Dancing on Ice is coming back to our screens, and bringing with it a host of familiar faces.
ITV producers were keen to bring back some of the reasons why the show is so well-loved, and pulled out all the stops to reward fans for coming back for the reboot.
So we’ll get our original presenting duo Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield back, as well as popular professionals Dan Whiston and Matt Evers.
And of course, the show wouldn’t be the same without its ace in the hole, the joker in the pack – judge Jason Gardiner.
The sharply dressed and sharper-tongued choreographer has carved himself quite a niche as arguably TV’s nastiest judge.
He even puts Strictly’s Craig Revel Horwood and The X Factor’s Simon Cowell to shame!
But Jason revealed it was by no means a guarantee he’d be able to come back for the newly-rebooted show.
At the launch event for the new series, he talked about how excited he was to be back, saying: “It came out of left field really, none of us expected that when we finished the show, nearly five years ago, that it was ever going to come back.”
“When I got the call, I didn’t think they were serious. I asked if it was a prank call!”
He also revealed that it wasn’t a foregone conclusion he’d return, and didn’t say yes straight away.
Jason said: “No, I had to think about it. I have an award-winning production company so my time is… it required a lot of juggling to see if we could make it work, and thank God it did.”
So had he considered perhaps taking on a different role than being a full-blown judge?
Absolutely not, according to the man himself, who said: “Well they’re not going to offer me a celebrity slot are they, let’s be honest! I’m more valuable to the show in this role than skating on ice.”
Returning faces don’t mean the new series won’t have its share of surprises, however.
New judge Ashley Banjo is set to bring a fresh energy to proceedings, alongside a state-of-the-art, purpose-built ice rink for the celebs to whizz round.
Roll on January 7th and the start of the new series!