Jason Gardiner addresses fans about his Dancing On Ice future
Dancing On Ice judge Jason Gardiner has announced he will not be returning for the new series of the ITV show.
The judge, who fell out with contestant Gemma Collins on the last series, said in a video shared on Instagram that it was time to say goodbye and focus on things that he had “put on the back-burner”.
He said: “I know there has been a lot of speculation about me and the upcoming series of Dancing On Ice.
“I wanted to set the record straight.
“I’ve been an original judge since 2006. I’ve done every series except one, when I was replaced by my good friend and dance sister Louie Spence in 2012.
“The show had been off air for four years and when it was revived I was the only original judge to return.
“The past two series have seen new additions to the panel with the brilliant Ashley Banjo and the legends (Jayne) Torvill and (Christopher) Dean. I have absolutely loved sharing the panel with them.
“After all these years I feel it’s time for me to say goodbye to my judging role and instead I would like to return to things I have kind of put on the back burner for a while.”
Gardiner, who was known for his sharp tongue on the show, continued: “To all of my DOI fans I really thank you for your support and encouragement over the years.
“I know we’ve gone through some controversies and I really am so grateful that you got my unique judging style and honestly.
“It’s because of you I never cowered or shied away from serving up the truth.”
Addressing Torvill and Dean and the hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, he said: “Holly, Phil, Jane and Chris we created something that we can be very proud of after the ice has finally thawed.
“We’ve had a lot of laughs over the years a lot of trials and tribulations and I have absolutely loved working with all of you.”
Gardiner also praised former judge Karen Barber, who he clashed with on the show.
“To the real unsung heroes of DOI, the pros and coaches, including Karen Barber, without your hard work and patience, courage we would never have had the success we’ve had, so I salute and applaud you,” he said.
The 47-year-old said he was “excited but also slightly terrified” to announce that he would be debuting his one man show at the Crazy Coqs at Zedel in January and February 2020.
He said: “So if you want to find out a little bit more about me, because I am like an onion, I have many layers and if you cut me I’ll make you cry.
“Then book tickets, because I promise you it will be an evening you will never forget.”
Dancing On Ice originally ran from 2006 until 2014, and made a comeback in 2018.
Gardiner was not on the panel in 2012 but other than that was a judge on every series.