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Dancing on Ice star forced to quit days before 2024 series begins

One of the professional figure skaters on Dancing on Ice quit the 2024 competition days before the new series premiere.

Tippy Packard, who joined the competition in 2022, was paired with former Olympian ski jumper Eddie the Eagle for this year’s edition of the hit ITV show.

However, the 28-year-old ice skater will no longer be able to compete alongside the English athlete – real name Michael David Edwards – after suffering an injury during a training session, Metro.co.uk reported.

According to the report, Packard injured her knee during the rehearsal.

Now, Edwards, 60, who replaced former Gogglebox star Stephen Lustig-Webb, will be partnered with Vicky Ogden.

Ogden, who has been performing on Dancing on Ice since 2012, said she was “absolutely thrilled” to skate into the competition with Edwards, in a statement shared on Instagram on Tuesday (9 January).

She wrote: “I’m absolutely thrilled to share that I’ll be skating with the incredible Eddie on this season of Dancing on Ice. Eddie ‘The Eagle’ is a true legend who has captured the hearts of fans worldwide. This year we’re determined to show just how iconic he is,” Ogden added. “Together, let’s recreate the magic and cheer Eddie on like we did all those years ago.”

Ahead of the season premiere on Sunday (14 January), it was announced that Holly Willoughby will reprise her role as the show’s host, following her departure from This Morning.

Willoughby’s co-host, and Phillip Schofield’s replacement, was revealed as Stephen Mulhern, the host of ITV’s rebooted Deal or No Deal.

Holly Willoughby (Getty Images)
Holly Willoughby (Getty Images)

The casting means Willoughby, 42, will be reunited with 46-year-old Mulhern 20 years after the duo first presented Saturday morning children’s show Ministry Of Mayhem together.

In a statement, ITV’s head of entertainment commissioning, Katie Rawcliffe said: “Holly and Stephen are two of our best-loved presenters, so reuniting them 20 years after they first appeared on screen together to host Dancing On Ice marks the start of an exciting year for the show.”

Willoughby stepped down as This Morning host after 14 years on the sofa, shortly after Schofield sensationally quit the show in May 2023. In his resignation, Schofield admitted lying about an “unwise but not illegal” affair with a younger male colleague.

Willoughby said she was making the decision “for me and my family”, adding she will be “forever proud” of her time on the show.

ITV also confirmed Dancing On Ice judges Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, Ashley Banjo and Oti Mabuse’s participation when the show returns in January, while unveiling the lineup for the 2024 season, at the time.

This year’s contestants include former world champion boxer Ricky Hatton, Coronation Street star Claire Sweeney, singer Hannah Spearritt, West End star Amber Davies and Olympian Greg Rutherford.

TV personality Miles Nazaire, comedian and writer Lou Sanders, actor Ricky Norwood, radio presenter Adele Roberts, actor Ryan Thomas and Emmerdale’s Roxy Shahidi will also compete.