ITV axes skating show: Next series of Dancing On Ice to be the last

 

Popular TV series Dancing On Ice is to be axed after one further series, it was announced today.

The ITV series, which regularly pulls in more than seven million viewers, will be screened for the last time in early 2014.

Ice dancers Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, who have been mentors on the show since it launched, announced it would be their final series this morning.

TV bosses are understood to have thought the show had reached the end of its natural life.

Speaking on ITV's Daybreak Dean said they felt it was the right time to go as this year marks 30 years since their groundbreaking Bolero performance. He said: "It's come full circle for us.

"We've had the most wonderful experience doing Dancing On Ice and we just wanted to finish at the top of our game and for the show to be on top of its game so we just felt it was the right time."

The show has been credited with reviving interest in ice skating around the UK and has had a successful spin-off tour.

Winners of the show - in which a celebrity teams up with a professional - have included Sam Attwater, Matthew Wolfenden and Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle who won this year's contest.

ITV's director of television, Peter Fincham, said: "Dancing on Ice has been a firm favourite with viewers since it launched eight years ago and we all have every intention of going out on a high next year."

He suggested that Torvill and Dean's decision had been key in making the decision to end the series.

"Torvill and Dean are the most successful ice dancing partnership of our generation and brought huge integrity, skill and professionalism to the show and with their departure, it feels like the series has reached its natural end.

"It is always a difficult decision to say goodbye to successful and long running shows but with change comes opportunity and the chance for us to bring in new and exciting programmes for our viewers. ITV would like to thank Jayne and Chris for their fantastic contribution to each and every series."

ITV promised there would be "nail biting new format twists" in the series.

The programme was initially seen as a "me-too" format following the success of BBC1's Strictly Come Dancing but soon came into its own, attracting millions of fans

Dean added: "After the series finishes we're taking it for the final tour - our last final Dancing On Ice tour, all around the UK in March time. we're not going to hang up out skates but we are going to slow them down a little bit."

He added: "I do think that as its been 30 years it might be our last Boleros."

PA

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