And the winner is... Jayne Torvill

Whoever takes top spot in tonight's 'Dancing on Ice', the real story is the way the 1984 Olympic gold medallist has reinvented herself
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The Independent Online

The champion of TV's Dancing on Ice might be the singer Jessica Taylor, the entertainer Ray Quinn or intrepid reporter Donal MacIntyre. But the real winner? Take a bow, Jayne Torvill, contestants' mentor and former Olympic champion.

When she takes centre stage in a performance of the Bolero routine that shot her and Christopher Dean to gold medal perfection 25 years ago, it will be the crowning moment of a reinvention that has seen her shed frumpy size 14 clothing to emerge in figure-hugging designer outfits at the size 8 of her youth. It has been a remarkable transformation since her return to television screens in 2006 to train celebrities for the show.

"I knew enough was enough when I saw myself on TV in the first series," she said. "Even though I'd lost a few pounds, I was still overweight – and being on screen puts on half a stone. Seeing myself was the kickstart I needed." The past year has seen a dramatic change, with the results capturing the attention of millions watching the current series.

The 51-year-old mother of two, who is being paid £250,000 for this year's series, hired a personal trainer for six months last year and followed a low-fat diet which saw her lose a stone in weight. She weighs eight stone – "and that is where I'm going to stay".

She is making the most of her weight loss by promoting a new fitness DVD which shows her working out with her "Bolero burn" routine.

"It worked," she says. "I look slimmer and people tell me I seem younger. I used to buy baggy clothes that covered me up," she says. "Now I'm not scared of wearing something fitted. I want to show off my new shape."

She now has her own stylist and, instead of shopping at her old haunts, Marks & Spencer and Hobbs, is now more likely to wear dresses from Marcelaine, Jovani or Whistles.

She is the latest to suggest that a "Dancing on Ice effect" has led to an improvement in her appearance and fitness as a result of the punishing regime of taking part in the show.

Jessica Taylor, formerly of Liberty X and married to the England cricketer Kevin Pietersen, said: "My whole body is tight and toned, and I am so much fitter and stronger. I have a lot more of a six-pack than I did. I didn't have anything before."

Last year's winner, Suzanne Shaw, said: "I've lost 1st 3lb and dropped to a size 8 thanks to the show. I'm incredibly lean now. My bum has really toned up: it's much firmer and higher than it was before."

Not everyone is a fan of Ms Torvill's new look, though. One website posting said: "Throughout Dancing on Ice, Jayne Torvill has been dressing in an increasingly inappropriate way, culminating on Sunday with an outfit that she appeared to have stolen from a teenage girl.

"If Dancing on Ice had lasted just a month longer, we swear we'd be seeing her in a nappy and bib."