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Dancing on Ice star Adele Roberts says ice skating helps her chemotherapy-damaged feet

Adele Roberts has said that ice skating on Dancing On Ice has helped heal her feet, which are “very damaged” by chemotherapy.

The former BBC Radio 1 presenter, 44, who is partnered with Scottish ice dancer Mark Hanretty for the ITV skating show, previously underwent treatment for bowel cancer.

The 2024 edition of the dancing show returned to screens on 14 January, with presenter Holly Willoughby returning to TV after a three-month break.

Roberts, who announced she was declared free of cancer in June 2022, has said in a new interview that her feet have started to heal while training and performing for the dancing show.

“So my feet have been very damaged by the chemo, and because you’re on ice, and there’s not much friction, my feet have started to heal, which is amazing,” she said.

Roberts added that she wants to represent people with stoma bags while competing on the show.

“I think one of the main reasons I want to do it is not only to help celebrate and represent ostomates [people who have stoma bags], but also just reclaim my body from cancer, and Dancing On Ice has helped with that,” she said.

Roberts added that she feels like she’s getting “stronger every day” due to the physical endurance involved in ice dancing.

Adele Roberts and her dance partner Mark Hanretty (Getty Images)
Adele Roberts and her dance partner Mark Hanretty (Getty Images)

“Even though I’m also falling over, it’s helping me have more confidence,” she told PA news agency.

“I’ve been learning off the brilliant people that I get to be on the show with, you know, especially Lou (Sanders) and Claire (Sweeney), they’ve been helping me come [out] of my shell. I feel like I’m really learning what a woman should look like.”

Roberts said in October 2021 that she was undergoing treatment for bowel cancer and later had surgery to remove a tumour and began using a stoma bag.

She said she would “love” it if she could visibly show her bag while competing on the series.

“I want anybody who feels any awkwardness or shame about their stoma to know that it’s OK and you can celebrate your body,” she added.

Adele Roberts on ‘Dancing on Ice’ (ITV)
Adele Roberts on ‘Dancing on Ice’ (ITV)

She said she was injured when she fell and sat on her wrist, when judges and Olympic skaters Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean were watching her.

Roberts said: “So unfortunately, I fractured my wrist but luckily, I think it should be about healed now, so this is just precautionary really, and also I’ve managed to pop a few ribs along the way, as my partner Mark is very strong.”

She said Hanretty has to be “very mindful when he picks me up not to go on to the stoma” as she is “very vulnerable” there.

Roberts added: “I think that people who have been the most like, sort of, I wouldn’t say negative about it, but questioning it, is my family, who are like, ‘you can’t dance or skate why you doing it?’.”

On Sunday, Roberts, EastEnders star Ricky Norwood, actress Sweeney, TV personality Miles Nazaire, comedian and writer Sanders and former ski jumper Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards will compete for the first time.

Dancing On Ice returns on Sunday at 6.30pm on ITV1 and ITVX.

With additional reporting from PA.