‘Walk in the park!’ Phillip Schofield in Strictly swipe as Oti Mabuse joins Dancing On Ice

Novak Djokovic: Phillip Schofield slams 'complicated' situation

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59-year-old Dancing On Ice host Phillip Schofield has once again called attention to how dangerous the show can be for celebrities. As Oti Mabuse prepares to switch ranks and move to the ITV show after being part of the professional dancers team on BBC’s Strictly, the presenter has suggested that she will be in for a more difficult journey than ever before.

“I love Strictly but compared to the skills that are required for Dancing on Ice it’s a walk in the park,” he exclaimed breezily, when quizzed by ITV on any advice he’d offer to Oti.

“[With Dancing On Ice] you have the possibility of real danger, real injury.

“You have a rink that is full of essentially blades and we know how dangerous they can be and how deeply they can cut and how sharp they are.

“I’ve just watched a video of Bez on his second day fall over backwards so hard that his helmet flew off.

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He reiterated: “It’s one of those things but you don’t see that on Strictly. Dancing On Ice is really dangerous.

“[Contestants] really all risk everything for it.”

The history speaks for itself, as in last year’s contest alone, there were three major injuries.

47-year-old Denise Van Outen suffered a dislocated shoulder and three bone fractures barely two weeks into the competition, leaving Phillip and co-host Holly Willoughby to look on helplessly.

31-year-old TOWIE star Billie Faiers also suffered, experiencing a terrifying head injury.

Finally, 53-year-old Aussie actor Jason Donovan made it to the sixth week of action before a back injury ended his career dreams.

Phillip has stated that only the very young can be “fearless” and benefit from the potential of falling without breaking bones.

However, increasingly, undeterred older contestants are keen to compete, including Coronation Street’s Sally Dyvenor, who is competing in this month’s new series, alongside the likes of former S Club 7 singer Rachel Stevens and ex-Pussycat Doll Kimberley Wyatt.

Phillip clarified: “We’ve seen in the past that people do get hurt and of course you want to avoid that at all cost.”

He added: “I think we will be wrapping Bez up in bubble wrap, that’s for sure.”

Meanwhile, Oti will take over as a judge in the competition from Torchwood actor John Barrowman, who was recently shamed for alleged misconduct on the set of Dr Who.

On ITV’s Lorraine, John said of the allegations: “They have been exaggerated and they have tried to turn them into sexual harassment, which it absolutely is not.

“It was bawdy behaviour, silly behaviour. It was being done in the confines of the set and we were like a family working together.”

He added that outsiders did not understand the context of the historic banter and that, due to the modern shift in attitudes, he would “never do it now”.

However, it appears to have been too late for him to continue on Dancing With Ice.

Phillip has said John’s presence on the show will be sorely missed but that, going forwards, Oti “knows exactly what’s required”.

The show returns on January 16th, when it will air at 6:30pm on ITV.

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