Dancing on Ice host Phillip Schofield has spoken about the upcoming 2022 series, saying he will miss the ‘larger than life’ John Barrowman.
It was previously confirmed that Strictly Come Dancing star Oti Mabuse will be replacing the former judge the panel of the ITV skating competition ahead of the new series launching this month.
ITV announced the Torchwood actor would no longer be part of the programme after he said he had taken part in ‘tomfoolery’ on the sets of BBC shows Doctor Who.
Speaking ahead of the new series, Phillip said the new addition to the line-up was ‘amazing’, but admitted he will miss John.
‘I adore John (Barrowman) and obviously we will miss that larger than life personality but in every panel you want to make sure each area is well and truly serviced,’ he said.
‘Oti will definitely be the one to pick them up on their dancing and their dancing skills and that’s really important.’
Phillip also spoke about the different strengths of the judging panel, saying: ‘So, you’ve got Ashley [Banjo] with the overall showbiz nature and difficulty with the moves, obviously Jayne [Torvill] and Christopher [Dean] who have ice skating sewn up and then you’ve got Oti who knows exactly what’s required.’
He added: ‘We really like her as well, she has been on This Morning a lot so we know she will be a great part of the team.
When asked what advice he would give Oti, he said: ‘Well I think you have to take that into consideration. I love Strictly but compared to the skills that are required for Dancing on Ice it’s a walk in the park, because you have the possibility of real danger, real injury.
‘You have a rink that is full of essentially blades and we know how dangerous they can be and how deeply they can cut and how sharp they are. I’ve just watched a video of Bez on his second day fall over backwards so hard that his helmet flew off. It’s one of those things but you don’t see that on Strictly. Dancing On Ice is really dangerous.
‘They really all risk everything for it. We’ve seen in the past that people do get hurt and of course you want to avoid that at all cost. I think we will be wrapping Bez up in bubble wrap that’s for sure.’
Barrowman appeared on Lorraine last year and insisted his ‘silly behaviour’ had been exaggerated as he took part in his first TV interview since the allegations against him arose.
‘I think that if it was now it would be crossing the line,’ he said. ‘I think that something that happened 15 years ago – it was bawdy behaviour, silly behaviour.
‘It was being done in the confines of the set and we were like a family working together. The fact that it was stories that I’ve already told, I’ve been telling them for years. I haven’t hidden anything.
‘They have been exaggerated and they have tried to turn them into sexual harassment, which it absolutely is not. The one thing that for me, all the people that are making the fuss about it, they weren’t there. They don’t know the context of things that were done. Like I said, I would never do it now.
It comes after All Star Musicals at Christmas viewers were confused as to why John was fronting the ITV competition show, and called for answers.
Meanwhile, ITV has confirmed that Dancing on Ice will kick off on Sunday, January 16.
The 12 celebrity contestants this year include the likes of Love Island’s Liberty Poole, Pussycat Dolls’ Kimberly Wyatt, Ex-Strictly dancer Brendan Cole, Happy Mondays star Bez and former S Club 7 singer Rachel Stevens.
Dancing on Ice begins on January 16.