Dancing On Ice to 'pause' after disruption from Covid and injuries

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image copyrightMatt Frost/ITV/Shutterstock
image captionActor Joe Warren-Plant and partner Vanessa Bauer pulled out last week after he tested positive

Dancing On Ice is to take a week-long break after ITV said it was "prudent" not to have a live show this weekend.

The decision follows the departure of Emmerdale actor Joe-Warren Plant last week after he tested positive for Covid-19.

It had previously been announced that Jason Donovan would not be competing this weekend due to back pain.

The show will return on 28 February and will be replaced this weekend by a one-off special featuring past highlights.

Comedian Rufus Hound was also forced to exit the show earlier this month after testing positive for coronavirus.

This year's series has also seen the departures of of actress Denise Van Outen, who withdrew after partially dislocating her shoulder during training, and reality TV star Billie Shepherd, who injured herself in a fall.

And on Tuesday, professional skater Hamish Gaman, who had partnered soap actress Faye Brookes, pulled out. ITV said he injured a finger while putting on a sock.

"ITV have taken the decision to pause Dancing on Ice this week and there will be no live show on Sunday," a spokesperson said.

image copyrightITV
image captionJason Donovan had already ruled himself out of this week's competition

"Each week our production team and cast have delivered a fantastic show during incredibly challenging times.

"The welfare of all of those involved is important to us and we felt it prudent to take a week's break at this juncture.

"Continuing to make the best TV for our viewers is of paramount importance to us and we look forward to resuming the competition next week."

Other show disruptions

Celebrities remaining on the show include former athlete Colin Jackson, radio DJ Sonny Jay and media personality Rebekah Vardy.

Olympic gymnast Amy Tinkler became the latest celebrity to be axed from the show after losing to rapper Lady Leshurr in Sunday's skate-off.

Dancing On Ice is not alone in having to deal with disruption to its schedule in recent months.

image copyrightPA Media
image captionFilming of the Britain's Got Talent Christmas special which was also delayed

Most recently, Britain's Got Talent was postponed until next year due to concerns around safety during the pandemic. Producers said it would be difficult for acts like dance groups, choirs and orchestras to rehearse and audition safely.

It followed a delay in filming its Christmas special after at least three crew members tested positive for coronavirus.

image captionNicola Adams and Katya Jones pulled out of Strictly after Jones tested positive for Covid-19

ITV's I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! relocated from the Australian jungle to a derelict castle in north Wales because of the pandemic.

On the BBC, Strictly Come Dancing was also hit when former boxer Nicola Adams and her Strictly Come Dancing partner Katya Jones left the contest after Jones tested positive.

Bruno Tonioli could not be with his fellow judges because he couldn't fly back and forth between the UK and the US, where he was appearing on Dancing with the Stars. And Motsi Mabuse had to self-isolate for two weeks after an "urgent" trip abroad.

In January, filming on ITV soap Emmerdale was suspended for a week after a number of positive tests among those working on the show.

And fellow soap Coronation Street paused production for two weeks to allow its writers to change its then-future storylines and scripts to ensure it was feasible to film them within current restrictions. Both shows have however been able to continue screening six episodes a week.

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