22/02/2021 17:25 GMT | Updated 22/02/2021 17:33 GMT

Jason Donovan Quits Dancing On Ice As He Becomes Fifth Celebrity Forced Out Of Ill-Fated Series

This year's run of the ITV skating show has been blighted by injuries and Covid cases.

Jason Donovan has become the fifth celebrity forced to quit this year’s Dancing On Ice

The former Neighbours star has failed to recover from a back injury that saw him pull out of a live show earlier this month. 

The disastrous news comes after Dancing On Ice bosses axed Sunday’s episode after a series of injuries and Covid cases, in the hope of getting the show back on track.  

Jason Donovan and Alexandra Schauman

Confirming Jason and professional skating partner Alexandra Schauman’s exit from the ice, a spokesperson said: “Jason Donovan has brought us so much joy with his performances on Dancing On Ice – from Priscilla through to the tango. Our thanks go to Jason and his partner Alex for being so wonderful and committed to the series.

“We’re sorry to see them leave and we wish Jason a speedy recovery.”

West End performer and TV personality Denise Van Outen previously quit the series when she fractured her shoulder on the ice, while comedian Rufus Hound also stepped down when he tested positive for Covid-19.

Reality star Billie Shepherd had to bow out early when she suffered a concussion during rehearsals, a week after missing a live show due to a personal bereavement.

Emmerdale star Joe-Warren Plant then became the fourth contestant to quit, after he and his skating partner Vanessa Bauer tested positive for Covid-19.

ITV/Matt Frost/Shutterstock
There were 12 celebrities at the start of Dancing On Ice 2021

Professional skater Hamish Gaman also had to pull out of the series after injuring his hand while putting on a sock.

Five celebrities now remain in the competition, including rapper Lady Leshurr, former soap star Faye Brookes and Olympian Colin Jackson, media personality Rebekah Vardy and radio presenter Sonny Jay.

Dancing On Ice continues on Sunday at 6pm on ITV.