By William Hill
Last Updated: 11th June 2020
After warming viewers’ hearts with a festive special edition, the best show on ice Dancing On Ice returns to our screens for the opening episode of the new series this Sunday.
Dancing on Ice Christmas saw new judge John Barrowman perform an emotional rendition of ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ as well as the customary group dance from the class of 2020. Soul singer Timi Dakolo also raised hairs with a performance of ‘Merry Christmas, Darling’ alongside Emeli Sandé.
The show’s 12th series hits several important milestones, including its first ever same-sex couple as well as the first blind contestant. We preview the odds for each frontrunner.
“I’ve done a couple of training sessions. Not gonna lie, it’s hard. It’s game face,” said the Diversity star Perri Kiely.
After his inclusion was confirmed on Kiss FM Drivetime, the Britain’s Got Talent winner became the instant favourite at a short 5/4.
With former Strictly Come Dancing pro James Jordan claiming last year’s crown, it’s hardly surprising that Kiely, a 23-year-old professional dancer, has been touted as a potential victor.
After turning heads with an explosive bombshell appearance on last season’s Love Island, the 29-year-old will be hoping to replicate this impact on the ice rink.
Confirming her appearance on the show while stood in a giant snow globe during an episode of This Morning, Higgins joked that she was going to be 2020’s Gemma Collins. At a short 13/2, clearly the markets don’t think she’s ‘all mouth’.
The founding member of well-known ’90s pop group Steps is taking on 11 other celebrities in this year’s competition, each vying to impress judges Ashley Banjo, Jayne Torvill, Christopher Dean and newcomer John Barrowman along with the audience at home.
Despite being one of this series’ older contestants, Watkins (often referred to as ‘H’) makes history as one half of the show’s first ever same-sex couple.
He will be dancing with professional ice skater Matt Evers, a Dancing on Ice stalwart who claimed victory in 2008 with ex-Emmerdale star Suzanne Shaw. With Watkins priced at 13/2, the markets believe Evers has a chance of repeating that feat this time round.
First appearing on an Andrex advert aged 7, the actor and TV presenter showed his harder side on I’m A Celebrity by winning the competition outright.
“I can’t even dance on a dance floor so Dancing on Ice is just a silly idea,” the former EastEnders man said as the news was announced on Loose Women. “I’m going to learn how to skate and I’ll do it with a smile on my face.” As for Swash’s chances of victory, at 8/1 the markets are clearly more optimistic than he is.
Completing the line-up are former Blue Peter presenter Radzi Chinyanganya at 10/1, TV personality Caprice Bourret at 12/1, magician Ben Hanlin at 12/1, blind Paralympic champion Libby Clegg at 14/1, Coronation Street actress Lisa George at 14/1, ex-footballer Kevin Kilbane at 16/1, TV presenter Trisha Goddard at 28/1 and ITV news presenter Lucrezia Millarini at 33/1.