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Keith Chegwin skates at Planet Ice
HE’S always been up for a challenge – and now TV presenter Keith Chegwin has been getting his skates on for the next series of Dancing on Ice.
The television star, who won a Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Reality TV Awards this year, pulled out of the 2012 ITV show after being rushed to hospital when he tumbled during a lap around the rink while rehearsing. But the 55-year-old, who lives in the borough, appears to be back on form now after breaking three ribs and fracturing his shoulder in the fall, and is ready to try again.
The series doesn’t begin until January, but The Gazette spotted Keith putting in hours of practice at Basingstoke’s Planet Ice. Although this year’s contestants have not yet been officially revealed, it is believed that Cheggers will dance with professional skater Olga Sharutenko, a Russian ice dancer who appeared in series one with John Barrowman.
She was at the rink with Keith as was the show’s head trainer Karen Barber. The Gazette tried to talk to Keith about his appearance on the show, but he is not yet allowed to confirm that he is one of the contestants, so he declined to comment.
The father-of-two most recently appeared on our television screens in Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s comedy series Life’s Too Short. He became a household name back in the 1970s when he presented BBC Saturday morning show Swap Shop, before going on to host kids’ quiz show Cheggers Plays Pop. In 1992, he famously revealed his alcohol addiction on This Morning with Richard and Judy, after which he gave up drink and released his autobiography Shaken But not Stirred.
Other contestants rumoured to be joining Keith on the ice for the new series include singer Dionne Bromfield, television presenter Anthea Turner and Coronation Street actress Samia Ghadie. Keith, who lives near Ashmansworth, is not the first celebrity to rehearse for Dancing on Ice in Basingstoke. In 2010, Dr Hilary Jones competed in the programme and regularly practised at the Basingstoke ice rink.