Former footballer and presenter John Fashanu revealed what worried him the most was forgetting his routine during his Dancing on Ice debut.
The 60-year-old, who was part of the Wimbledon team that won the FA Cup final against Liverpool in 1988, was among the second batch of competitors to take to the ice on Sunday evening following a performance by six celebrity skaters last weekend.
During the show, he paid tribute to his sporting background with a performance of Eat My Goal by Collapsed Lung with his professional partner Alexandra Schumann, but it was not enough and he faced the dreaded skate-game against Love Island winner Ekin-su Kalkuloglu. Landed in the off and his partner Brendin Hatfield.
After the couples went head-to-head with two new routines, the judges voted unanimously to save Kulkuloglou, making Fashanu the first celebrity to be eliminated from the new series.
Describing performing with the showman before the first show, Fashanu said: “I think I don’t want to let my partner down.
“Sometimes I get there and I just go completely blank. I think ‘Am I playing in the FA Cup final at Wembley ’88?’
“I just go blank, I don’t remember what to do. And she’ll come over and I can’t remember twisting her like that or picking her up like that. And I think ‘oh my god’.”
He said he was “blessed” as he thought his partner Schumann was just “amazing”, adding: “He’s got the composure of someone I’ve never met before.
“Even my wife doesn’t have that patience.”
The former footballer also admitted that at his age it would be “very difficult” to return from injury.
“I’m 60 now, so we’re moving on a bit. But I have to admit, I’m enjoying it”, he said.
“I don’t know if it’s because I’m an athlete and have been an athlete for many years, so maybe it’s not that hard for me.
“But I’m enjoying it, it’s a dream come true.”
Fellow contestant Molly Gallagher, 25, best known for her role as Nina Lucas in Coronation Street, agreed she was enjoying the experience, including trying out a new look.
Her character in the ITV soap is known for her gothic style, but the actress said she loved being hyped for an ice-skating competition.
She said: “It’s great because I’m really into fashion anyway. And obviously, I love Nina’s fashion but it’s nice to have some different colors and stuff.
“And the whole time, we’ll be playing all different bits and bobs and characters.”
Along with her training, she confirmed that she was still able to film the soap opera scenes as they were limited to two hours of skating practice a day.
But former Hollyoaks star and fellow contestant Carly Stenson said the skating range was too restrictive for her.
The 40-year-old said: “Two hours doesn’t seem like enough because I think for me the first hour I always falter a bit, the second hour we get into it and then we get off.”
Despite the limitations, Stenson confirmed that she was “loving” the show, and added: “It’s scary and it’s thrilling in the same sense”.
Last Sunday, former Olympic gymnast Nile Wilson received the highest score of the night from the judges of 29.5, while Love Island winner Ekin-su Kulkuloglu found himself at the bottom after a public vote.
– Dancing on Ice airs on ITV and ITVX on Sundays.
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