ENTERTAINMENT
04/02/2021 07:53 GMT

Rufus Hound Forced Out Of Dancing On Ice Due To Coronavirus

ITV has announced a new star is skating in to replace him.

Rufus Hound has been forced out of this year’s Dancing On Ice due to coronavirus.

The comedian had already missed last Sunday’s episode after coming into contact with someone with Covid-19, but has now tested positive for the virus himself. 

As a result, Rufus has been forced to withdraw, after ITV previously outlined that contestants who tested positive for Covid would have to leave the competition.

Matt Frost/ITV/Shutterstock
Rufus Hound and Robin Johnstone on Dancing On Ice

In a video on Twitter, Rufus said it “sucks” that he had to leave so early on, saying: “Unfortunately, the rules on Dancing On Ice are completely cut and dry, very strict, because they need to keep everybody on that production as safe as possible,” he said in a video he shared on Twitter.

“So it seemed like when I was just quarantining, there might be a window of opportunity for me to be able to get back to the show, a window that I now know doesn’t exist.”

He also hailed his professional partner Robin Johnstone “human sunshine” and called her a “tremendous pal”.

An ITV spokesperson added: “We can confirm that following a positive test result, Rufus Hound is unable to return to Dancing On Ice this weekend.

“Although Rufus and his partner Robin’s time on the ice has been all too brief, they can be truly proud of their achievements.

“We thank them for all their hard work and commitment to the show.”

Rufus had impressed the judges after his first skate of the competition, putting him straight through to week three of the competition by awarding him a ‘golden ticket’.

Comedian and former Xtra Factor host Matt Richardson will now replace Rufus on the line-up.

He will be joined by professional skater Vicky Ogden and said on Instagram that he couldn’t “wait to get out there and try and keep up!”

Rufus is the second contestant to drop out of this year’s Dancing On Ice after Denise Van Outen also withdrew last month after sustaining a shoulder injury. 

Billie Shepherd also took time away from the competition following a family bereavement, but is due to return to the ice this weekend. 

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