Sunday ice fever at Elstree studios

PUBLISHED: 12:56 08 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:41 20 February 2013

L-R: Jason Gardiner, Karen Barber, Robin Cousins, Emma Bunton and Nicky Slater

L-R: Jason Gardiner, Karen Barber, Robin Cousins, Emma Bunton and Nicky Slater

Self-confessed Dancing on Ice addict Clare Bourke takes a look at the successful show that has its home in Hertfordshire

FORGET the ice outside its the ice inside that is grabbing my attention. For the fifth year in a row Elstree Studios in Borehamwood has been transformed into an ice wonderland as ITV brings Dancing On Ice back to our screens for another three-month run.

Olympic Gold medal winners Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean and their team of professional skaters have had the mammoth task of turning 14 celebrities into skating stars.

Following weeks of practice the celebrities took to the rink to vie for the support of the judges Karen Barber, Nicky Slater, Jason Gardiner, Emma Bunton and Robin Cousins as well as that of the TV audience that has the power to vote them off.

Each week contestants battle it out in front of the judges, in order to get through to the next round, doing more and more daring moves and lifts as the weeks progress.

Hosted by Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, two contestants battle it out in the live skate-off each week, once the viewers have voted for their favourite acts of the night. The judges then decide who they want to go, and who deserves to stay.

The first to leave was singer Sinitta, swiftly followed by comedian Bobby Davro, Holby City actor Jeremy Sheffield and cookbook writer and Gordons wife Tana Ramsay.

But, as every year there are strong strong contenders with Boyzones Mikey Graham and former Emmerdale actress Hayley Tamaddon looking most likely to see the competition through to the bitter end.

Whether it is new judge Emma Bunton, who has started to sharpen her claws, the sight of fully grown men in lycra leotards and sequins or the chance to see Torvill and Dean perform at the start of each show that attracts viewers, Dancing on Ice fever is showing no sign of abating.

Elstree Studios
Elstree Studios was first established in 1926 and since then many great directors have worked at the Studios. Most recent features include Amazing Grace, The Other Boleyn Girl and 1408 but it is best known to fans as the home of not just Dancing on Ice but also Sky Ones Are You Smarter Than A Ten Year Old? while both Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and Big Brother continue to have long term commitments at Elstree.

Elstree is a totally independent studio providing six sound stages and one silent stage with a total of more than 60,000 sq ft of space. Its two large stages are the tallest in the UK with a height of 49ft. Stars such as Cliff Rihard, Robbie Williams, Kylie, Madonna, Take That and many other artists have found these stages ideal for their tour rehearsals as they are two of the only sound stages in Europe that can accommodate a full size stadium stage and lighting rig.

Elstree also boasts five star dressing rooms designed by famous interior designers, which help make celebrities feel relaxed and well looked after during filming.

Did you know?

Medals, marriage and a mean streak: a few facts about the shows stars you may not know

  • Torvill and Deans stunning Bolero ice dance which grabbed them the gold at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo was watched by 24 million TV viewers.

  • Robin Cousins represented Great Britain for eight years as a figure skater and won Olympic Gold in the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. He was awarded the MBE in the same year. His company Cousins Entertainment supplies and installs Instant Ice rinks to venues around the country.

  • Ice Panel judges Nicky Slater and Karen Barber are former skating partners who were part of the same Olympic ice dance team as Torvill and Dean. They placed sixth at the same Olympics and the following year were crowned British Champions.

  • Nicky Slater and Christopher Dean grew up skating against each other and both had different partners before Karen and Jane came on the scene.

  • Karen Barber, head coach to the celebrity skaters as well as judge, was ranked second in the world at individual events at the tender age of just 15.

  • Fans called for judge Jason Gardiner to be sacked for bullying following the Week 4 show this year after he told former Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies, You look like faecal matter that wont flush, that goes around and around but doesnt go anywhere. Choreographer and dancer Jason also has a slot on ITVs This Morning programme as a style and beauty expert

  • n Professional ice dancers and husband and wife team Melanie Lambert and Fred Palascak fell in love when they teamed up as skating partners in 1994. They are not the only married couple taking part as professional skaters Andrei Lipanov and Susie Lipanova are also married, although both are already out of this years competition.

Read Hertfordshire Life's interview with Dancing on Ice judge, Emma Bunton, in the March issue of the magazine -on sale now.

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