Thursday, March 29, 2007


Sat here in the production office in Brimingham. Just about staying warm. Exciting to see everything developing. The show will be brilliant fun with many surprises as well as the stars of the TV show.

We're staying in a great hotel and I crashed out for 10 hours there last night. Was running to get everything finished before I came away as I won't be back home until 4th May - the day before my wedding.

So a 3am to bed followed by a 7pm up was my final day in Brighton.

Better sleep than some of the tour people here are getting as they race the closck to bring the show to life by Saturday.

For all of you coming here you will love it. I think the atmosphere with the big arena crowd wil be electric.

Meanwhile on the mundane but essential front I'm very pleased to be sorting Ikea deliveries and door assembly etc - did loads of work before leaving but funny how managament skills are improved when you simply can't do things yourself anymore.

And my new keyboard is delivered to me tomorrow. I am very excited. It is a monster a Korg Oasys and is to facilitate composing and arranging music for me. I have a steep learning curve to address. That will be me for every morning for the next four weeks.

That's it for now.



PS Pictures will be up soon

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Dancing on ice - Champion of Champions & the Final

Well it’s all over. You watched in your millions. Over 11 million viewers for the final. Brilliant. The right couple won. Kyran and Mel deserved to win. Twice! Both routines in the last two weeks were fun, fast, packed with content and even saw Kyran dancing…

Clare and Andrei did strong numbers too but Clare does not have the skating strength of Kyran at this time. Andrei is determined though and he really wants to win – watch out for battle royale on the tour.

Duncan and Maria show excellent presentation. The champion of champion final though brought up some issues for me with their performance. Karen (Barber and myself used to do an exhibition – New Fangled Tango - it was easy, crowd pleasing and was a stock exhibition for us). I realise that this was coming to mind watching Duncan and Maria – I only gave them a 4.5 for the C of C event. Why? Well because what they did was an exhibition rather than a competition piece. What do I mean? Well competition is where you are pushing yourself, trying new elements, daring to take risks. This leads to you being scared in the process and either breakthroughs or stutters or complete disasters. It can look a little ragged on television (because you don't see the speed and doing things at speed makes it harder to co-ordinate lines). Duncan took it easy, looks very good on the TV, two feet on the ground going round the corner is smooth and he has wonderful presentation (but it's so easy for him). So I just ended up seeing very little content against the others who are competing hard and pushing themselves. Duncan can do so much more, he just needs to risk and step out of his comfort zone. Then he could challenge the leaders. I'd really like to see him do that on the tour. I think he acan do more than he thinks he can.

Bonnie was great and would have been right up there with Kyran had she not lost concentration. She was really enjoying herself and just lost the edge. Great shame. She had greatly improved her skating as well as maintaining those wonderful lifts with Matt.

In the C of C event Stefan tried difficult moves – I just think he needed another week. He’ll get into his stride on the tour. Gaynor and Daniel were a 6.0 for the relationship they can create on the ice – it’s beautiful to see but the fact Gaynor wasn’t skating consistently like this series competitors showed as her routine progressed. Still the quality of the realtionship and how that comes over is impressive.


I got cross in the show. Takes quite a lot to get me cross but, thinking back on it, a number of things linked together to push my buttons.

I’ve been getting fed up with my lack of involvement on the panel as the series progressed. Our brief as judges is that every time a couple skate we are to be ready with comments – fair enough.

Time and again I don’t get asked. I’ve been thinking – don’t worry it’s fine… But actually I think I was more frustrated than I realised. I hadn't realised this was simmering below the surface... and I was kidding myself.

I think this, added to the fact that in 6 couples for the C of C event I got asked for just one comment, primed the fuse…

Then on the back of my one comment Jason said I was absurd. To top it off I had no possibility of replying. Felt stuffed really.

There you go….. Wasn’t so much Jason – could have been anyone. Frustration just found a focus.

And - well I don't take kindly to name calling. I don't like agreesion and name calling with an arrogance at the best of times but people do what they do. Just caught me at a time when other things were kicking in... you may have seen me get a little steamed up! Ha... and they say it's only television.

Anyway it took me a while to settle down. I don’t think it’s fair that I was not able to answer an aside live on air. Did on Defrosted but the audience is very much lower so feel a bit done really. Not the greatest experience of my broadcasting career to date – hey ho….

Having fun with Stephen on Defrosted helped afterwards – he’s great to work with. Lovely pen from the Defrosted team – (thank you) - they’ve been great fun.

After show party was great meeting friends old and new – had to leave early 2am to Brighton…. I could have stayed.

Anyway see you on tour if you’re around… leaving Wednesday – I don’t have enough time to get everything I have to do finished before I leave! Arghh…. Too busy...



