Torvill and Dean ‘had to accept’ that Caprice and Hamish ‘weren’t getting along’

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean are Olympian best friends and the king and queen of Dancing on Ice.

So, ahead of this weekend’s semi-final, where the four remaining contestants – Perri Kiely, Ben Hanlin, Joe Swash and Libby Clegg – will dance twice, we squeezed the pair for show secrets.

From the fall-out between model Caprice and skater Hamish Gamin, whether they miss razor-tongued Jason Gardiner, the time Chris said they were “copulating” like Fred and Ginger to a possible leap-year proposal, here 62-year-old Torvill and 61-year-old Dean reveal all.

Is there a Dancing on Ice moment you’ll never forget?

Jayne: “Todd Carty’s moment of fear and humour always makes the TV gold moments – not that it’s representative of the show.”

Chris: “Libby Clegg’s first routine was a very moving moment. It was all about what Libby had achieved and the mountains she’d climbed to get to that point. I was hoping she could see, in her mind’s eye, what we were seeing and how amazing it was.”

Do you have a wish list of celebrities you’d love to sign for Dancing on Ice?

Chris: “Margot Robbie. She’d be my first choice. And she can skate by the looks of things.”

Jayne: “I always say David Beckham.”

Would you ban any celebrities from Dancing on Ice?

Jayne: “No, everyone’s welcome. As long as they work hard.”

Chris: “Not at the moment…”

Are you still in touch with any former Dancing on Ice celebs?

Jayne: “There are one of two we stay in touch with. Ray Quinn, James Jordan has been back to the show, Jake Quickenden and of course we’ve got John Barrowman back now. And David Seaman’s stayed friends with the Dancing on Ice family.”

How do the judges and presenters prepare pre-show?

Chris: “We do a dress rehearsal and get to see the celebrities for the first time, which gives us a heads-up to what they’re doing. That’s like figure skating – you watch preps for around a week beforehand. It’s a great thing because a lot of times you’ll see people stepping up on the night and performing better.”

Jayne: “I like to have a cup of tea.”

Chris: “I don’t like to have too much coffee because there aren’t enough bathroom breaks.”

Do you hang out when you’re not filming – and are there cliques?

Chris: “The presenting side is one side of the building, and the skaters and celebrities are the other so we don’t really see them until show time – other than working with them during the week.”

Jayne: “We mingle more than the other two judges and Holly and Phillip because we’re there during the week.”

Do you miss Jason Gardiner being on the show?

Chris: “We always got on well with Jason. He was cordial. He just chose to go on to other pastures and do other things. I think he is doing a one-man show, which he’d always wanted to pursue. So I don’t miss him because he’s doing what he wants to do, and that’s allowed John to come on the show now and we get on with him.”

Jayne: “Good luck to Jason. He’s bound to be missed because he did the show from the beginning – he only missed one year.”

How do you feel about Hamish and Caprice breaking up their partnership?

Jayne: “We didn’t really get involved in it. We were told what was happening. So we just had to go with it and accept it.”

Chris: “It was information passed on to us. It just sounded like they weren’t getting on. Caprice wanted to stay in the competition and that was the only way they could resolve it. So that’s what the producers decided to do.”

Did it have an effect on the atmosphere on the show?

Chris: “Everyone was, to begin with, asking, ‘What’s happening?’ But now everybody’s really concentrating on their own performance and what they have to do. You’d be surprised – everyone needs to be somehow blinkered on what they need to do. They’re serious about trying to do their best so nobody really dwells on any distractions.”

Jayne: “Mostly partnerships do have to get on. When you bring it to the ice, there has to be equal respect and trust. And so you have to make that work. And usually, in partnerships where that doesn’t happen, they don’t last that long in the competitive world.”

Can you share any backstage gossip with us?

Jayne: “Perri doesn’t even know how to take a hair grip out because they’re in so rigidly.”

Chris: “Some of the other celebrities are a bit hyper before they go on – that’s the way they are. They need that hyperactivity to keep on top of the nerves. Joe Swash is like that.”

What’s your worst on-air gaffe?

Chris: “One year I was doing a routine in tribute to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers and tried to say we weren’t trying to copy them, we were trying to emulate, but it came out as, ‘We’re trying to copulate like them’.

“And on tour, one of the skaters’ pants split from ear to ear from the waistband during a serious piece with 10,000 people in the audience. It was a classical number in Australia and the audience erupted with laughter.”

Jayne: “Basically you could see his bottom.”

Chris: “And we had another girl whose top went. So she did her performance with one hand across her chest, changing hands to not expose herself but carrying on with the choreography like a true pro.

“Pamela Anderson also had a little exposure moment in the middle of a lift.”

What’s the best – and worst – thing you’ve each done in their relationships?

Jayne: “I’ve damaged Chris a few times with my blades. None of that was on purpose.”

Chris: “A long time ago when I was a police officer, I chased after Jayne in the car and pulled her over for a bit of fun.”

Chris: “The best thing is that we’re still best friends and skating 47 years down the road. At our age, most people wouldn’t be doing what their sport was their whole life. Luckily, we’re able to still do it.”

What’s the best – and the worst – gift you’ve ever received from your other half?

Chris: “Ooh, I’m not going to say that. That’s for me to know!”

Jayne: “I’ve had so many lovely gifts from my husband. Lots of jewellery and stuff. He’s very good at remembering stuff I’ve mentioned during the year and he’ll remember it during the year.”

Chris: When we go on tour and someone gets a bit of a naff souvenir, like a gnome, then gift it to you.

It’s a leap year. So Chris, do you think Karen (his partner of nine years and Dancing on Ice coach) might do a leap year proposal?

Chris: (Lots of laughter). “I have no idea.”

Jayne: “I could put her up to it!”

Dancing on Ice is on ITV at 6pm on Sunday.

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