Dancing on Ice is hit by anti-vax row as latest signing Brendan Cole says he’s 'pro-choice' on jabs

DANCING On Ice could be skating on thin ice after signing “pro freedom of choice” campaigner, Brendan Cole.

Hot on the heels of Strictly Come Dancing’s own, ongoing anti-vaxxer row, Brendan has repeatedly used his Instagram page to hit out at lockdowns and anti-Covid measures.

Mysteriously, the former Strictly star, 45, had last night deleted his controversial Insta biog which had previously included a needle emoji besides the words “pro freedom of choice”.

A TV insider said: “Arguably Brendan’s signing is controversial in itself, given that he has a dance background and will perhaps find learning the routines easier than others.

“But for the past year or so he’s been living in Mallorca where everyone is very relaxed, and not many islanders are jabbed.

“He’s been very outspoken both publicly and privately about governments trying to make people get jabbed, and how he thinks the wearing of masks is fairly pointless.

"The last thing ITV bosses will want is another anti-vaxxing row. Hopefully Brendan has privately been jabbed, and that’ll be the end of the matter.”

ITV are aware of his beliefs but are confident their safety protocols are sufficient to keep everyone protected.

Earlier this year Brendan, who left Strictly in 2018 after winning the show in 2004 alongside Natasha Kaplinsky, had a run-in with another former dancer and DOI winner James Jordan.

The pair clashed over Instagram after Brendan posted a report claiming masks were ineffective.

Following a backlash, he deleted the post, but then wrote: “I will point out there is plenty of evidence on the contrary and it is up to each of us what to believe.”

He added: “I continue to believe that this has been the wrong way to handle things.”

Somehow I doubt that will be the end of it . . .

Fam-ice five go skating

RUGBY hunk Ben Foden and Love Island star Liberty Poole are the latest two Dancing on Ice competitors to be revealed by ITV.

On Monday, show bosses announced they had signed up Coronation Street actor Sally Dynevor, who plays Sally Metcalfe on the soap and is famous for being the mum of Bridgerton actor Phoebe Dynevor.

Meanwhile, The Sun exclusively revealed how Paul Gascoigne's son, Regan, and S Club 7 singer Rachel Stevens would join her on the rink.

All five stars beamed as they posed in front of the ice and glitter backdrop synonymous with the ITV skating contest, which returns for its 14th series in January.

Let’s see if they’re still smiling after months of gruelling rehearsals, falls and painful injuries.


Review: Only Fools will miss a knees-up

Theatre Royal, Haymarket

THE Only Fools and Horses musical is back on stage after an enforced 18-month break and I can confirm it’s still the “crème de la menthe”.

Show creator Paul Whitehouse stars as Grandad alongside Tom Bennett andRyan Hutton, who play Del Boy and Rodney, and the trio went down like a free bar in the Nags Head.

Paul dedicated this first post-Covid performance to the sitcom’s late star John Challis, who died last month.

The actor – a huge supporter of the stage show – would have been chuffed to see how Jeff Nicholson has taken on his iconic character, totally perfecting car dealer Boycie’s legendary laugh.

And you’ll be pleased to know there have been no tweaks to the script to include any references to the pandemic.

Indeed, the only illness on show is whatever is wrong with Trigger.

So don’t be a plonker, go check it out. It’s the ultimate West End knees-up.

RATING: ★★★★★

Fans hail Arlene's return

THE return of Dame Arlene Phillips to prime-time TV talent show judging has been celebrated by her fans.

The former Strictly star, who I revealed yesterday is joining the Dancing On Ice panel of experts replacing John Barrowman, has been waiting for a top job since 2009.

And she’s now back where she belongs after ITV’s move to bring her on board.

Rejoicing the news on social media, Barry Scott said: “I’m all for Arlene Phillips to judge on Dancing On Ice.”

Ellie Gellard gleamed: “About time too. Arlene Phillips is a legend.”

While Jill Rennie simply wrote: “Congratulations Arlene.”

Dancing On Ice’s new star was axed by Strictly in an ageism row, after Alesha Dixon was brought in to replace her – despite being a dance novice by comparison.

At 78, Arlene’s still going strong and her eye for detail is on point as ever.

A genius signing.

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