Colin Jackson might have impressed the judges on Strictly Come Dancing back in 2005, but taking part in Dancing On Ice is a whole different beast – but one he’s determined to conquer all the same.
The former Olympian, 53, came second on his series of Strictly, and thinks the dance background he learned will help him when it comes to performing on Dancing On Ice.
He explained: ‘I’m so happy I’ve already had a little bit of Ballroom background because it would be hell trying to learn to skate without it!
‘I know if I can just learn to stay on my feet consistently, then I’ll have a proper chance because I’ll be able to finish all the lines and I’m used to dancing with a partner really close up, so that bit of it, thank god I’ve done that already.
‘At the moment my legs are a bit like Bambi and they go all over the place but Klabera [Komini, his pro partner] always says “Don’t worry, you’ll be OK by January!”’
Revealing who he thinks will do well on the ice, Colin thinks that Myleene Klass is a frontrunner for him so far, after seeing her in training.
He revealed: ‘My dark horse is Myleene Klass. Oh my days. I watched Myleene get on the ice, and then I saw her two hours later – a different person.
‘She grew with confidence and skill and then she started to move and I was like… watch this one!
‘It sounds really odd when I say this, but she has a beautiful face and when she smiles, everything lights up. And when she lights up, that’s what it’s all about.
‘That’s the entertainment side, that’s that X Factor when you just shine, your whole spirit shines you come alive. And that’s what she does so beautifully well, so watch her.’
Colin, who is also an ambassador for Qube Learning, always embraces a challenge to learn something new – and being a professional athlete, he is used to the discipline it takes to master a new skill.
He explained: ‘Upskilling is always important to me, I feel you’ve got to be the best person that you can be. So when opportunities are presented to me, I tend to jump on them with two hands if it’s a skill for life.
‘So whether it’s learning to cook, and then being able to go on things like Masterchef, or learning to dance and then going on to Strictly or learn to ice skate properly, if it’s really important to you, you really give it your heart and soul to get the best performance you can do and I’ve always done that.
‘I always have the mindset to keep learning and that’s why I pick up skills well, there’s not ever a time when I’m content.
‘When I am learning, I need to feel that I am the best that I can possibly be – it doesn’t mean I’m going to be the best in the world, because I can’t compare myself to my previous life as an Olympian, all I can do is try and produce the best of me, in that environment in that circumstance.
So that’s why I really always just applied myself to it and I think that’s where the skill of learning comes from.’
He admits it is nice working with Klabera as a student again, starting from scratch as a skater: ‘I do drift back to being young again and it does remind me of what it feels like to be a pupil and how good you feel when you achieve something.
‘Every day we see tiny improvements, and a tiny improvement to me feels massive. So that leads you to the next day where you see okay, I made that improvement so I can do a little bit better today. That’s the beauty of it for me.’
If his performance on Strictly is anything to go by (and fellow DOI star and Olympian Graham Bell certainly thinks it will be), Colin is bound to go far in the competition next year.
Colin is an ambassador for Qube Learning, a leading national training provider which supports employers (such as OCS Group UK and NHS) and which helps individuals embark on apprenticeships or traineeships.