Claire Sweeney: I signed up for Dancing On Ice to battle menopause anxieties

Claire Sweeney said she wanted to challenge herself (Matt Crossick/PA)
Claire Sweeney said she wanted to challenge herself (Matt Crossick/PA)

Claire Sweeney has said she wanted to battle the “vulnerabilities and anxieties” that came with menopause by signing up for Dancing On Ice.

The soap star, 52, will join famous faces including Olympian Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards, singer Hannah Spearritt, West End star Amber Davies and Olympian Greg Rutherford when the show returns to ITV next year.

Explaining why she said yes to the show, she told Prima magazine: “I wanted to challenge myself.

Claire Sweeney
Claire Sweeney said she wanted to challenge herself (Prima UK/PA) (David Venni )

“You get little vulnerabilities and anxieties with menopause and you start to lose your bottle as you get older, so I want to conquer some fears and get my confidence and chutzpah back.

“It’s going to be good for me. When I stepped on to the ice for the first time, I had this feeling of euphoria. It was such an adrenaline rush, I loved it – how great at 52 years of age.”

However, training has not been without difficulty and Sweeney admitted she took a tumble in front of judges Jane Torvill and Christopher Dean the first time she stepped on the ice.

She said: “The first time I went on the ice, Torvill and Dean were standing in the middle of this huge rink and there were cameras everywhere.

Dancing On Ice 2023
Sweeney took a tumble in front of Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean (Jonathan Brady/PA)

“I’d got a blow-dry and was wearing bright blue because I thought it would stand out, but as I got on the ice I went flying, landed on my wrist and hurt it.

“I thought, ‘If I can carry on with everyone looking at me, that will be a big accomplishment’, so I got back up and kept skating for half an hour and was so proud of myself.

“Then I glanced in the mirror in the dressing room and saw that my leggings had ripped and my bum had been hanging out the whole time.”

The Coronation Street star, who is single, also said she does not mourn the absence of a relationship in her life.

(Prima UK)

She said: “There’s no void in my life. I’m not going to compromise, and I’m not afraid to be on my own.

“I get all the attention I want on stage. I get all the love I need from my son.

“My grandma met the love of her life when she was 86. If it means waiting until that time to get the right one, then so be it.”

Read the full interview in Prima’s January 2024 issue, on sale now.