Watching and waiting... for one of them to slip up!
Dancing On Ice returns to our screens on the 8th of January with another series of hopeful celebrities attempting to be crowned King or Queen of the ice –if you’re anything like me, you are just watching in the hope one ends up on their backsides, preferably not the one you're betting on.
With last year’s winner being cheeky Liverpudlian Ray Quinn, you have to look towards someone who is young and athletic enough to be able to take on the prospect of dancing on ice, but also with a bit of personality thrown into the mix to keep the public voting.
Here is a rundown of all the skaters hoping to win your votes, and hopefully win you money, this year [betting odds correct at time of release]:
Ex-Emmerdale beauty Hayley Tamaddon starts this year’s show as favourite – she played Delilah Dingle. No stranger to the reality TV show, she came runner-up in ITV’s Soapstar Superstar in 2007 so she certainly has some rhythm. She also starred in Soapstar Superchef, which she won, so she certainly has some pedigree in celebrity spinoffs. Due to her role in Emmerdale it led her to star in the hugely successful Ghosthunting with the Dingles, which I'm sure will have trained her nerves up when it comes to standing in front of those judges.
Jeremy Sheffield is probably best known for his role as hunky doctor Alex Adams in Holby City amongst other TV roles. Some of the more eagle-eyed viewers may recognise him from Renault Clio’s France vs. Britain adverts and Natalie Imbruglia's Torn video. The reason Jeremy comes in at second favourite is mainly due to his training as a ballet dancer before becoming an actor, even starring in Queen’s music video I Want to Break Free. Sheffield’s dancing career only ended due to an injury that left him with a torn hamstring – he has since recovered and you would expect his dancing background to enable him to take to this competition like a duck to…ice?
Young heart-throb Danny Young comes from the famous cobbles of Coronation Street having a 12-month stint there from 2005. Since then... he has not done much. Playing young football hopeful Warren Baldwin, his character left to pursue a career in Spain, returning for a few episodes to have a trial with Port Vale, in which he failed and went back to Spain. Young certainly looks like he is young and athletic enough to be confident on the ice and impress the judges; can he justify this attractive price?
Mikey Graham is probably one of the better known competitors this year, the Irishman coming from long-running boy band Boyzone. Although maybe one of the less well known members he has still been part of a group that’s had six number one singles and four number one albums. With the recent heartache of losing Stephen Gately, Mikey says he will be using dancing on ice as therapy over the loss, with such inspiration you would expect him to give it his all and looks a good prospect at 7/1.
Before you ask, this isn’t Kieran Richardson the Sunderland footballer; it is of course Kieron Richardson the actor behind bad-boy Hollyoaks character Ste Hay. Having been nominated for several soap awards for his portrayal Kieron is a popular character on the teen soap and hopes to build on this success with a victory on the ice. At 23 he is one of the younger contestants and you would expect him to put all his energy into getting his routines right and I see no reason why he can’t go all the way.
Another graduate from the soaps, Gary Lucy has starred in Hollyoaks, Footballer’s Wives and The Bill. Gary is a big motorcycle fan and came off one in 2006 which made him have to leave The Bill for a while to recover so, if you do like the 8/1 here, you'd best keep your fingers crossed he stays off the bike. The tabloids have snapped him looking impressive on the ice and putting a lot of effort into training and I think this price looks just as impressive.
Emily Atack may be an unknown entity for those of you unfamiliar with the teen hit show The Inbetweeners, but she was a star in this BAFTA nominated comedy. There are two BIG reasons why I like this girl, not what you’re thinking – they are the fact she is the youngest on the show gives her a certain edge and the fact she is a distant relative of Sir Paul McCartney, which I hope will lead to a bit of an entertaining conflict with a certain Heather Mills.
Former Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies looks an impressive price as the only celebrity to come in with any previous sporting experience. Sharron will be used to performing physically in front of an audience and surely being partnered with one of last year’s finalists Pavel Aubrecht can’t hurt her cause. The way she has built on her success in the Olympic arena to become a positive role model for all young hopefuls and a patron for many charities has provided her a substantial fan base so I'm sure her likeability factor will carry her along a fair way.
Another one of these “famous for who she married” types, Tana Ramsay is one step away from being a WAG. Although she has released her own cookbook on the back of her husband Gordon’s success Tana hasn’t really done much of note for me to tell you about. She looks forward to the challenge of learning to skate… and that’s about it.
Sinitta shot to fame in the 1980s with songs such as So Macho and Toy Boy and is also known for her relationship with Simon Cowell. Since the decline of her pop career Sinitta has helped out Simon on X-Factor as a personal aide and appeared on plenty of celebrity based shows but I can’t see her really picking up this dancing on ice lark, she could be worth a punt on top female but I think some of the men have more of a chance.
Many people looked down their nose at Daniella Westbrook’s place back in the limelight after her very public addiction to drugs, but she lines up at a big price to win this year’s skate off. Famous for her initial stint and then reappearance in Eastenders Daniella has also appeared in I’m a Celebrity... but left due to the hardship of it all so her credentials aren’t great when the going gets tough. She may get some tough comments from the judges, but she will just have to acc-septum!
Bobby Davro has been going for over 30 years in the entertainment industry doing impressions and comedy routines. A career spanning sketch shows, presenting, stand-up and even a recent stint on Eastenders makes him something of a legend in his field. In spite of succeeding in many areas I'm not so sure ice skating, that requires such grace and finesse, is going to be Bobby’s finest hour and his price reflects this.
Dr Hilary Jones as he is more formally known is the joint outsider this year and I can understand why. Qualified GPs are not usually renowned for their stability on the ice. Dr Hilary came into the public eye for being GMTV’s health and medical advisor and also doing various newspaper columns. His ability on the ice is admittedly relatively unknown thus far but you do feel there are more likely candidates for this year’s crown.
We'll save the best ‘til last, Heather Mills is this year’s shock inclusion for the dancing competition. The ex-wife of Sir Paul McCartney wants to use this platform to inspire other prosthetic limb users, showing she can stand on her own two feet, you might say, after losing a leg in a motorcycle accident in 1993. The training process has been tough for her as she has injured her shoulders, ribs and pelvis so far but this hasn’t fazed the determined 41 year old. Although this may be a good platform to show off her real personality after not gaining many fans through her divorce, I don’t think she can be seen as a serious contender for the title.