Entertainment

Dancing On Ice finale scores more viewers than last year

The series bowed out with more viewers than last year's finale, although viewers had dropped since January.

More than 5.5 million viewers tuned in to watch James Jordan crowned the winner of Dancing On Ice.

The finale of the ice skating show was the most-watched programme of Sunday night with an average overnight audience of 5.6 million viewers, a peak of 7.1 million and a 28% share, ITV said.

It was up on last year’s final, which had an average audience of 5.3 million and a peak of 6.8 million viewers.

However, there was a drop in the ratings from the start of the series – which kicked off in January with a cast of stars including Gemma Collins, Didi Conn and Brian McFadden – with an average of 6.4 million viewers for the launch episode.

Former Strictly Come Dancing professional Jordan lifted the Dancing On Ice trophy despite battling a shoulder injury and fending off competition from fellow finalists Wes Nelson and Saara Aalto.

Jordan, who hurt his shoulder during training, was tearful as it was announced that he and his skating partner Alexandra Schauman were the winners.

The finale saw Jordan, Love Island star Nelson and singer Aalto skate two routines, one new and one favourite from earlier in the 10-week series.

Nelson and Aalto both scored top marks of 40 out of 40 for their first skate while Jordan was just behind on 39 out of 40.

However, he pulled it back up for his second performance, which saw all three receive 40 from the judging panel Jayne Torvill, Christopher Dean, Ashley Banjo and Jason Gardiner.

Aalto was eliminated first after a public vote along with skating partner Hamish Gaman.

The final challenge saw Jordan and Nelson skating their interpretation of Bolero, the routine that won Olympic gold for Torvill and Dean in 1984.

Both received standing ovations from the panel, but Jordan was announced the eventual winner.

Speaking on This Morning on Monday, Jordan said that he had not expected to win because he is already known for being a professional dancer.

He said: “For five-and-a-half months I was training every single day, I was relentless going into the studio, because I think the expectation of me being a dancer was so high and I never thought that I would win because of that as well.

“But I think the public maybe realised that it’s a totally different skill, and I’ve had massive support from all the Strictly pros, because they know how difficult it is – it doesn’t mean that because you can dance, you can skate.”

Speaking of his shoulder injury, which he had sustained on Saturday during a fall in training, he said: “I got up (on Sunday morning) and said to (my wife) Ola, ‘I can’t move my arm.’

“I called the producers and said, ‘you’ve got to pull me out of the show, my arm has gone.’”

He said a physiotherapist then spent six hours on Sunday working on his shoulder, and he added: “I was on gas and air, which was amazing, and she popped it back in and was trying to give me strengthening exercises. We missed all the rehearsals and camera blocks, and we just went out there and performed probably the best we ever had.”

Jordan, 40, received praise from his former Dancing On Ice co-star McFadden, who tweeted that he was “the absolute deserved champion” and that he had “worked harder than anyone”.

McFadden added: “He’s also the greatest guy who helped the rest of us through the show with dancing skills. Beautiful human that I’m glad to call my friend x.”

TV presenter Rylan Clark-Neal tweeted: “MASSIVE congratulations to @The_JamesJordan and @AlexandraLukasz. You both were fantastic. What an amazing series.

“Well done @saaraaalto and @HamishGaman and @WesNelsonUk and @TheVanessaBauer for making it to thefinal. @dancingonice x.”

Former X Factor winner Matt Terry, who appeared with Aalto in the 2016 series of the talent show, tweeted: “@saaraaalto I am so proud of you and all of your achievements.

“You and @hamishgaman were incredible last night and there really is no limit to what you can do. You are limitless and fearless. Huge congratulations to Wes and James also and what a final !! #DancingOnIce.”

Dancing On Ice, which originally ran from 2006 until 2014, was revived last year with original hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield.

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