ENTERTAINMENT
05/01/2020 09:17 GMT | Updated 05/01/2020 11:20 GMT

'Hurt' Jason Gardiner Claims Holly Willoughby And Phillip Schofield Didn't Get In Touch After He Quit Dancing On Ice

“I’ve learned this industry is full of fake and disingenuous people.”

Former Dancing On Ice judge Jason Gardiner has claimed Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield have snubbed him since he quit the show.

Jason, who had worked with Holly and Phil on the ITV skating show since 2005, says he’s not heard from the presenting duo since he left the judging panel last year, despite thinking they were all “part of the Dancing On Ice family”.

Jonathan Hordle/Shutterstock
(L-R) Jason Gardiner, Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield.

“I’ve had nothing,” he told The Sun. “Not even a text message.

“It is hurtful, especially because when Phillip was getting a lot of negative attention recently I sent him a message of support.

“I thought they would get in touch but I’ve learned this industry is full of fake and disingenuous people.”

Jason also revealed that he has had “issues” with Phillip over the years, but he has “always settled my grievances with him man to man”.

“That’s how I deal with things — directly. We’ve shaken hands and those problems have been overcome,” he said.

Following his departure from Dancing On Ice, Jason says he did hear from fellow panellist Ashley Banjo, but is upset that his skating heroes on the ITV show failed to get in touch.

Chris Jackson via Getty Images
(L-R) Ashley Banjo, Jason, Phillip Schofield, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean.

He said: “Christopher Dean and Jayne Torvill — who are idols of mine — didn’t contact me either.

“It’s upsetting, because I really ­valued these people, and I can’t understand why they wouldn’t get in touch. It doesn’t take much to send a message or a DM.”

Jason also claims that he decided to walk away from Dancing on Ice last year following his infamous clash with contestant Gemma Collins on the 2019 series.

After the TOWIE star accused the judge of selling stories on her during her critique on one of the live shows, Jason consulted his lawyers.

Matt Frost/ITV/Shutterstock
Gemma Collins clashed with Jason during her time on Dancing On Ice last year.

Jason explains: “After Gemma made that allegation, I had so much abuse.

“So I did consult my lawyers, who told me I had a good case.  The next week, an hour before the show, three of the top brass marched into my dressing room and demanded to know if I was going to sue Gemma. They made me feel as if it was all my fault and I would be the one to pay.

“I don’t know if the aim was to scare me into backing down, but it worked. I was absolutely traumatised, and I did agree to drop the lawsuit. Through all of this, not one person asked if I was OK.  And after that everything was soured.

“So when it came to discussing this year’s series, I decided to ask for an outrageous amount of money, knowing they would probably refuse to pay it.

“Soon after they told me they were taking a ‘different direction’, because they ‘feel they have to take contestants’ mental health into account’.

“The irony is that they haven’t ever considered my mental health.”

HuffPost UK has contacted reps for Holly and Phil for comment.

The new series of Dancing On Ice returns to ITV on Sunday 5 January at 6pm.