Monday, March 12, 2007


Excellent skating. Why I gave Kyran a 5.. A big hair moment on Defrosted and The TV Times....

This was a superb evening of skating, drama and entertainment for the semi finals of DOI. What we see on our screens is now the product of a well-oiled machine consisting of the entire front and back of house staff on Dancing On Ice. I love seeing what goes on backstage and getting to know more of the staff of different areas. The Dancing On Ice family feel is certainly growing for me as many of us are now enjoying our 16th (I think it is for series 1 and 2) show.

CHRIS & JAYNE – Moondance: I love this song. In fact I sing it as a part of my singing repertoire and when I last performed it the girls got up and danced. I think some of them took rather a shine to me “and I want to make love to you tonight” being the words in the song that perhaps made an impression. I didn’t by the way! Just in case you were wondering... Moving on… back to Chris and Jayne’s skating…

I loved the interpretation of this number, as ever some sublime choreography and finesse in a perfect show number. How Chris and Jayne can keep producing this quality and surety in such a short time week after week is amazing. They are the best in the world at this – and it shows. For me it’s some of the transitions between the highlights that are the highlights. And, as you know, the show is always live. Great entertainment and the risk element that is always present for all the routines in the show, which always adds to the excitement.

OK let’s first take competitors in the order I ranked them:

KYRAN & MELANIE – Loved the body popping, the attack, the ice coverage and the fun. So, just to remind ourselves, this is a rugby player body popping and dancing on ice and skating so fast that Melanie has to work hard to keep up! Who would have thought it possible?

But… last week’s routine with Wally for me was better. Previous blog says why I liked that one. This one, whilst being the best on the night, did not have the completeness and overall quality of the week before. It also had a mistake; the jump into the teapot position requires Melanie to complete the rotation before going into the sit position, she didn’t complete this and it was right in front of me. So it wasn’t perfect as a performance and not as strong as the week before. Overall then a 5.5 from me for this skating performance.

You might have seen Stephen and Phillip saying they thought I regretted not giving a 6.0. Well, for the record I didn’t and I don’t. I wish I could have given the 6.0 to provide a full house with my colleagues but, had I done that, I wouldn’t have truly reflected what I saw in the performance.

Getting booed for 5.5 is a somewhat surreal experience though. Weird to be ‘odd man in’ last week giving a 6.0 and ‘odd man out’ this week not giving one! Believe me I do not plan this nor know what my colleagues will give. It’s not comfortable being odd man out but my job is to reflect what I see with integrity and honesty. I wouldn’t have done either week differently.

So for the record – 1st place to Kyran and Melanie – and very well deserved again.

CLARE & ANDREI – the best and most difficult ‘Unique Element’ of the competition. Clare was supporting her own weight in an inverted lift. Andrei was just balancing her with one arm, very impressive.

This was a packed routine that was ambitious, daring and strongly performed. Once again (as in what I’ve seen in weeks previous) I feel the routine needs a bit more polish, showmanship and speed. I tend to feel another week would give so much more to the overall programme.

It’s a trade off – simple done well or more difficult with some ragged edges. Clare and Andrei go for the difficulty. If they can embed more quality, showmanship and speed in there too then they will be pushing for top spot. Always a big ask in the timeframe of Dancing on Ice. For the record, what they achieve each week is more than we thought was possible last year. This reflects the higher standard of DOI 2007 and their ability and Clare’s amazing ‘Go for it’ attitude.

DUNCAN & MARIA – First run through for me was a little disappointing. A lot of static moves at the opening and they were going for more individual skating from Duncan in the routine. So this is where the – simple done well – philosophy applies. Unfortunately the flow and grace I’d seen in the past was not evident throughout this piece. The routine looked tentative and uneasy it earned a 4.5 in the first run through from me.

The skate off for Duncan and Maria was a completely different matter. Speed, confidence, more power and flow resulted in greater ice coverage and a tremendous overall improvement on the first skate.

How often the skate offs seem to release the couple to just – Go for it. There is literally nothing to loose and this creates a new relaxed approach from the skaters. Being relaxed and getting down into the ice with softer ankles and knees gives you more speed.

EMILY & DANIEL – Emily was the weakest individual skater left in the competition but had the best ‘relationship’ with her partner in terms of expression and softness of the performance. Emily’s smile and the way Daniel is able to work with his partners top bring out this feeling of trust that seeps out to us watching is a real gift in terms of care and coaching.

The upshot of this was that, whilst Duncan was skating more on his own, Emily and Daniel’s routine was a better overall piece for me. I tied the couples in the first part of the competition giving Daniel and Emily a 4.5.

I was in a quandary just before the skate off as separating the two couples into an overall result (had they skated the same) was going to be tough for me. As it turned out Duncan skated at a much higher level and that was worth a place in the final.

