by Clare Meaney
Graham Bell’s first performance on this Sunday’s Dancing on Ice television programme has been delayed after his professional ice skating partner, Yebin Mok, suffered what has been described as a gruesome injury to her leg during training.
The duo were to appear in the ITV competition’s first episode but Graham, a former British ski racer and BBCs Ski Sunday presenter, will now have to wait until week 2 although he will be in a group dance this Sunday. He will now be partnered with Karina Mantra who has stepped in for Yebin while she recovers from a stab wound from an ice blade.
Graham confirmed: “We were meant to skate in week 1, but have been moved to week 2. Rufus Hound has kindly moved into week 1 instead.
“Yebin is recovering really well and will have her stitches out on 25 January, which is the day after my first competitive skate in week 2. She is aiming to be back in the show by week 4 or 5. In the mean time my stand-in partner Karina Manta, is doing a great job at picking up our routines. Yebin has been helping out by coaching us.
“Yebin is working hard to get fit, and I’m super motivated to stay in the show and get her back.”
Skiers are normally used to seeing Graham Bell (pictured) hosting the popular Ski Sunday on BBC 2. His role is being temporarily filled by another former British racer, Chemmy Alcott, after Graham agreed to join the likes of actors and singers Jason Donovan and Denise Van Outen to compete in the spectacular ITV show.
This glitzy show, which attracted 13 million viewers for the 2020 final, is presented by Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield and judged by Britain’s most famous skaters of all time, Olympic gold medal winners Jane Torvill and Christopher Dean. Joining them on the judging panel again are John Barrowman and Ashley Banjo.
Phillip Schofield has said that this season’s Dancing on Ice will be a ’winter boost for us all’ during the covid pandemic but because of the current lockdown and the programme makers have had to make some changes to the format. Half of the competitors will take part in week 1 this Sunday (17 January) and the other half in week 2.
When the Skier & Snowboarder magazine spoke to Graham, he was cagey about his first routine as entrants are under strict instructions not to give anything away. But he did reveal it will include a nod towards his role as a presenter on Ski Sunday.
As a ski racer, Graham needed speed and stamina but for his skating it will be more of a case of elegance and precision.
Judging by the comments Graham is making through his Instagram account, he is already coping well with swapping skis for ice skates.
The hit ITV show Dancing on Ice starts on Sunday 17 January at 6pm and other celebrities taking part with Graham, Jason and Denise are: Singer and presenter Myleene Klass; Emmerdale actor Joe-Warren Plant; former Coronation Street actress Faye Brooks; Capital Radio DJ Sonny Jay; sports presenter and former Olympian Colin Jackson; TV personality and former I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! contestant Rebekah Vardy; musician Lady Leshurr; reality television star Billie Shepherd; comedian, actor and presenter Rufus Hound.
- As well as watching the show, there is a Dancing on Ice App you can download or follow Graham Bell’s own stories about his experience by following him on Instagram at: @skigrahambell