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Gareth Thomas recovers from illness to appear in Dancing On Ice final - but he won't compete in show


Rugby star Gareth Thomas says he has recovered enough to return for the Dancing On Ice final - but he will not be competing on the show.

The former rugby player was forced to withdraw from the series on Sunday, after an ear imbalance and fear of heights left him feeling sick and dizzy from a flying routine.

He said he could not wait to get back for the group performance, telling ITV's Daybreak: "I'm OK now, I got all cleared yesterday.

"I've had pins in me, I've been like a pincushion for the last few days getting all tests and everything kind of cleared, because I just want to get back on the ice on Sunday."

Thomas, whose illness meant he could only perform one of his two planned routines with skating partner Robin Johnstone last weekend, added: "I'm going to be back on Sunday, yes. But I'm not flying ever again, my feet are staying on the floor."

The Welsh star's withdrawal meant the three remaining celebrities - EastEnders actor Matt Lapinskas, boxer Luke Campbell and gymnast Beth Tweddle - progressed to this weekend's final.

Thomas said of returning to the ITV show on Sunday: "We're not competing, I'm just back for the final.

"Everybody's coming back... I didn't want to go through to the final unless I go through fairly. But I just want to be there because we've got all really, really close as a group, and I want to be there to support the three finalists."

He said of his semi-final aerial routine: "We started two weeks ago practising for it and the first day I was really ill, vomiting... head spins.

"And every day I went up, and every day it got progressively worse and worse.

"They said it would get better, but it just got worse.

"We did a dress run prior to it and I'd got used to the studio, but then they had the studio lights, the pyrotechnics, and that was it, that was game over for me."

He added: "My father has this thing, Meniere's, which is an imbalance in your ears, and it's basically that. It's basically the fact that I'm afraid of flying, I'm afraid of being up in the air.

"I was upside down, there was a lot of strain, I wasn't breathing, I was really tense. It was basically a big fear and just an imbalance."