Entertainment & Arts

Dancing on Ice: Strictly's James Jordan denies 'unfair advantage'

Richard Blackwood, Gemma Collins, Brian McFadden, James Jordan Image copyright ITV
Image caption L-R: Richard Blackwood, Gemma Collins, Brian McFadden, James Jordan

Former Strictly Come Dancing professional James Jordan has denied he'll have an "unfair advantage" over his fellow Dancing On Ice competitors.

He will join former Towie star Gemma Collins, actor Richard Blackwood and ex-singer Brian McFadden on the show.

Jordan spent eight years as a professional dancer on Strictly.

"People are going to probably say I've got an unfair advantage but when I got on the ice, I actually shocked myself how bad I was."

James's participation was revealed on BBC Radio 5 Live on Tuesday morning.

Speaking to the station, he said: "I can dance but I'm a lot older than I used to be.

"I want to be able to impress Torvill and Dean more than anyone else, but I'm a lot worse than I thought I'd be."

During his time on Strictly, Jordan partnered stars including Denise Van Outen and Vanessa Feltz. He is also married to fellow Strictly dancer Ola Jordan.

Coincidentally, the star's crossover to the ITV show comes in the same year former Dancing on Ice judge Ashley Roberts is herself a contestant on Strictly.

Image copyright ITV/ Loose Women
Image caption Saira Khan announced her involvement on Loose Women

Saira Khan was unveiled as the fifth celebrity skater on the show on Loose Women.

The television presenter, who was on the first series of The Apprentice said she was "in it to win it".

"I thought 'I'm too old, I can't do it, I'm going fall.' And my little boy said 'have you heard yourself mum?' He shamed me into it. I'm doing this for my kids," she added.

Skating stars Torvill and Dean have also been confirmed to return to head up the judging panel for 2019.

'How are they going to lift me?'

On Monday, fellow Dancing on Ice contestant Gemma Collins told ITV's This Morning she was "scared" and "nervous" about "how they are going to lift me up".

She added that she was also concerned about "how fast I can move around that ice, but I really want to give it a go."

The new series kicks off on ITV in January with eight more celebrities still to be announced.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Holly and Phil return to hosting duties

Each week the 12 celebrities will skate live with their professional partners in a bid to impress both the panel and the viewers, who will ultimately decide who wins the show.

Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby will once again return to hosting duties.

'I normally dance on dry land'

Blackwood is best known for his recent role in EastEnders as Vincent Hubbard - he joined the BBC soap in 2015 and left earlier this year.

He confessed to This Morning that he had experience of skating and dancing as a teenager but said: "I can skate but I normally dance on dry land so dancing and skating [together] are two different things."

McFadden was a member of boyband Westlife but left the band in 2004.

He was also a judge on Australia's Got Talent and in 2016, he took part in the third series of The Jump on Channel 4. He was the fourth celebrity to be eliminated from the show.

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