Jayne Torvill has said she and Christopher Dean were “surprised” at how quickly Rufus Hound’s skating had improved before he was forced to withdraw from Dancing On Ice.
The comedian announced on Wednesday that he is no longer taking part in the ITV celebrity skating competition after testing positive for coronavirus.
Torvill said she and fellow judge Dean “feel sad for him because he’d got his golden ticket, he was so pleased about getting that and then unfortunately had the positive test”.
After his first performance on the programme, Hound was put straight through to the third week after impressing the judges with his skating.
Torvill added that Hound had “his own style” on the ice.
“I think Chris and I were both quite surprised at how good he had got from where he started,” she said.
“So we would have liked to see if he’d have progressed from there with the skating, but I guess it wasn’t to be.”
Dean said that if Hound had been allowed to remain on the programme he would have re-entered “too far” into the competition following his self-isolation for it to be fair to the other skaters.
“I can imagine he’s gutted about it and we can empathise with that,” he said.
Comedian Matt Richardson and professional skater Vicky Ogden will join the line-up for the celebrity skating programme following Hound’s exit.
Dean said Richardson had been training for the same amount of time as the other contestants.
“We are glad that we have got a full complement of skaters again, so we will see everybody on the ice that’s going forward from this point,” he added.
Torvill said they had seen him skate before the series began.
“Hopefully he’s getting better,” she added.
Other celebrities competing in this year’s competition include rapper Lady Leshurr, media personality Rebekah Vardy and actor Jason Donovan.
Dancing On Ice continues on ITV on Sundays at 6pm.