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Dancing On Ice: Grace Dent's TV OD

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    Posted: 05 Feb 2012 at 12:36

Dancing On Ice: Grace Dent's TV OD

If you only watch one reality show this winter, Dancing On Ice has it all: tension, tears, camel-toes at teatime and Louis Spence

The Guardian,
Dancing On Ice. Photograph: Ken McKay/Rex

My love of Dancing On Ice (Sun, 6.25pm, ITV1) endures, unfathomably. Of all events to watch at "beginner" level, ice skating truly is the most tedious. There's a good reason skating rink spectator areas are full of mums on codeine checking Facebook. Bad skating is soul-depleting. Even when, like this series, it's pop tornado Chico on skates, in a satin yellow bomber jacket and snug-fit breeks, livening up his wobbling with a nifty hand jive and a "Who? Meee? Gerroutofhere!" mime pre-amble. Even when it's Big Mo off EastEnders, skidding about, temporarily liberated from the Square. Amateur skating is just televised "walking gingerly", and if you want to watch that go to River Island shoe dept on a Saturday and see big-footed women trying on size 4 120mm heel pumps.

Yet despite a strict rehab plan to get clean of reality TV toxins, Dancing On Ice has stayed on my planner. The tension, the tears, the camel-toes, the fact it's on just before Wild At Heart, which I still watch in the small hope that Stephen Tompkinson will be eaten by a lion. The vast unfairness of pitting 18-year-old ballet shape-throwing ex-Hollyoaks star Jorgie Porter against Kirk Sutherland from Corrie, a man who hasn't managed to make three different shapes with his own mouth in the past decade; this is why Dancing On Ice lives on in my heart. I purged X Factor, Big Brother and Strictly from my lower duodenum recently and I've never felt better. I'll most probably dip into BBC1's latest offering, The Voice, simply to savour how cheap and pointless the BBC can make a talent search look, keeping in mind they won't dare hire a pricey wind machine and will probably make do with interns bringing hairdryers from home.

At least Dancing On Ice has no delusions of "creating superstars", offering instead a chance for ex-Sugababes and ageing children's TV presenters to earn a living wage during winter, without 10 weeks of playing Widow Twanky in Rhyl. Of all the skaters this season, Corey Feldman's ice outing was extraordinary. Corey – 1980s teen star, close personal friend of Jacko, turfed out last week in favour of Charlene Tilton from Dallas – was a troubled entity. A petulant man-child with scrunched fists, no sense of natural rhythm and his vision permanently obscured by a single greasy dreadlock. "You are bringing a lot of negative energy, right now!" Corey would bleat at his partner Brooke's instructions. Corey continued to dance like a man with a haunted sphincter until public disinterest and the wrath of judge Louie Spence enveloped him. Louie has been an unexpected boon on Dancing On Ice; he's informative, biatchy without being sociopathic and best of all, trapped behind a desk and thus unable to break into impromptu Don't Stop The Carnival dance-quake moments. Beside Louie, fellow judge Katarina Witt exudes steely authority, or at least did until about 10 minutes into episode one when the internet was flooded with muff-out Playboy pics. Why do women do this? I can find no photos, as I go to press, of Robin Cousins in ice skates and a "here's my penis" pose, although I've found interesting ones of Chico from his male-stripping days and can confirm that when he says "It's Chico Time" you need to brace yourself, because it really bloody is.


Edited by Bren - 05 Feb 2012 at 12:41
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