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Britain is about to get an icy treat to warm all of our hearts.

Dancing on Ice is back on Sunday and co-host Holly Willoughby is confident it will be a boost to our Covid-hit nation.

Holly, 39, said: “Dancing on Ice will explode on to your screens with glitter and glamour. You can sit down with your whole family and just disappear and escape.”

She said that Covid restrictions and having no audience will make the show feel different but its essence will be the same.

Co-host Phillip Schofield, 58, said: “With a bit of luck, in the dead of winter, we will provide entertainment and some smiles.

“It’s escapism, it’s bright, it’s funny and it’s challenging.

“You never want to see anyone hurt themselves but seeing someone skimming across the ice on their a*** is always funny.”

The 12 competitors, who include presenters Myleene Klass and Denise Van Outen and singer Jason Donovan, will initially split into two groups.

One will dance this week, the others the following week before they join together and slowly leave the contest. A winner will be crowned in March. The bottom couples from weeks one and two will be in a skate off for survival.

Olympic champions Torvill and Dean are on hand to give advice.

Christopher Dean said: “This year’s line-up is one of our strongest we’ve ever had. It’s going to be really interesting.”

Myleene Klass, 42

Dancing On Ice contestant Myleene Klass is excited to take to the ice rink

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The musician and presenter is on a mission to prove that mothers are “badass”.

Myleene hopes to represent women in their 40s and is paired with professional skater Lukasz Rozycki, while she slots in caring for her three children with training and her radio shows.

In August 2019 she gave birth to her third child, her first with fiance Simon Motson.

She says: “I’m doing this because I am in my 40s. I don’t have a celebrity age. My real age is 42, that is my real age.

“I’m 42, I’m a mum of three, I’m a stepmum of two. There are seven in my bubble, in my unit, and we’re not written off.

“We become mums and we do get a hell of a lot of jobs on our hands but we’re not written off – we can still enjoy ourselves, learn new skills and look good.

“I want to go forwards on the ice, I want to go backwards on the ice, and I want a J-Lo butt, so hopefully if I can tick all those three, I’ve won already.”

She adds: “I just think mums are badass. I put on over four stone when I got pregnant, and it feels really empowering to be able to take control back of my body and do something for myself again.

“I don’t have the time to do that normally.

“If it wasn’t in my diary
that I have to skate and get
my body strong it wouldn’t happen, because I do not have the time.”

Myleene also revealed she trains until midnight after finishing her working day.

Best known for: Being a talented musician and presenter.

She says: “I’m terrified of my piano fingers getting rolled over. It’s a recurring fear.”

We say: A Klass act. Popular and will definitely put the hours in. Expect her to go far.

Rebekah Vardy,

WAG Rebekah Vardy is also competing in this year's show

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The footballer’s wife is in it to win it – and viewers may even see a rare smile.

Rebekah says: “My strength is my determination. I don’t give up and that’s my mantra – live by the blade, die by the blade. My weakness – I have this resting bitch face but I’m smiling on the inside. It looks like I’m miserable. Now the Botox is wearing off hopefully the happy features will come through.”

Rebekah injured pro partner Andy Buchanan in rehearsals.

She adds: “We were practising a trick and changed it slightly. It went very wrong and the back of my heel and my blade sliced his face open. It brings back the realisation that what we’re doing is really bloody dangerous – but he’s fine.”

Best known for: Being married to footballer Jamie and arguing with Coleen Rooney.

She says: “I’ve tamed the demon inside me a bit.”

We say: Like her husband she will aim to score highly. Will Coleen be watching?

Denise van Outen, 46

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Best known for: Starring on Broadway and West End; being a versatile TV host.

She says: “I want to be able to get on the ice and actually skate. My daughter Betsy is 10, so for the past few years when I’ve taken her to Lapland UK or Somerset House I never get on the ice.”

We say: Could win the popular vote. Let’s just hope she doesn’t go weak at “Denise” when she’s out on the ice.

Jason Donovan, 52

Jason Donovan is ready to take to the ice

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Best known for: Singing, acting in Neighbours and being the former boyfriend of Kylie Minogue.

He says: “It’s like a mild curry at the moment – we haven’t gone for the full cheeky northern Indian curry just yet.
But I’m sure they’re coming. As is dancing on one leg.”

We say: Let’s just hope there’s not too many broken parts for this one.

Rufus Hound, 41

Rufus Hound is ready to show off his skating skills
(Image: PA)

Best known for: Cracking gags as a panellist on Never Mind the Buzzcocks and Celebrity Juice.

He says: “I wouldn’t have done this for love nor money had it not been for the fact the world stopped and everything I do to earn a living doesn’t exist.”

We say: Sounds like he wants to be the joke act this year. Let’s hope he looks funnier on ice than he sounds.

Lady Leshurr, 32

Lady Leshurr has joined this year's celebrity cohort

Best known for: Being Britain’s finest female rapper; Queen’s Speech series.

She says: “I feel like I’m going to get really invested. As soon as I get on the ice and start seeing progression I know I’ll want to push myself to get better.”

We say: Brill Brummie has been on Celebrity Masterchef and The Celebrity Circle too. A good showing here could get her a slot on the next I’m a Celebrity…

Graham Bell, 55

Graham Bell is appearing in this year's Dancing On Ice

Best known for: Skiing at the Olympics and presenting Ski Sunday.

He says: “I’m used to ice but not dancing, proper dancing. Not just the kind that’s drunk-on-a-table-wearing- ski-boots. That’s not dancing.”

We say: He entered five Winter Olympics – ring any bells? Great on skis at speed but will this be accompanied by dad dancing?

Faye Brookes, 33

Faye Brookes is already tipped to be a show favourite
(Image: PA)

Best known for: Playing Kate Connor in Coronation Street.

She says: “I’m super-competitive and in it to win it. I’m not doing a competition for the sake of it. I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie. Life’s too short – so just give it a go.”

We say: Bookmakers’ favourite to win and, yes, she could well Corrie on all the way to the final.

Joe-Warren Plant, 18

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Best known for: Emmerdale role.

He says: “I can get around the rink but when I tried out for this I was told my technique was all wrong. I love a challenge, so I’m looking forward to learning.”

We say: Soap stars clean up on this, so he’s under pressure.

Billie Shepherd, 30

Former TOWIE star Billie Shepherd is also making her Dance On Ice debut

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Best known for: Being TOWIE’s Ms Faiers… before she married.

She says: “It’s mad, during this ice skating. It is all different emotions. It’s really hard to explain.”

We say: She can’t be as bad as Gemma Collins…

Colin Jackson, 53

Welsh former sprint and hurdling athlete Colin Jackson will also appear in the upcoming series
(Image: PA)

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Best known for: Winning silver medal for 110m hurdles at the 1988 Olympics.

He says: “Friends of mine would say it’s a mid-life crisis! My sister first of all said, can your bones take it if you fall? I love all that. That’s the challenge.”

We say: His age could become a big hurdle when the competition gets intense.

Sonny Jay, 27

Sonny Jay is a singer and radio presenter
(Image: PA)

Best known for: Being a breakfast DJ on Capital.

He says: “I want to learn how to skate backwards so I can go on the ice with a beer in my hand.”

We say: Relatively unknown, so unless he’s amazing he is dancing on thin ice.

Dancing On Ice starts Sunday, ITV, 6pm.

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