Michael Barrymore pulls out of Dancing on Ice after injury

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
Barrymore was ebullient at this month's Dancing on Ice launch

Former TV presenter Michael Barrymore has pulled out of Dancing on Ice after breaking a wrist during training.

The 67-year-old said he was "absolutely devastated" to learn he could no longer compete on the ITV programme.

He said he had "loved every second of the journey" and thanked the public for their "overwhelming" support.

He will still appear on Sunday's launch show, which was recorded last week, but will then be replaced by Radzi Chinyanganya, formerly of Blue Peter.

Barrymore will also be in the studio when the show returns on 5 January.

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
The former TV presenter was one of the star names in the 2020 line-up

In a statement, the ex-Strike It Lucky host said he "took a tumble" during rehearsals and initially thought his injury was merely a sprain.

He paid tribute to the "great bunch of people" and "incredible production team" who help to make Dancing on Ice "the fantastic show that it is".

Chinyanganya wished Barrymore "a speedy recovery" and said he felt "thrilled and privileged" to join the programme.

The 32-year-old will be paired with skater Jessica Hatfield, while Barrymore's partner, Alex Murphy, will remain as another professional.

Image caption,
Chinyanganya left Blue Peter in April after five-and-a-half years

Barrymore is one of a number of stars who have been forced to pull out of Dancing on Ice, which first aired on ITV in 2006.

Keith Chegwin, Monty Panesar and Michael Underwood are among those whose training injuries saw them depart from previous series.

Barrymore was one of the first celebrities to be named for the new series, whose line-up also includes model Caprice Bourret and presenter Trisha Goddard.

ITV said he had been "a fantastic addition to the Dancing on Ice family", adding: "We wish him all the best."

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