Blackpool’s Dancing On Ice skating star Dan Whiston has swept his new celebrity partner off her feet.
Dan surprised Bucks Fizz singer Cheryl Baker live on stage during a gig in Kent, to reveal he would be the professional training her as the ITV reality show returns to screens in the new year.
Cheryl said it was ‘fantastic’ and ‘amazing’ to be paired with Dan - a three-time winner of the series - who brought her a gift of new skates ready to get going.
In front of a whooping crowd, Cheryl said: “It’s real. It’s really happening.”
Dan said of his new partner, famous for whipping her skirt off in Bucks Fizz’s Eurovision winning song Making Your Mind Up: “I’m so excitd. So many people have been messaging and asking who I’m skating with, Dancing On Ice is coming back and I’ve got Cheryl.”
He gave Cheryl a taste of what’s to come, and ‘taught her a first lift’ and twirled her round in front of her bandmates.
Dan is the show’s most successful skater from the show’s original run, appearing in all nine series, taking home the winner's trophy with Emmerdale actress Gaynor Faye, with Blackpool soap and stage star Hayley Tamaddon and the eighth series with Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle. He also partnered Hayley in the final All Stars series, with the popular duo finishing in second place.
Former Dancing On Ice coaches and Olympic skating superstars Jane Torvill and Christopher Dean are returning to the series as judges, alongside Diversity’s Ashley Banjo and Jason Gardiner, with Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby presenting.
Dan, 40, started skating aged seven at Blackpool Pleasure Beach and worked at the Arena until he took part in his first Hot Ice Show aged 18, appearing in that until he joined Dancing On Ice. He also regularly danced in the children’s BIDCA Christmas ice show at the rink.
Fellow Blackpool skater Kate Stainsby, who partnered Vanilla Ice in series six and Gary Lucy in the All Stars version, is not returning to the show this time out.