All the skaters and celebs have done wonderfully well and Emily has contributed as much as anyone up to this moment. A wonderful smile, soft movements over the ice, excellent interpretation and the ability to come back from confidence knocks being items of particular note. And all whilst holding down her day job as an actress – awesome. And the synopsis programme showed how much she has contributed through the series.

Well done Emily.

BIG HAIR MOMENT – Stephen and the Defrosted team are always great fun as we play with the IceStrator (no noughts and crosses please! – we got into trouble when we did that!) and they wound me up with a ‘big hair moment’! They showed a photo of me when I had long locks from a few years ago. It’s above. Ha ha… unexpected and fun. I did say that my fiancĂ©e had said she wouldn’t marry me if I didn’t have the hair cut off. This was wrong – she would never be so controlling! It was another way around, an ex girlfriend said that if I had my hair cut short she would leave me. We were splitting up so it went…. I kept the ponytail for a while as a momento but then found it one day in a carrier bag! And it looked like a dead rat… yuk. So I binned it.

FINALLY – thanks to Busy for the car ride home. I’ll see the next part of The Illusionist next week please. Perry can I have Victor and Busy as my drivers please. And can you remind me of which one is which next time!

HA TV TIMES – front-page slot on TV Times – great fun. My quote was only partially correct. I love performing and I’m developing as a songwriter and singer. I love the old swing songs and I’ve been writing loads of my own material. I’m building a musical around some of this work. I need to get songs produced and on the web as the next stage here – loads to do.

As I think of developing an act (which will be great fun to do but will need a bomb to get me out there) I wonder whether perhaps this could involve a little dancing too – dancing on ice? Well that would be fun….

That’s it for this week. Roll on the final….



Tuesday, March 6, 2007


In haste....

Saturday was a roller coaster for me. I had a driver to take me to the studio who was all over the place and jerking the wheel so I got there feeling very sick. My outfit didn't work as shirt too big and then I got a call from a girl who was a girlfriend a long time ago and is happily maried now. We met last year with her hubby Dick and the children coming to Brighton. She came to my show last year and I went and stayed with them afterwards and we had a great time tgether. So I answered the phone saying 'Hi Hilary' and it was Dick. Hilary had died the night before and he knew she would have wanted me to know. Now Hilary had battle cancer and been beating it over the last few years and I though things were alright. But they weren't. I was shocked and heartbroken. This news came in the afternoon and ten minutes later I had a judges meeting with our producer Maria and the show rehearsals etc went on as usual.

Anyway somehow, with fantastic help from people on our team, Heather, Maria, Stephen was really nice to me about it and many others, I got back into gear and was fine for the show.

I will really miss her she was a super lady who inspired so many people around her, never said a bad word about anyone, and had the most wonderful faith in God that shone out. Now she's seeing what Heaven is like. Through the sadnes that helps me smile...

Anyway the show.


Highlight was Kyran and Mel for me. I gave a perfect score of 6.0. I had not expected to. So what makes a 6.0? Here's a list of som of the things they did right.

-how they introduced the piece - with Wally the suitcase as a prop - to both the audience and the judges
-interpreted the music briliantly with surprise from the off and superb acting by Mel
-used the prop as a part of the routine in an innovative and fun way
-included strong skating from the celebrity partner - with the prop - at speed
-very good and easy ice coverage
-a superb relationship between the couple throughout the routine
-very strong and secure overhead lift
-keeping your interest with lots of content and fun throughout
-finesse with the rose for your partner at the end

In the end it's the whole performance that impacts me as a judge. This had everything and deserved the top mark. I may not give another one all series but this was definitely a highlight for me.

So well done Kyran and Mel. I said that the routine was good enough to be in a professional ice show and a couple of days later I'm totally settled in that opinion. Brilliant effort by the whole team of choreographers and coaches with Chris and Jayne and Karen and Stephen doing wonders.


Lee and Frankie were voted out in the skate off against Clare and Andrei who skated a blinder in that part of the competition. A very strong routine for them with the chair as the prop.

The prop didn't help Lee and Frankie. I felt that it was one thing too many to cope with. Lee did well in using the broom to help with lifts but... well I did think it got in the way a bit. He looked a little stiff in places as he grappled with the extra element. I would have liked to have seen him have a another week and be able to skate out more. I always thought he had the most potential to become a very elegant skating man in this competition.

Well done Frankie for the bravery and for helping Lee get so far and well done Lee for the great moments you gave us. Sorry I missed you in the bar afterwards.

Did exclusive with Ben yesterday and Clare and Andrei. Ben was challenging me on the marks I gave. It was good fun - once I got over the surprise of his approach! Ha... takes me a moment.

That's it for now everyone.