Dancing on Ice tour starts this week

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Life will never be the same.. at least not on a Sunday night.

For the last blade has cut a final gouge into the ITV rink and heralded the end of Dancing on Ice FOREVER.

As Champion of Champs Ray Quinn lifted his elegant trophy, he signalled an end to the popular TV show as the ice dancing icons Torvill and Dean bade a final farewell to their glittering career.

But, do not despair. Hope, as always, is at hand. Quinny, as Scouse Ray is affectionately known, and a host of other dancing-cum-skating stars are about to hit the ice again... for one last tour.

Billed the tour to end all tours, an impressive celebrity line-up will be joined by the original TV judges on Dancing on Ice the Final Tour, marking the 30th anniversary of Jayne and Chris’s famous Bolero success.

Olympic gold medal winner Robin Cousins will head the panel, along with former professional skaters Karen Barber and Nicky Slater, when the 30th anniversary tour kicks off at the Phones 4 U Arena in Manchester this week.

Besides previous winners, the line-up includes some of the nation’s favourite stars, including former Stonyhurst College pupil and England Rugby Captain Kyran Bracken, Coronation Street’s Hayley Tamaddon and comedian Joe Pasquale, alongside the likes of Broadway and West End theatre star Bonnie Langford, actress Suzanne Shaw and singer Gareth Gates. During a break from rehearsals, Gates told the Lancashire Evening Post at his surprise at being asked to go on the show, never mind join the final tour.

He said: “ For me it was a real shock that they asked me.

“Most of the people I was up against (on the show) were past champions.

“It was really nice to be asked to join the final series.”

He added: “ The highlight was getting through the first week. Every week was a bonus for me – a lot of fun. To go from being dreadful, clinging on to the side, learning to skate then to add dancing, lifts et cetera was incredible.”

The multi-million selling singer, and now one part of the ITV2 Big Reunion super group 5th Story, said: “I’ve loved this series, so I’m glad I don’t have to hang up my skates just yet. I can’t wait to get on the tour and skate all around the country. We’re going to have a lot of fun.”

Suzanne said the entire show had been “amazing”.

The star added that dancing on the live shows each week gave her “a real sense of achievement”, adding “This is our job, to perform, yet the pressure is still the same.”

Former champ Suzanne said: “Winning Dancing on Ice in 2008 was such an amazing moment and I really enjoyed the tour afterwards.

“Being part of the final tour, with the brilliant Matt Evers, will be the perfect way to celebrate what has been one of the best experiences of my life. I can’t wait to return.”

Fans will see their favourite skating couples competing live for the judges’ votes, and the audience can use their mobile phones to text vote for their favourite celebrity to win.

Audience votes will then be added to the scores from the judges to decide the overall celebrity winner. The winning couple will then take to the ice for a magical finale performance of Bolero.

All the celebrities will be trained and choreographed by Torvill and Dean, who will also perform routines choreographed exclusively for the live tour, including a final performance of their legendary Bolero routine.

The professional skaters on the Dancing on Ice The Final Tour will be Maria Filippov, partnering the last ever champion Ray Quinn, Nina Ulanova with Kyran Bracken; Lancashire couple Daniel Whiston and Hayley Tamaddon; Robin Johnstone dancing with Joe Pasquale; Lukasz Rozycki with Beth Tweddle; Andrei Lipanov dancing with Bonnie Langford: Matt Evers dancing with Suzanne Shaw; and Brianne Delcourt dancing with Gareth Gates.

The four-week UK tour will start on March 28 at the Manchester Phones 4 U Arena before visiting London, Newcastle, Nottingham, Glasgow, Sheffield, Birmingham, and culminating in Leeds on April 27. (Friday, March 28 at 7.30pm, Saturday, March 29 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm, Sunday, March 30 at 1.30pm and 6.30pm).