'It's the first time we've used both reserves!' Dancing On Ice host Phillip Schofield reveals bosses have run out of stand-in stars...
‘It’s the first time we’ve used both reserves!’ Dancing On Ice host Phillip Schofield reveals bosses have run out of stand-in stars… after Rufus Hound was axed following positive Covid test
Dancing On Ice host Phillip Schofield has revealed bosses have run out of reserve stars after Rufus Hound and Denise Van Outen were forced to withdraw from the show.
The presenter, 58, said it’s the first time in the show’s history bosses have had to replace two celebrities as bosses introduce ‘very strict’ rules in the wake of the Covid pandemic.
On Wednesday Rufus confirmed he’d been axed from Dancing On Ice after testing positive for COVID-19 for the second time, just a week after Denise also left the show following a shoulder injury.
No more injuries! Dancing On Ice host Phillip Schofield has revealed bosses have run out of reserve stars after Rufus Hound and Denise Van Outen were forced to withdraw from the show
Speaking on Thursday’s This Morning, Phillip revealed: ‘It is very strict at the rink, which is how we’ve been able to keep the show on, but we are really sad that Rufus should go.
‘I asked my team about this and we realised that is the first time ever we’ve used both of our reserves.’
Rufus has been replaced by comedian Matt Richardson who will take to the ice for his first performance on Sunday, while gymnast Amy Tinkler made her debut last week following Denise’s departure.
End of the road: The presenter said it’s the first time in the show’s history bosses have had to replace two celebrities after Rufus was axed from the show on Wednesday
New face: He’s been replaced by comedian Matt Richardson, who will make his ice debut on Sunday
Phillip went onto list all the celebrities who have been forced to pull out of Dancing On Ice in the show’s history.
He said: ‘Series three Michael Underwood was injured so Zara Abraham stepped in and came third. Series seven, Chesney Hawkes withdrew because of an injury and was replaced by Chico who came third.
‘Gareth Thomas withdrew, but wasn’t replaced. Monty Panesar injured before transmission and replaced by Lemar.
‘Michael Barrymore was also injured in pre-transmission. Now Rufus Hound and Denise Van Outen have left from this year.’
Sad news: Denise was forced to withdraw from Dancing On Ice last week after fracturing her shoulder during training
His co-host Holly Willoughby then jumped in to issue a warning against revealing the show’s history with injuries, admitting it could make future celebrities think twice before signing up.
She said: ‘I’m amazed we get anyone to sign up for the show quite frankly, you’re sort of doing us a disservice here, Phil.’
The discussion came while the presenting duo interviewed judge Christopher Dean ahead of Sunday’s live show.
He said: ‘I always say to the reserves, ”practice, practice”, because you have got a 60 per cent chance of being part of the show.
‘This year is no different. It’s exciting for them and exciting for us as well.’
Worrying: Speaking on Thursday’s This Morning, Phillip revealed: ‘It is very strict at the rink, which is how we’ve been able to keep the show on, but we are really sad that Rufus should go’
It came hours after Rufus confirmed he’d been axed from Dancing On Ice after testing positive for coronavirus for a second time.
He had already missed two weeks of the competition after coming in to contact with someone who was carrying the virus and having to self-isolate, but then learned he’d contracted the virus himself.
Confirming the news, a spokesperson said: ‘We can confirm that following a positive test result, Rufus Hound is unable to return to Dancing On Ice this weekend.
‘Although Rufus and his partner Robin’s time on the ice has been all too brief, they can be truly proud of their achievements. We thank them for all their hard work and commitment to the show.’
‘With the departure of Rufus Hound and Robin Johnstone, a new couple will step into the main cast with comedian Matt Richardson and his pro-skater partner Vicky Ogden joining the line up from this weekend.’
ITV then confirmed on Wednesday that Matt will be joining the show alongside pro skater Vicky Ogden, and will make their debut on the rink this weekend.
Dancing On Ice continues on Sunday at 6pm on ITV.
New rules: The announcement of his departure comes after Dancing On Ice informed all the skaters that if they test positive for Covid-19 they will immediately be axed from the ITV show