There are just days to go before soap actor Gary Lucy takes to the ice to try to wow the crowds with his spectacular skating skills – helped by his Blackpool sidekick.
Four years ago the Eastenders star was runner up in ITVs Dancing on Ice, losing out on the top spot to the resort’s Hayley Tamaddon.
The pair will face each other again in this year’s all star final series, which kicks off on Sunday.
Gary, who also starred in Hollyoaks and The Bill, said he was feeling nervous about his first routine with his Blackpool-born professional partner, Katie Stainsby.
“I am bricking it,” he admitted.
“But I’m trying not to think too much about it.
“It’s hard because the competition is really tough. They’ve upped the choreography and the things we’re supposed to be doing which is difficult, especially for the people, like me, who haven’t been on the ice since the last show.
“But Katie’s been great at whipping me into shape – she’s a great coach, getting me to do things I’ve not done before.”
Gary, 32, is still filming for Eastenders while learning his steps on the ice, and said it was tough to remember it all.
He added: “All I can do is my best, and hope that I don’t drop Katie on her head.
“Standards are high this time and a few of the celebrities themselves are pretty much like the professionals, but at the end of the day, and I know it’s cliché, it’s all about the journey.
“I’m up for the challenge and I really want the people of Blackpool to get behind us for Katie’s sake.”
Katie, who lives in South Shore and teaches at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, said she was pleased with Gary’s progress, especially since he was still suffering after tearing a muscle early in his training.
She said: “He has been doing really well. He just puts a brave face on and it’s hard to know if he’s really in a lot of pain.
“Sometimes you just have to force him off the ice to rest because he just wants to do his best and not let anyone down.”
Katie, 33, said she was pleased to be part of the final series of Dancing on Ice, which will see her competing with Blackpool’s other pro-skater, Dan Whiston.
She added: “Everybody here is like a big family.
“There’s a great sense on camaraderie, but for the celebrities the competition has already started.”