield, 59, said: “Welcome to the greatest show on ice, it is so good to have an audience back.”

Performing in week one was Happy Mondays dancer Bez, who is partnered with reigning skating champion Angela Egan, and Coronation Street star Sally Dynevor who is partnered with Matt Evers.

Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt and professional Mark Hanretty, Olympian Kye Whyte and new professional Tippy Packard, and TV presenter Ria Hebden with skater Lukasz Rozycki are also competing.

Former Strictly Come Dancing professional Brendon Cole danced with partner Vanessa Bauer and tops the leader board.

The expert judging panel includes former Olympic ice dancing champions Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, alongside Diversity choreographer Ashley Banjo and professional dancer Oti Mabuse, who is the newest addition.

Cole was the first celebrity to take to the ice, scoring a huge 30.5 with “serial finalist” skating partner Bauer.

The 45-year-old was close to tears after he finished the performance to Black Betty by Ram Jam adding: “There was a lot of pressure coming in opening the show, I could feel my heart… I thought you could hear it through my microphone.”

Head judge Christopher Dean, who scored him a 7.5, said: “That is the best first dance I have seen by a contestant in 14 series.”

New judge Oti Mabuse, who gave her fellow ex-Strictly dancer an 8, said: “You were explosive, passionate and the two of you had chemistry.”

Panellist Ashley Banjo added: “If that is where you are starting… I know you are going to be trouble.”

Cole was a professional on Strictly Come Dancing for 15 years and has since appeared as a judge on New Zealand’s Dancing With The Stars and as a guest judge on Britain’s Next Top Model.

Bez descended into the rink on a pair of giant maracas, his trademark prop when performing with the Happy Mondays, scoring 12.5 for his performance with reigning champion Angela Egan.

The maraca-shaking dancer, real name Mark Berry, is the first contestant on the show to wear a helmet for his own protection but managed to stay on his feet.

The 57-year-old, who is famed for his on-stage antics as part of Madchester-era band Happy Mondays, told the judges he was wearing protective clothing from head to toe.

Head judge Christopher Dean said: “You get a point for turning up, a point for standing up, and a point for that jump.

“It is not about how you fall, it is about how you get up and you get up every time.”

Panellist Ashley Banjo added: “If anyone needed to wear a crash helmet, I do not think they would come out. Keep pushing.”

Olympic silver medallist Kye Whyte came out on a BMX bike, scoring 24 for his routine to Dizzee Rascal’s Bonkers.

Th 22-year-old is partnered with a new Dancing On Ice professional, figure skater Tippy Packard, who is a three-time Hong Kong champion.

Whyte, who won Britain’s first ever BMX Olympic medal with a silver at the 2020 Tokyo Games in the summer, said: “I was super scared, I have come a long way.”

Judge Ashley Banjo said: “Who rides a BMX with skates with a firework on his back.

“You need to dig deep…but great job for a week one.”

Jayne Torvill added: “I am very impressed with the lifts.”

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