Phillip Schofield leaps to Holly Willoughby’s defence as Dancing On Ice skates back to top ratings
DANCING On Ice glided back on to our screens over the weekend, but the banter was less than smooth between presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield and a certain outspoken judge.
While the show itself saw a return to form with half a million more viewers than its last launch in 2014, judge Jason Gardiner soon learnt what it meant to mess with This Morning duo Holly and Phil.
It was after Jason tried to give Hollyoaks actress Stephanie Waring some pointers on her performance that things got icy.
‘Well, done Stephanie for staying up this time,’ he started — with a back-handed compliment referring to her rehearsal mis-steps — before going on to stick the blades in.
‘[The score] would have been a bit higher but you took that stumble, and if you weren’t holding on to Sylvain, you would have gone,’ he said.
‘I’m still seeing a very tentative performance, there needs to be more oomph and panache in your execution, particularly with the choreography still.’
Naturally, Holly tried to smooth things over, pointing out: ‘It’s week one though,’ before trying to move on to second judge Ashley Banjo.
But Jason wasn’t having any of that, snapping back: ‘She’s got to improve, that’s what I’m giving her information for.’
And that did it for Phil, who instantly sprang to Holly’s defence.
‘Don’t you snap at my girl!’ he exclaimed more than once, even walking over to the judge’s desk to make his point a second time.
Although the exchange was soon laughed off as a joke, it’s unclear whether it really was all an act. Either way, Jason would be wise not to test Phil’s loyalty a second time.
By the end of the first episode, Love Island winner Kem Cetinay and reality TV star Jake Quickenden topped the leaderboard with 20.5 points each for their routines, while 2016’s Great British Bake Off winner Candice Brown got the lowest score, meaning she is in next week’s skate-off.
Also due to compete next week are: singer Cheryl Baker, ITV weather forecaster Alex Beresford, Coronation Street’s Brooke Vincent, singer Lemar, Scottish rugby star Max Evans and TV presenter Donna Air.
Author: Anna Thomson