THE 2011 Dancing on Ice champion, Sam Attwater, loved the live tour which followed the TV series so much that he signed up for this year as well.
“It’s nicer in a way,” says the former EastEnder. “You can relax a bit and have a proper time enjoying working with other people. Last year we were a tight family living in a bubble.”
The show pitches up at the Motorpoint Arena Sheffield next week and Attwater had some catching up to do because he hadn’t skated since last year.
“I had such a passion for it but it’s difficult finding the time to do it,” he admits. “Then if you go to an ice rink it’s very hard to escape all the attention. You go for an hour and end up being there for four hours because everyone is talking to you. It’s amazing how everyone is interested but you do wish they would stop talking.”
And he admits he was a novice when he signed up for the 2011 series. “I had been a handful of times at birthday parties and things but I couldn’t do any of the twizzles or turns.
It took three months of training, two or three hours a day before the show started and then training during the show, depending on how far you go and I went all the way. So it was six months and then we did the live tour.
“There was never a point where I felt I had cracked it. There were new routines every week and it was always something really difficult.”
His success in Dancing on Ice has given him a much bigger profile. “I didn’t have to keep telling people my name wasn’t Leon any more,” says the man who made his name as Leon Small on EastEnders.
“I went on to do two weeks on the online version and ended up doing a year. He was a great character and it was a good platform for me but I needed to move on. There were no women left on Victoria Square for him to get off with.”
Since then and last year’s Dancing on Ice Attwater has been in the jukebox musical Dreamcoats and Petticoats in the West End and appeared in panto at Wimbledon with Dame Edna Everage.
He has also gone into partnership developing an Iphone Ap, I Am Konki, being launched this spring.
“The idea is that you can everything on the one Ap. I got talking to these guys on a train and just fell in love with the idea.”
He is on tour with seven celebrities from this year’s ITV1 show headed by champion Mathew Wolfenden, along with runners-up Jorgie Porter and Chico, Olympic skier Chemmy Alcott, actress Jennifer Ellison, Coronation Street actor Andy Whyment and Sugababe Heidi Range.
Sam Attwater is delighted to have linked up again with his old skating partner Brianne Delcourt. The Canadian figure skater performed with Sébastien Foucan.in the last TV series.
They skate in front of a judging panel of Robin Cousins, Christopher Biggins, Karen Barber and, Kyran Bracken.
All the celebrities are trained and choreographed by Torvill and Dean, who will also perform routines choreographed exclusively for the live tour.
Dancing on Ice Live is at the Motorpoint Arena from Tuesday to Thursday.