Torvill and Dean on skating to the North East with Dancing on Ice tour

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean. Picture: Trevor Leighton.
Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean. Picture: Trevor Leighton.

Audiences will be able to wrap up warm and experience the spectacle of Dancing on Ice live when it zooms into the North East next year.

It’s been announced that performers will be getting their heads in a spin for a string of dates at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena from March 30 to April 1.

Throwback to Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean visiting the Crowtree Leisure Centre  ice rink in Sunderland in 1983. Pictured with Elizabeth Hall and  Melanie Chalder

Throwback to Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean visiting the Crowtree Leisure Centre ice rink in Sunderland in 1983. Pictured with Elizabeth Hall and Melanie Chalder

The tour marks the return of the show to ITV, which is due to air in January, as well as the return of perhaps the art form’s most-famous duo, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean.

They’ll be hosting the tour and stepping into the role of head judges for the show after a four-year break.

Christopher says they’re looking forward to getting their non-competitive skates on.

“We’ve toured for more than 30 years so touring is not unfamiliar to us and it’s something we enjoy,” he explained.

“We had a hiatus from touring for a couple of years, but when the producers asked us to return we were really happy.

“We really enjoyed hosting the last tour in 2014, so we’ll be doing that again, plus we’re taking on our new roles as head judges.

“We have fond memories of touring and performing, but we did it for 30 years so we’re happy to not be skating. Some nights it was Blades of Glory, others it was Blades of Doom, but we enjoyed it.”

Joining Torvill & Dean on tour will be a host of celebrities and professional skaters from the new Dancing on Ice series.

Celebrities announced for the show include Coronation Street’s Brooke Vincent and Antony Cotton, presenter Cheryl Baker, Love Island winner Kem Cetinay, baker Candice Brown, rugby player Max Evans, Good Morning Britain weatherman Alex Beresford, cricket star Monty Panesar, Hollyoaks star Stephanie Waring, track athlete Perri Shakes-Drayton, X Factor’s Jake Quickenden and actress Donna Air.

Meanwhile, Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby have been confirmed as the presenters for the new series after the duo hosted the show for the first six years between 2006 and 2011.

The celebrity skaters and their professional partners are already in the midst of rehearsals for the show, with many of them joining the tour afterwards.

The King and Queen of Ice, Jayne and Chris, will be on hand to give their expert critical feedback and their all-important scores to the celebrities and their skating partners.

In addition to the scores from the Ice Panel Judges, arena audiences can text vote from their mobile phones for their favourite skating couple. Audience votes will then be added to the scores from the judges to decide the overall celebrity winning couple.

They will then take to the ice to perform a finale.

Chris says seeing the show in person adds a whole new dimension to watching it on screen.

“A lot of people say that seeing the tour is a completely different experience than watching it on TV. You can really get a sense of speed, feel the wind and hear the grooves on the ice,” he explained.

“And the celebrities enjoy it because they can really perfect the routines, rather than learning a new one each week for the show. To perform in an arena, in venues that size with large audiences, is also a great experience.”

Speaking about the TV show’s return to our screens, he said: “For the TV show, the format is slightly different.

“This year Jayne and I will be head judges instead of coaches, which meant we used to get really close to the contestants, but this time we’ll have to be more objective.

“The main format has always worked, we don’t want to change that. But the professional skaters are doing the choreography this year as we want to be fair and impartial in our new roles.”

Asked about whether the pair have had any favourite celebrities since the show began in 2006, Jayne said: “There’s a whole range of abilities and some are naturals and others aren’t, but that’s what makes it so entertaining. The audience want to see that improvement and to see people pushing themselves.

“All of the contestants are special, they’re like our children. But I have to say Ray Quinn was outstanding, he’s very talented and has amazing ability on the ice.”

The 27-show Dancing On Ice tour will open at The SSE Arena, Wembley, on March 23, before touring the country.

• Tickets for Dancing on Ice in Newcastle are on sale now from www.dancingonicetour.co.uk