Brendan Cole has addressed criticism he has received for competing on Dancing On Ice 2022 despite being a professional dancer as he prepares to take to the ice for the first time with his partner Vanessa Bauer.
This weekend, the ‘greatest show on ice’ returns, with stars including Rachel Stevens, Happy Mondays dancer Bez and Sally Dynevor taking part in the competition.
Jayne Torvill, Christopher Dean and Ashley Banjo have returned as judges, with Strictly Come Dancing pro Oti Mabuse taking John Barrowman’s place on the panel.
On Friday’s edition of Lorraine with just two days to go until the launch, Brendan and Vanessa were interviewed by Ranvir Singh about how they’re feeling, with the former admitting he has some nerves.
The 45-year-old addressed the fact that some have pointed out he already has dance experience, and so it could be perceived that he has an advantage over the other contestants.
‘What I’ve always said with a competition like this, and obviously there’ve been quite a few people saying, “It’s not fair, he’s a dancer” – there are a few dancers in this show, which is great, but it’s where you start and where you finish,’ he said.
Using his hands to gesture a low level and a high level, he continued: ‘I’m hoping if I start here, I’ll finish here. If you just plateau, then that’s not going to be good viewing for anybody, so I’m really hoping to improve and embrace it.’
Brendan, who was on Strictly from the first series until 2017, expressed his excitement over Oti becoming a judge, having appeared on the BBC programme for a couple of years at the same time.
‘The fact that Oti’s here is just amazing. She’s a great friend of mine, she’s going to be an amazing person to have on the panel,’ he said.
The New Zealand dancer joked that he expected a ‘little bit of favouritism’ from her – although we expect Oti will follow in her sister Motsi Mabuse’s footsteps by delivering fair, measured critiques.
Strictly Come Dancing
As well as Brendan and Vanessa, the other pairings skating for the first time in the Dancing On Ice launch show will be Bez and Angela Egan, Sally and Matt Everes, Ria Hebden and Łukasz Różycki, Kye Whyte and Tippy Packard, and Kimberly Wyatt and Mark Hanretty.
Last year, Vanessa was forced to withdraw from the competition after she and her partner Joe-Warren Plant tested positive for Covid-19.
Lorraine airs weekdays at 9am on ITV and Dancing On Ice launches on Sunday at 6.30pm on ITV.
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