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Phillip and Holly return for Dancing on Ice: Meet the class of 2021

It's just what we need to get us through a chilly January in lockdown - Dancing on Ice is back!

Our very own Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby return to present the show alongside the expert Ice Panel of Torvill and Dean, John Barrowman and Ashley Banjo.

With a contestant line-up including big names such as Myleene Klass, Denise Van Outen and Jason Donavan, let's take a closer look at the DOI class of 2021!

Graham Bell

Graham is a British Olympic skier, TV presenter, adventurer and journalist. Graham is one of the most successful downhill skiers the UK has ever produced, having claimed the Ski Champion of Britain title on eight occasions!

What’s your biggest fear about taking to the ice?

"My biggest fear is dancing in front of millions of people. Ice doesn’t scare me. I’m used to ice but dancing, proper dancing. Not just the kind that’s drunk on a table wearing ski boots - that’s not dancing. And performing as well. It’s not in my comfort zone. I’m not a professional performer, I’m certainly not a dancer."

Faye Brookes

Former Coronation Street star Faye Brookes is best known for playing Kate Connor on the cobbles, first appearing on the soap in 2015 alongside on-screen brother Aidan Conner (X Factor winner Shayne Ward).

Are you a bit of an adrenaline junkie and what’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?

"I’m a bit of a thrill seeker. I’ll try anything. Sort of... I’d happily take on trying to swim the English Channel but then I don’t like going upside down on rollercoasters! And some of the storylines I’ve had on Corrie have been intensely emotional and that can bequite scary in a way, having to show that vulnerability.

But, yes, I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie – like I want to do the headbanger! Life’s too short, give it a go."

Jason Donovan

Australian actor and singer Jason initially achieved fame in the Australian soap Neighbours, playing Scott Robinson, before beginning a career in music which led to 13 million albums and four UK No.1 singles. On stage, Jason appeared in the sell-out run of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and has starred musicals including The Rocky Horror Show, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Priscilla.

What do your family think about you taking part in the show?

"Mixed! I think they’re worried about injury more than anything. My wife didn’t think that doing Strictly was a great idea until I started winning and then it was a fantastic idea."

Rufus Hound

Rufus Hound is a comedian, actor and presenter who has appeared on comedy panel game shows Nevermind the Buzzcocks and Celebrity Juice. Rufus has starred in Doctor Who and won the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special in 2013.

The training will be pretty tough, are you prepared?

"No! Look at me! I am at home on bar stools. Or park benches occasionally! Where I am not at home is in a sporting, athletic environment. I am somebody who will work hard on a task and part of delivering on this isn’t just turning up for the training. It’s learning to excel, to be literally better than anyone could imagine me being at doing this."

Colin Jackson CBE

Athlete Colin Jackson won a silver medal at the 1992 Olympics in the 110 metre hurdles, went on to become world champion twice. Colin's world record of 12.91 seconds for the 110m hurdles stood for over a decade and he remains the 60 metres hurdles world record holder.

Colin now works as a television presenter and sports commentator for athletics and television presenter, and came second in Strictly Come Dancing in 2005 with dance partner Erin Boag.

Are you in it to win it?

"I’m competitive with myself. I do come from an individual sport where it’s all about you so I always feel like I need to be happy with my own personal performance. My competition and my challenge will always be with me so as long as I deliver what I’m capable of delivering then I will be content. Not necessarily happy but content – there’s a slight difference."

Sonny Jay

Radio presenter and singer Sonny was once a member of the group Loveable Rogues, who reached the finals of the sixth series of Britain’s Got Talent in 2012. He presented on Phoenix FM before moving to Capital FM, where he presents the Capital Breakfast show alongside Roman Kemp and Sian Welby.

What’s the biggest appeal about doing Dancing on Ice?

"The biggest appeal for me is the challenge of doing the show. And actually, coming out of the experience and having a skill. There’s not many shows you can go on where you learn something. I mean I’m going to be able to skate properly for the rest of my life. And skating backwards looks so cool. I’ll be teaching my kids!"

