Dancing On Ice's Oti Mabuse ‘excited' to judge ex-Strictly dancer Brendan Cole

The professional dancer has replaced John Barrowman on the judging panel.

Dancing On Ice judge Oti Mabuse is “excited” to watch former Strictly Come Dancing professional Brendan Cole because he is a “risk taker”.

The dancer, 31, believes that Cole will behave differently on the ice-skating series, having been known for challenging the judges on the BBC’s flagship show.

This year, the show features a star-studded line-up that includes Coronation Street actress Sally Dynevor, Love Island’s Liberty Poole and Happy Mondays dancer Bez.

Brendan Cole
Brendan Cole (Ian West/PA)

Speaking about Cole, Mabuse said: “I think he will be different because on Strictly he was very verbal because he was defending his celeb, if he really felt passionate about his celeb he was really defending her.

“This time it’s him, we are judging him.

“He has grown a little bit and I am hoping that he is going to take it in and take it as an opportunity to really show a different side of him, where Vanessa is taking care of him not him being the caretaker.”

Cole, 45, was a professional on Strictly Come Dancing for 15 years and has been paired with professional skating partner Vanessa Bauer for the upcoming series of the ITV skating show.

Speaking about her former Strictly colleague, Mabuse added: “I have worked with Brendan and I know that he is a risk taker and I think that is really quite exciting especially to have on Dancing On Ice, I can’t wait to see what he’s going to bring.

“Brendan was always the one who would get on skates, always the one who would jump over a car or jump off a table, so this is up his stream and I think he will take it as an exciting challenge.

“He was always falling on Strictly and that wasn’t even on ice.”

Dancing on Ice 2022
Oti Mabuse, Jayne Torvill, Christopher Dean and Ashley Banjo, are the judges on Dancing On Ice (Matt Frost/ITV)

Mabuse has replaced John Barrowman on the panel, appearing alongside returning judges Ashley Banjo, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean for the series launch on Sunday.

Her sister, Motsi Mabuse, is a judge on Strictly Come Dancing and has advised her to be herself.

“(Motsi) has said to be myself, say what I see and what I feel and what I would love to feel between two people dancing and verbalise that as best as I can.

“You want them to get better. I know when I was on the other side of the table what I was hoping to get was ‘your arm wasn’t right’ so that I have something to work on.

“Everybody wants to get better, everybody wants to go through that ride up until the end and I am hoping that I can help and give my little tips,” she said.

Barrowman has said his departure was unrelated to the accusations he repeatedly exposed himself on the set of Doctor Who and its sister show Torchwood.

The actor, who starred as Captain Jack Harkness, said his exit was prompted by him taking on another role on All Star Musicals, another ITV series.

Dancing On Ice launches on ITV on January 16 at 6.30pm.

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