Diversity star Ashley Banjo has FINALLY confirmed he’s signed up to serve as the fourth judge on next year’s revamped Dancing On Ice.
His big announcement on Monday’s episode of Loose Women surprised absolutely no-one given the widespread rumours of his involvement but, still, it’s nice to have it all confirmed and signed on the dotted line, right?
Ruth Langsford introduced Ashley’s big news by joking: “This must be one of the worst kept secrets in showbiz!”
Ashley laughed: “I can officially say I will be joining the judging panel for Dancing On Ice. I’m excited!
“That show feels like it’s embedded into society – a show that’s always been there. I wouldn’t know what TV would be like without it all these years.
“I am really excited to be part of the revamp and the refresh.”
Ashley said he can skate himself but wouldn’t class himself as a brilliant skater – but pointed out the show is about so much more than skating.
“It’s called Dancing On Ice, not Skating On Ice,” he said.
“There are so many more elements involved: the choreography, the direction, the music, everything that makes it a performance is so critical.”
Ashley has prior experience judging having previously served as a judge on Got To Dance and Dance, Dance, Dance.
He said: “I’m going to be honest. If someone is great, I’ll tell them they’re great. I don’t believe in being nasty for the sake if it, but if people need telling that it was bad, I’ll tell them.”
As for how he will deal with famously acid-tongued fellow judge Jason Gardiner, he said: “I’m going to be myself, that’s all I can be. Be constructive, and just be ready for Jason!
“I know he will have the one-liners all stored up!”
Meanwhile, Coleen Nolan – who previously took part on the show – couldn’t resist quipping: “I would love to do it again just so I could look at you every week!”
Ashley joins previously announced judges Jason and skating duo Christopher Dean and Jayne Torvill on the panel for ITV’s revamped Dancing On Ice.
Holly Willoughy and Phillip Schofield return as hosts for the show, which will air in 2018.
Celebrity contestants confirmed for the series include Love Island winner Kem Cetinay, former Great British Bake Off champion Candice Brown and Olympian Perri Shakes-Drayton.
Also taking to the rink will be Corrie star Brooke Vincent, TV presenter Donna Air, rugby pro Max Evans, cricketer Monty Panesar, GMB weatherman Alex Beresford and Bucks Fizz star Cheryl Baker.