Myleene Klass

Myleene Klass found fame as part of ITV's Popstars winning band Hear’Say. Myleene has released two solo classical crossover albums and since 2006 has been a television and radio presenter appearing on CD:UK, The One Show and Loose Women, and coming second in the sixth series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!. Myleene currently hosts Smooth Radio's weekend drive-time show.

Does taking part feel like a positive way to start 2021?

"When else would I get this chance? I’m a mum of three, a step-mum of two, there’s seven of us in our blended family. When else would a mum like me get the chance to learn a new skill. And I spent all of lockdown teaching children and teaching my music classes that went viral and now it’s time for me to learn a new skill and be able to walk away with a bum like J-Lo’s!"

Lady Leshurr

Rapper and singer Melesha O'Garro, known professionally as Lady Leshurr, found fame with her Queen’s Speech series of freestyles. She went on to win a MOBO for Best Female Act in 2016, and in 2019 performed as a special guest for Nicki Minaj.

In the 2020 Birthday Honours list Lady Leshurr was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to music and charity.

What is your biggest fear about taking to the ice?

"Falling over, someone skating over my fingers and cutting them off! Originally that was my first fear from when I first tried to get on the ice when I was younger. That’s why I’ve always shied away from it because I’d always think the worst."

Joe-Warren Plant

Joe-Warren plays Jacob Gallagher in Emmerdale, a role he's held since the age of eight.

The actor is taking a six-month break from the soap to appear on Dancing on Ice.

What will your on-ice strengths and weaknesses be?

"I wouldn’t say I’m particularly strong so that’s something to work on before trying a headbanger! And my balance isn’t always brilliant BUT I’m unphased by taking on all the lifts."

Billie Shepherd

Reality TV star and businesswoman Billie Faiers first appeared on our screens in The Only Way is Essex in 2010. Since then, Billie has launched her own children's fashion collection and landed her own reality TV show with sister Sam Faiers, The Mummy Diaries on ITVBe.

What's the appeal of doing the show?

"For me the challenge of ice skating, learning a new skill and I’ve never done anything like this before. I’ve never done anything on my own, I’ve always done stuff with my sister. I’ve never given myself a personal challenge like this so I feel like now at this point in my career its good for me to step up and do something like this. I’m also looking forward to the fitness challenge, the outfits and the glam."

Denise Van Outen

Actress, singer, dancer and presenter Denise got her TV break on The Big Breakfast. A successful theatre career has seen her appear in Chicago and Legally Blonde and as a judge on reality musicals series Any Dream Will Do and Born to Shine. Denise has starred in soaps including EastEnders and Neighbours, and is the narrator on The Only Way is Essex.

What’s the appeal in signing up for the show?

"Well I want to be able to get on the ice and actually skate. Betsy has just turned 10 so for the past few years when I’ve taken her to Lapland UK or Somerset House, anything like that, I never get on the ice. She’s like ‘skate with me mummy’ and I’m holding onto the side. Not because I’m scared but because I can’t actually skate. I actually would like to be able to go with her. I don’t want to be that mum who can't do something or can't give it a try."

Rebekah Vardy

TV personality Rebekah Vardy is married to England footballer Jamie Vardy. She was a contestant on I’m a Celebrity in 2017 and has also appeared on Good Morning Britain, This Morning, Loose Women and How To Spend it Well at Christmas.

What will your on-ice strengths and weaknesses be?

"My strength is my determination. I don’t give up and that’s my mantra really – live by the blade, die by the blade is what I would say! My weaknesses - I think I’ll have to throw the resting bitch face in there! I have this resting bitch face and I know I’ve got it but I’m smiling on the inside. I really am! To other people it looks like I’m miserable. Now the Botox is wearing off hopefully the happy features will start coming through."

Dancing on Ice returns Sunday 17 January at 6pm on ITV.

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