Dancing On Ice’s Jason Gardiner appeared to take a sly swipe at previous judges on the show, and said that the panel “feels solid” for the first time in its history.
Gardiner will appear alongside former Olympic skating champions Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, who previously acted as coaches on the ITV reality show, and newcomer to the judging panel, dancer Ashley Banjo.
He was on the figure skating programme’s judging panel during its original run from 2006 until 2014, apart from one year.
The choreographer said: “What feels great is that for the first time the panel feels solid, everybody that’s on it is an expert in their own right and have incredible experience that they are going to bring to the panel and into the show.
“I think (before) it was missing people that really had an understanding or an actual experience in dance.”
He added cryptically: “I’ll just leave that there – I don’t need to name names.”
Previous Dancing On Ice judges included former competitive figure skaters Robin Cousins and Karen Barber, but the show also saw several guest judges take over the reins across different series.
Banjo, who won Britain’s Got Talent in 2009 as part of dance troupe Diversity, said he would be an “honest” judge.
He said: “I think I’m always honest, and I think what’s interesting about Jason is that I think we will actually have really similar opinions but I think our delivery is different.”
He added: “Even if you’re great technically, if you’re boring, you won’t get a top score from me, no way.”
The show will return in January after a four years off air, and will once again be presented by Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield.
Gardiner, known as the harshest judge on the panel, said he does not regret any of the comments he has made to contestants over the years.
He said: “I know that it provokes them to either do better or if they can’t handle the heat then bye bye – and so therefore it is a competition and at the end of the day I want to see people that are improving, work really hard and that take criticism on board and apply it so that they can get better.”
Schofield and Willoughby are returning to Dancing On Ice as presenters, and the celebrities taking to the ice this year include Love Island winner Kem Cetinay, former Bake Off champion Candice Brown, singer Cheryl Baker and soap stars Brooke Vincent and Antony Cotton.