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Thursday 21st November 2019

Dancing On Ice's Jayne Torvill breaks her silence over Jason Gardiner's shock exit

Jason had been with the show since the beginning

Jayne Torvill from Dancing On Ice has broken her silence after judge Jason Gardiner decided to quit the show.

The head judge, 61, admitted she will "miss" Jason and his notoriously "straight forward comments".

She said at Monday's (09.09.19) TV Choice Awards, as reported by Heat: "I think we will miss Jason and his combination of comments, his straight forward comments. Last year, for us it's still quite new, with Jason and Ashley [Banjo] and ourselves, it all worked out really well."

Jayne with fellow judge Christopher Dean (Credit: ITV)

Read more: Gemma Collins 'petrified she would fall' during Dancing On Ice final

Offering her take on producers' decision to draft in actor and former contestant John Barrowman as Jason's replacement, Jayne said: "Now we have a new member but I think it will be fun. John is a funny guy with loads of energy."

News of Jason's departure from Dancing On Ice broke in August.

The Sun initially reported that ITV chiefs were secretly trying to find a replacement judge for Jason ahead of the new series in January. A source told the paper that bosses were worried contestants might feel they have been bullied because of Jason's often critical remarks.

Several weeks later, Jason confirmed the news to his followers on Instagram. In a video posted to the site, he said: "I know there has been a lot of speculation about me and the upcoming series of Dancing On Ice. I wanted to set the record straight, I've been an original judge since 2006.

"I've done every series except one, when I was replaced by my good friend and dance sister Louis Spence in 2012.

I think we will miss Jason and his combination of comments.

"The show had been off air for four years and when it was revived I was the only original judge to return."

He continued: "The past two series has seen new additions to the panel with the brilliant Ashley Banjo and the legends [Jayne] Torvill and [Christopher] Dean. I have absolutely loved sharing the panel with them."

Speaking further, Jason didn't reveal exactly why he had chosen to quit, only telling fans: "After all these years I feel it's time for me to say goodbye to my judging role and return to things I have been putting on the back burner for a while."

Read more: Jason Gardiner slammed for offensive language on Dancing On Ice

Ex Strictly Come Dancing pro James Jordan, who won Dancing On Ice earlier this year, was thought to be the favourite to replace Jason.

But ITV eventually hired former I'm A Celeb star John Barrowman, who competed on the ice in 2006.

Of joining the show, John said he was "so excited" to be returning to programme as a judge and admitted it would be a "thrilling adventure" to be back.

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