Former Dancing on Ice professional skater and reigning champion Alex Murphy was “shocked” to see Lady Leshurr and Brendyn Hatfield in the bottom two after week one of the show, but says she expects the British rapper to survive the showdown and be a star in the competition.  

Fans of the show were baffled when the freestyler was voted to take part in next week’s skate-off, as the singing sensation seemed to take to the ice well in the opening episode of the latest series. But Murphy thinks this is a small blip in what could be a successful experience for Lady Leshurr.

The skater said: “My favourite couple after week one is definitely Lady Leshurr and Brendyn Hatfield. I am shocked they’re in the skate-off but I can’t wait to see her perform again. I hope to see her throughout the competition.

“Her routine was definitely my favourite, and I think she was definitely undermarked considering. She should have been in first without a doubt, as she showed a lot of energy, so hopefully we see more of her.”

And Murphy also had praise for the other contestants, given it was the first week and there should be plenty more to come from each star.

She said: “I loved seeing Rebekah Vardy attack the ice, and she looks confident and could be one to watch. Denise van Outen had an accident the day before, which was daunting, so I was happy for her to get the first week done after her injury.

“Jason Donovan had a few moments where he was slightly out of time, but he did well for doing a rotating left in the first week! Joe Warren-Plant is young but has previous skating experience, so I think he’s going to be great. Despite his fall, he knew to get back up and keep going, so he did great too.

“Rufus Hound wasn’t the most confident skater, but he was definitely entertaining and that has paid off for him so far after he received the first Golden Ticket.

“As a competition goes on, I think we can expect to see a lot of improvement from all of the skaters. You would be surprised how quickly everyone improves in just a few weeks. The added pressure of the live shows really forces a new level of learning for the celebrities.”

Some viewers have argued that the judges were lenient on those contestants who fell, which is something Murphy believes should be reflected in the marking system.

“I definitely think having a fall should have been marked lower, so I don’t think Joe should have been tied for first place,” she said.

“But his prior experience skating allowed him to find his feet right away and I applaud him for getting right back into it. And having a fall in week one is probably the best way to get it over with, so he can only go up from there.”

Dancing on Ice brings added risk that other reality TV shows might not, and with Denise van Outen already experiencing an injury in the lead-up to the first show, Murphy hopes this doesn’t hamper her confidence in the coming weeks.

She said: “I think Denise will gain more confidence as her injury gets better. I know from having injuries that it really can knock your confidence. I did the same thing to my shoulder on my first season with Kem (Cetinay), and we had to adapt a day before the show and change our routine so that I could still compete.

“It really knocks your confidence as well as changes your focus. Fingers crossed she will heal quickly and gain that confidence back!”

And the newly introduced ‘Golden Ticket’ initiative has already benefitted comedian Rufus Hound, who is now exempt from the public vote and goes straight to the next round.

“The Golden Ticket is a new added element to Dancing on Ice, and I’m excited to see how the judges use it and how it will change the show as a whole,” Murphy said.

“Sometimes you’re fairly confident going into the show who could be in the bottom two, and now with this new initiative there is a huge element of surprise, so it certainly adds something different.”

Check out all the latest Dancing on Ice odds here