Passport: Christopher Dean - 'When we were touring America, we had to do 60 cities in 75 days'

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The Independent Travel
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Date of Birth:

27.07.58

Place of Birth:

Nottingham

Occupation:

Professional Ice skater

Life has been far from quiet for Christopher Dean since those star-studded, spangly cat-suited days of 1984, when he and his dancing partner, Jayne Torvill, shot to international fame with their captivating sequence to Ravel's "Bolero" at the Sarajevo Winter Olympics.

Shortly afterwards, the dancing duo toured Australia and New Zealand. Stamps for Down Under turn out to be among Dean's favourite. "For me, Australia really has to be high on the list of best countries. I love Adelaide with its rolling hills and big country-town feel, and just being able to go down to the beaches. Sydney is a great city, too. I love being near water, and having the harbour always nearby is tremendous." But the feelings go further still. "I think I could have moved to Australia. I certainly wanted to at the time," says Dean wistfully. "But then I married an American, and we live in Buckinghamshire now."

Dean's wife has a house in Colorado Springs near the Rockies which they visit. "My wife's father lives in an amazing town called Telluride, a few hours away. The whole place is amazing - Ralph Lauren has a ranch nearby. And you can just step out of the house and go skiing - it's beautiful."

But glamour aside, Dean confesses the place he has been most fascinated with is Israel. "I went on my own in 1984. I had some holiday due and didn't just want to go and sit on a beach. The culture, the people, the whole biblical experience of Israel was moving. Coming from a Church of England background, it was amazing to see things like Jesus's burial cave - it all becomes real somehow."

But owning a passport that simply drips with ink isn't something Dean always enjoys.

"Last year, when we were touring America, we did 60 cities in 75 days. It was gruelling, even though we got to see a lot of places."

Perhaps it is this that has contributed to Torvill and Dean's recent decision to retire from world touring. Still, when you're the only ice- skating pair to have ever walked away with nine perfect scores (for "Bolero"), you can probably do what you like...

Christopher Dean and Jayne Torvill's new UK show "Ice Adventures" opens at the Birmingham NEC on 16 December.

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