Dancing On Ice’s Dan Whiston has his work cut out for him as the Associate Creative Director of the hit ITV show.
But, with ten successful series’ as a professional skater under his belt and three wins, there’s no-one better suited to the role than the 45 year old Blackpool-born star.
And as the hit series returns for 2022, with an exciting line-up that includes a Strictly star and a Corrie icon, Dan will be spilling the tea in his brand new weekly column with OK!, giving Dancing On Ice fans the inside scoop as the celebs take to the rink.
“There’s steam coming off my car tyres. I’m up and down the motorway seeing everyone and putting everything together for the pro numbers,” Dan playfully shared with us, adding it’s all been “going really well.”
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Dan, along with Head Coach Karen Barber, will oversee all of the routines and spend quality time with each celebrity, to not only make the novice skaters feel comfortable on the ice but to rustle up wow-worthy routines.
Dan shared: “I will put on most of the big opening numbers and choreograph them, and this year I’m actually going back on the ice. I am going to be performing in some of the pro numbers which I’m excited about.”
Amongst the line-up is Love Island’s Liberty Poole, who Dan has described as “one to watch.”
The blonde reality star has been training hard according to Dan, and her mum has even bagged herself some skates in a bid to support Liberty on the ice.
“There were lots of falls and bumps and bruises on her behalf but she’s worked and worked and worked. She said to me she really wants to do this and said she loves skating,” Dan explained.
The professional dancer also shared a hilarious moment from training, where 21 year old Liberty’s false eye lashes flew off during training.
Explaining the faux-pas, Dan said: “She skated so fast this morning that her false eyelashes blew off. She comes to training with big false eyelashes on and she’s skating so fast that they blew right off.
“She wasn’t mortified, she really took it in her stride. I said to her it’s a sign of how good her skating is that she goes so fast that her eyelashes come off. She was like ‘I can’t believe it’!”
“We’ll have to get some extra strong lash glue to keep them on during the show,” Dan added.
And Liberty isn’t the only contestant to have amused Dan during the training process, with rugby ace Ben Foden also putting a smile on the pro’s face.
“Ben has shaved off all of his body hair, Dan began, playfully adding: “Ben came into training and said ‘Dan, you don’t have to worry, I’ve shaved all my body hair off.’ I was shocked. He said ‘yes I’m completely shaved so I’m ready for my spray tan.’
“He said his wife isn’t very happy about it because she really likes a hairy chest, but he’s had to go against the grain with that one and he’s shaved all his body hair off. Without giving too much away, there’s going to be a moment where maybe a bit of flesh will be on show.”
Despite spending a great deal of time with the stars ahead of their Dancing On Ice debuts, Dan said he and Karen still experience the nerves come Sunday evenings.
They sit in the same seats each week, in a bid to be a port of contact for the stars should they forget a step.
Dan explained: “Me and Karen get nervous. We sit there in the same seats every week and it becomes a joke because everyone knows where we sit.
“We’re on the front row and everyone knows where to find us. So if there’s an issue everyone looks to us. If the camera came towards us you’ll see we’re stood up and demonstrating with our arms.
“We sit in the same place each week so the celeb knows where we are if they need help, and that we’re there supporting them.”
The 2022 series of Dancing On Ice begins on Sunday 16 January on ITV at 6.30pm.
For all your updates on Dancing On Ice, sign up to our daily OK! Newsletter here, and keep an eye out for Dan’s next column.