Dancing on Ice's Dan Whiston on semi-final jitters, 'inspirational' celebrities and world class ice skaters. Twelve series in he is still living the dream
It's semi-finals on the twelfth series of Dancing on Ice and assistant creative director Dan Whiston says the remaining class of 2020 are pulling out all the stops to land a coveted spot in this year's final.
Paying tribute to Blackpool skate professional Tom Naylor and Lisa George, who left the show at the end of Movie week, he said: “Tom did absolutely fantastic for his debut on the show and has been a real asset to the professional cast and Lisa was just amazing.
“It’s always sad to see couples leaving but it is the nature of the competition. Both of them worked so hard and Karen and I really loved working with both of them and they will be missed.”
Dan also told the Gazette of his ‘joy’ being back on the ice for the explosive opening number in last week’s show, he added: “It’s such an amazing team, I’m absolutely privileged to be part of this show and such an amazing team, the whole team, from the skaters, coaches, behind the scenes. It’s a world class team and I’m so lucky to be part of it - it really is a dream come true.”
There are now just two shows left in the current series with Joe Swash, Libby Clegg, Ben Hanlin and Perri Kiely set to go solo on the ice for 45 seconds this weekend to earn their right for a final spot and a chance to take the DOI champion crown.
Dan added: “Can you believe we’re at semi-finals week already? There have been lots of tears, it’s hard work in training and it’s been emotional for a number of reasons.
“Not only have the celebrities got the solo skate to master and it’s 45 seconds, it’s a long time out on your own without a partner for the first time, live and under that pressure to perform.
“They’re being stretched no doubt about it and with this series nothing is a foregone conclusion, anyone can win.
“But each of them are choosing their own piece of music too to perform too and it’s sentimental, personal and for all of them when you see a very emotional experience this week.
“They’re putting their own stories into their performance, very much wearing their hearts on their sleeve. Libby for me is such an inspirational person and I’ve loved every minute working with her.
“She’s got that athlete’s mentality - she takes her knocks and puts it all back into the next performance.
“A 45 second skate alone and blind but nothing phases her. In fact she embraces every challenge.
"Her story what’s she’s faced in her life and it’s so interesting for Karen and I to be able to share in their lives, of all the celebrities. It's going to be a touching and heartfelt show."