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Holly Willoughby’s Dancing on Ice return risks taking ‘focus’ from celebs as ex-champ issues plea to fans


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Holly Willoughby has been branded a “brilliant presenter” but risks diverting “focus” from this year’s cast’s skating performances when Dancing on Ice returns on Sunday.

GB News spoke exclusively to former Dancing on Ice champion Alex Murphy, who won in 2020 with Joe Swash, about the new series and her own experiences working with Willoughby ahead of her highly-anticipated return.

Willoughby’s return to screens comes just three months after she quit This Morning to spend time with her family following the foiling of a kidnap and murder plot against her.

When asked if she felt Willoughby made the right call to return to the ITV Sunday night staple, Murphy replied: “I think that’s really tough, if I’m honest. My experience with Holly and Phil was nothing but wonderful.

“We saw them on a Saturday and a Sunday, they were always kind to me, always good to me, always checked in with me, Holly’s children are adorable – they’re just lovely people.

“I do think she’s been through a really, really tough year and that’s got to be really hard,” Murphy admitted.

Holly Willoughby

Holly Willoughby is returning to Dancing on Ice without Schofield


She delved further: “Now she’s almost ripping the band-aid off where she’s saying, ‘I’m going back, this is my spot, I deserve this spot’.

“We can’t take away the fact that she’s a brilliant presenter, we should recognise that for her and just allow her to do her job.

“I do anticipate she’s probably going to get people saying whatever they want to say, but Stephen Mulhern is amazing so maybe they could be a lovely duo. I’d love to see that.”

However, Willoughby’s comeback won’t be plain sailing as Murphy conceded: “I do think that the really hard part about the show though (is) because the focus is actually on Holly and (Stephen) as opposed to the focus being on the show itself.

Holly Willoughby hands the Dancing on Ice

Holly Willoughby hands the Dancing on Ice trophy to Alex Murphy in 2020


“So I hope that it doesn’t distract too much from the show and I hope that she can just get on with it and live her life and keep the spot that she deserves to keep.

“It’s hard. I’m sure that was probably a really long deliberation for her. Do I go back by myself? Are we going to get me a co-host? What are we going to do? What’s our plans?”

Urging fans to back Willoughby as she returns without Schofield for the first time, Murphy went on: “But in a way, I just feel like… is she supposed to give up everything now? We need to let her do what she wants to do and hopefully support her and let her move forward.

“She’s given up a lot and I don’t really know how much more she’s supposed to give up. Dancing on Ice has been her baby for how many years?

Stephen Mulhern and Holly Willoughby

Stephen Mulhern and Holly Willoughby will front the 2024 series of Dancing on Ice


“If I’m right, I think she was pregnant at one point on Dancing on Ice so it’s literally older than her children. It’s been her baby before her babies!”

Willoughby won’t be presenting solo as Mulhern will be stepping into the void left by Schofield.

Schofield left ITV as a whole back in May 2023 after he admitted lying to ITV bosses about an “unwise but not illegal” relationship with a runner on This Morning.

Willoughby hasn’t publicly addressed her return to Dancing on Ice and skipped a press day for the upcoming series on January 10.

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Written by: radioroxi

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