18/12/2019 12:46 GMT | Updated 26/01/2021 15:35 GMT

Dancing On Ice: 12 Times Injuries Have Forced A Star To Leave The Competition Early

Denise Van Outen is the latest contestant to have to bow out on medical grounds.

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The cast of Dancing On Ice 2021

Because it’s often perceived as little more than light-hearted Sunday night entertainment, it’s easy to forget that signing up for Dancing On Ice is actually a dangerous move for a celebrity.

Over the years, there have been a number of shocking accidents and sudden falls on the ice – just ask Gemma Collins, who famously took a tumble on live TV during the 2019 series, or Jennifer Ellison, who sliced her head open with her own ice skate performing a scorpion kick back in the day.

An unlucky few celebrities have even had to bow out of the competition earlier than planned due to an accident on the rink – including 2021 contestant Denise Van Outen.

Here are 12 occasions when a Dancing On Ice star has been forced to leave the show on medical grounds...

Michael Underwood (2008)


The first celebrity to ever pull out of the competition was children’s TV presenter Michael Underwood, who bowed out after three weeks due when he sustained a broken ankle during training.

He returned the following year where he was again partnered with Melanie Lambert, but they didn’t last much longer on their second stint, with the judges sending them home in the fourth week of the competition.

Chesney Hawkes (2012)


In late 2011, chart-topping singer Chesney Hawkes was announced as one of the 15 stars taking part in Dancing On Ice, but didn’t even make it to the first show, as he broke his leg in the early stages of training.

Chesney was replaced by former X Factor star Chico Slimani, who fared much better and made it all the way to the final.

Unlike Michael Underwood, Chesney never returned to Dancing On Ice, although he was filmed visiting Chico during his training. 

Keith Chegwin (2012)


That same year, the late Keith Chegwin was supposed to be taking part, having previously made no secret of his desire to compete in Dancing On Ice.

Unfortunately, the comedian also suffered a serious injury on the ice prior to the series’ launch, fracturing his shoulder and breaking three ribs, meaning he was unable to take part.

He did return the following year, though, making it all the way to the seventh week of the competition before he was eventually shown the door. 

Sylvain Longchambon (2012)


Clearly there was something in the water back in 2012, with the streak of bad luck even reaching the professional skaters.

Sylvain Longchambon was originally partnered with Sugababes singer Heidi Range on the show’s seventh series, but tore a tendon on his right bicep, meaning he was unable to continue.

Heidi was then partnered with Andrei Lipanov, with the pair making it through to the halfway point of the contest. 

Gareth Thomas (2013)


Rugby star Gareth Thomas had a seriously strong start to his time on Dancing On Ice, but during the semi-finals, was unable to complete his routines as he was suffering from dizzy spells during a flying routine. He did take to the ice during the series finale, but not as a contestant.

Four years later, Gareth was one of three contestants to pull out of Channel 4’s The Jump, due to unspecified personal reasons, with just days to go until the final.

Mark Henretty (2014)


In 2013, Mark suffered a shoulder injury live on air, which he was still recovering from when the show returned a year later, for what was billed as its final series.

This meant Mark was left unable to compete in the All Stars contest, having originally been partnered with Bonnie Langford. However, he did return alongside a host of other pro skaters when Dancing On Ice was revived in 2018, competing with Donna Air and Saira Khan.

Monty Panesar (2018)

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Cricketer Monty Panesar was confirmed for Dancing On Ice when the revival line-up was first revealed in 2017, but was ultimately unable to compete due to an injury he suffered during rehearsals.

Monty was replaced by former Fame Academy star and R&B singer Lemar, who lasted five weeks in the contest.

Ryan Sidebottom (2019)

After a shaky start to his time on Dancing On Ice, Ryan came on leaps and bounds for his second performance in 2019, only for him to miss out on Week 3’s live show due to a “Grade I adductor strain”.

Fortunately, the cricket star recovered sufficiently, so he and his professional partner Brandee Malto were able to return to the ice for the following week’s performance. The pair eventually finished in seventh place.

Michael Barrymore (2020)

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After several years out of the spotlight, Michael Barrymore had been hoping to use Dancing On Ice as his TV comeback, but had to bow out shortly before the series began in 2020, when he broke his hand during training. 

He was replaced on the line-up by Blue Peter star Radzi Chinyanganya, who was eventually replaced on the third week of the competition.

It had been expected that Michael would be invited back for the 2021 run, but he was not on the line-up when it was announced.

Alexandra Schauman (2020)

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Alexandra began the 2020 series of Dancing On Ice as the reigning champion, having won the show with former Strictly Come Dancing pro James Jordan a year earlier.

Sadly, a few weeks into the competition, she sustained an injury, and had to be replaced by Alex Murphy, who was supposed to have been paired with Michael Barrymore.

Eventually, Alex went on to win the whole show with celebrity partner Joe Swash, while Alexandra is to return to the rink in 2021, with Jason Donovan as her partner.

Yebin Mok (2021)

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Professional skater Yebin Mok was supposed to have been one of Dancing On Ice’s new arrivals in 2021, performing with Olympic skier Graham Bell.

Unfortunately, Yebin was involved in a freak accident on the ice, meaning she’ll have to take a break from the show “for quite a few weeks” while she recovers.

It wasn’t just a little scrape, either, with Phillip Schofield telling This Morning viewers: “We had a Zoom meeting yesterday with the team and they showed us a picture [of Yebin’s leg] that we can not show you on TV.

“Holly couldn’t even look at it, she had to look away... and it was a very nasty stab wound from an ice blade. You could see the tendons, it’s a very dangerous show.”

Graham will instead be dancing with new partner Karina Manta while Yebin recovers from her injury.

Denise Van Outen (2021)

Just days before her first performance of the series, Denise Van Outen fell on the ice and injured her shoulder.

Although she was able to perform a modified version of her routine – and later appeared in a group number, which she remained seated for the duration of – DVO later announced that she would have to hang up her skates.

“If you’ve been watching Dancing On Ice you will be aware that just over a week ago I had a nasty fall and injured my shoulder,” Denise said. “I managed to skate my first dance with [skating partner Matt Evers] on the live show through a gritted smile because the pain was unbearable.

“I’ve tried as hard as I can to carry on because I love the show and the amazing team in front and behind the cameras. Initially we thought with rest I could make a return to the ice, but a recent MRI scan has shown that I have three bone fractures as well as a partial dislocation. OUCH! No wonder I’ve been in agony.”

Denise was replaced on the show by Olympic gymnast Amy Tinkler. 

Dancing On Ice airs on Sunday nights at 6pm on ITV.

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