Sport on TV: Blades of glory from Beharry but Vanilla Ice is cool customer

So they kept the champagne on ice for a week. We will just have to wait a few more hours until the man they rather misleadingly described as a "cricket legend" struts his stuff in Dancing on Ice (ITV1, Sunday). The anticipation is agonising as we wait for Dominic Cork to pop out.

Cork, who intends to keep playing cricket in his 40th year, has always performed as if he was on edge. "I like to use my nerves in a positive way," he said, so he'll be giving the other competitors a few verbals and questioning the judges' decisions. There must be a skating equivalent of his star-shaped method of appealing to the umpire. Never mind the corkscrew manoeuvre, it's time for the "planetary nebula".

Tony Gubba knows all about the terminology and has found his true calling as a commentator after years spent suffocating under John Motson's pile of useless facts. Dolpin lifts, the Cinderella, all well and good, but sometimes you think he's just making it up as he goes along. "The rotating Isle of Man"? Come on, Tony, we're not that gubba-lible.

He was straight into his slippery stride for this new series, greeting Kerry Katona's efforts with the quip: "She wants to show she's still an Atomic Kitten, not just an alley cat." Katona looked very confused – this ain't Iceland, darlin' – but maybe she thought dancing on ice was some kind of party drug trial. It was a relief to see one of her children in the audience. Who knows where the others were, but at least one of them was being looked after.

Gubba was more complimentary about Angela Rippon, perhaps because she is from his generation of Seventies Saturday evenings on the BBC. The former newsreader twirled for Morecambe and Wise 35 years ago and wowed the nation but this is a crueller world and she was soon sent ice-packing – though not before Gubba had praised the "more mature lady": "Angela has still got great legs. She even wobbles gracefully." So do Weebles, and they lost their appeal sometime back in the 1970s too.

Still, it's a good job the show is on ITV because Rippon, 66, probably wouldn't have got anywhere near the BBC – only hideously unsuitable oldies are invited on their talent shows so we can just laugh at them. She didn't survive the viewers' poll but Johnson Beharry VC, the only living soldier to hold the military's highest honour for bravery, is not likely to be voted off any time soon.

He saved the lives of 30 men in Iraq, then fell into a coma with a one per cent chance of survival. "I want other soldiers to see that there is hope," he said, and with lines like that he could slit Jason Gardener's throat with his skates – that move is called "ice and a slice" – and still go through to next week.

From the sub-zero sublime to the ridiculous, and ageing white rapper Vanilla Ice, also known as Robert van Winkle. Like his namesake, you wondered what he had been up to for the last 20 years. The answer, it seems, is practising his figure-skating.

He may be about as welcome in modern rap music as Angela Rippon – with a hip replacement here and a hop there – yet he seemed a lot cooler than in his heyday, though that's not very hard and it may have just been because of the temperature in the auditorium. But in the battle of the ageing C-listers, it looks like Cork had better get his skates on.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + uncapped commission, Benefits, OTE £100k: SThree: ...

Guru Careers: Graduate Editor / Editorial Assistant

£16 - 20k: Guru Careers: A Graduate Editor / Editorial Assistant is needed to ...

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine