Dancing On Ice - The Final Tour 2014 (Tour - Manchester)
Helen Jones says a fond farewell to the TV show on ice and finds that it's unmissable
The highly successful TV show Dancing On Ice, which came to an end a few weeks ago, is once more out on the road and giving people to chance to see their favourite skating stars in person.
The first part of the show follows the format of the TV series: each celebrity has a short VT, skates their routine then return to the hosts for their scores and judges comments. For the final tour, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean take on the role of hosts, and the "ice panel" is made up of three judges, former champion skaters: Robin Cousins, Karen Barber and Nicky Slater.
This is a Champion of Champions tour, with all the celebrities having taken part before and mostly been successful. From sports stars to soap stars, this is an eclectic mix of contestants and they each have a wide variety of skating styles. Some bring comedy, others bring breathtaking balance and control.
During the interval, the audience is invited to text their vote for who they want to win, and the winner is announced after the first show skate of the second act. Unsurprisingly, the winner on the night I attend is the same as the TV show – Ray Quinn, a superb skater and pure showman. He is as at home on the ice as he is on stage.
The celebrities then get to perform a show routine, although Joe Pasquale's is of a more novel nature and not one easily forgotten. But this is part of the show is a little flat, as the champion has already been crowned; delaying the announcement would pace things better.
But this is the only flaw in a show designed for lovers of this beautiful art form. The highlight of the show, though, comes at the end, with Torvill and Dean once more performing their iconic "Bolero" routine, 30 years after winning Olympic Gold at Sarajevo. This never becomes staid, as the dynamic due perform with so much passion and verve and nostalgia takes hold, moving the audience at every turn.
For fans of the programme or skating this is a must see show, as it gives them what they pay for and Torvill and Dean's stunning close is the icing on the cake.
Dancing On Ice - The Final Tour 2014 is at the Phones 4 U Arena, Manchester until 30 March and the tour continues until 27 April. For further tour dates, please visit the show's website.
- Helen Jones