Dancing on Ice - Why Bring It Back? | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Dancing on Ice – Why Bring It Back?

TV writer and figure skater Tasha Burden reflects on ITV's revival of their Sunday evening skating show, Dancing on Ice

Back in the day, Dancing on Ice worked as a format. It was an amazing opportunity for semi-celebrities to get free, extensive tuition from the best coaches in the UK, and boost their popularity.

I recall the program lengths being so long that must have tested the patience of even the most loyal fans of the show after a while
When the show bowed out in 2014 with its All-Stars series, I was relieved. It was a format that had probably been exhausted. I recall the program lengths being so long that must have tested the patience of even the most loyal fans of the show after a while. The program certainly wasn’t missed by many, and though I wasn’t particularly surprised to hear of its return- I did think that it was a bit of an insult to the integrity of the old format, which, along with many who had been involved in it from the start, took a very long bow out with the final series.

In the past, the judging panel included Robin Cousins, 1980 Olympic men’s singles gold medalist, Karen Hardy, Olympic ice dancer, and even Katarina Witt, German ex-figure skater who won two gold medals in the Olympic woman’s singles. With Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean at the rink-side, the combination of skating royalty could allow the audience to overlook the presenters pandering to Jason Gardiner - the pantomime villain of the judging panel, and the dreadful made-up skating terms used by the commentator.

As a figure skater, I perhaps find the skill level of the celebrities somewhat less remarkable than the average person, but if you look at the celebrity away from the professional skating around them, they are stood still or being pulled around for much of the routine. Towards the end of the series the entertainment value of the routines does admittedly increase, however the likelihood of the celebrities falling over decreases.

The judging panel now consists of Torvill and Dean, Jason, and a member of Diversity
The revival of the show has made some interesting changes; the commentator somehow seems to be given even more air time, and the judging panel now consists of Torvill and Dean, Jason, and a member of Diversity. This sets aside the previous coaching and choreography roles of Torvill and Dean, which was one of the only features of the show that set it apart from other celebrity talent shows, and meant that even the very worst skaters managed to complete entertaining routines.

Therefore, whilst I love the exposure that the show gives to the sport and the support it gives to local ice rinks, I truly can’t watch the new series of Dancing on Ice, which is now a less successful version of Strictly Come Dancing with adverts.



Published

6th February 2018 at 9:00 am

Last Updated

5th February 2018 at 9:23 pm



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