Presenter Phillip Schofield has hinted that his interest in Love Island may have something to do with why the reality show’s winner Kem Cetinay has joined the line-up for Dancing On Ice.
The This Morning star said he and co-host Holly Willoughby were given the chance to nominate celebrities to take part in the ITV skating contest ahead of its return in the new year.
Asked if the pair had recommended Cetinay, he said: “Might have been … The fact that Holly and I spent most of our summer devoted to Love Island may have had some sort of bearing on it.”
His words came after the cast stepped on to the ice rink at London’s Natural History Museum to show off their progress so far.
But Cetinay appeared to be struggling to get to grips with the ice, at one point almost slipping over.
“The first time I saw Kem he was a catastrophe, but a very funny one,” Schofield joked. “He’s utterly adorable and I was sent a video of him this week, and I thought, ‘My god, he’s really come on’.”
Schofield explained how the show will return with a “fundamentally different” format which will see the professional skaters choreograph routines with their celebrity partners, while previous advisers and former Olympic ice dancers Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean join the judges’ panel alongside Ashley Banjo and Jason Gardiner.
He said: “Just like with Strictly Come Dancing, the pros are incredibly competitive, they want to drag their celeb kicking and screaming through to get them to win it.
“I think they will push the celeb possibly harder than Chris used to do, which will make it that much more exciting.”
He also shared his hopes that the Sunday evening show, kicking off on January 7, will be more family friendly by airing earlier in the evening than in previous years.
Willoughby will be returning to the series following a hiatus that saw her presenting role taken on by Northern Irish broadcaster Christine Bleakley.
Commenting on his temporary co-presenter, Schofield said: “Christine came in and she was given such a hard time at the time, she really struggled.
“She is one of the nicest people I have ever met in my life … which is why when it was announced that Holly was coming back to do the show, the first person was Christine who texted and said, ‘Oh my god, this is so exciting, please tell me we can come and watch’.”
He added that he and Willoughby have known about the upcoming show for the last two years, but have kept details firmly under wraps.
The one thing that Schofield said he would not be taking part in, however, was ice skating by himself.
After previous attempts, he joked: “I’d need to be working as hard as the celebs are now, and when do you fit that time in? If you’re going to do it, you want to be really good.”