Jason Donovan has been the latest in the line of contestants forced to drop out of Dancing on Ice, after the singer and actor failed to shake off back pain.
The Australian star said doctors had advised him not to continue because of his “ongoing back problem”.
‘I’m Completely Gutted’
Donovan said: “It’s a nightmare and I’m completely gutted.”
He is the fifth celebrity to withdraw. Denise van Outen and Billie Shepherd were also injured, with Rufus Hound and Joe-Warren Platt having been tested for Covid-19.
Meanwhile, professional skater Hamish Gaman, who had partnered soap actress Faye Brookes, was replaced last week after injuring a finger while putting on a sock.
The Break Is Over
ITV canceled the live show on Sunday but said the competition would continue this weekend with the remaining five celebrities – Brookes, Rebekah Vardy, Lady Leshurr, Colin Jackson and Sonny Jay.
Announcing his departure in a video, Donovan told fans: “I am devastated to announce that due to this ongoing back issue that occurred on Dancing on Ice about 10 days ago, and at the advice of my medical team in the show, that unfortunately I can’t continue in the competition and therefore have to withdraw.
“We put so much work into getting to this point but I have to respect my health and I have to respect my body moving forward. That is my biggest priority.”
He thanked his ski co-worker Schauman, and said: “You believe in me when sometimes I didn’t believe in me either.”
He concluded with a message for the surviving participants of the game: “Please stay safe, stay healthy and take care.”
Other Similar Instances
Donovan missed the last live programme on 14 February but has not recovered enough to go back on the ice. ITV said his back problem was not caused by any injury while training.
A spokeswoman said Donovan had “brought us so much joy with his performances on Dancing On Ice”. She added: “Our thanks go to Jason and his partner Alex for being so wonderful and committed to the series. We’re sorry to see them leave and we wish Jason a speedy recovery.”
Dancing On Ice is not alone in dealing with the disruption of its program in recent months.
Recently, Britain’s Got Talent was postponed to next year due to safety concerns during the pandemic. The organizers said it would be difficult for acts such as dance groups, choirs and orchestras to practice and evaluate properly.
It followed a delay in filming its Christmas special after at least three crew members tested positive for coronavirus.
ITV’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! relocated from the Australian jungle to a derelict castle in north Wales because of the pandemic.
On the BBC, Strictly Come Dancing was also suffering when former boxer Nicola Adams and Strictly Come Dancing teammate Katya Jones left the competition after Jones was found to have COVID.
Bruno Tonioli could not be with his fellow judges because he couldn’t fly back and forth between the UK and the US, where he was appearing on Dancing with the Stars. And Motsi Mabuse had to self-isolate for two weeks after an “urgent” trip abroad.
In January the recording of ITV’s Emmerdale soap was suspended for a week after many positive tests were found in those working on the sets.