Irish stars Maura Higgins and Kevin Kilbane receive ice skating lessons from Olympic champions Torvill and Dean for Dancing On Ice
Irish stars Maura Higgins and Kevin Kilbane received world-class ice skating lessons from Olympic champions Torvill and Dean for their Dancing On Ice debut.
Longford Woman Maura was the first celebrity revealed to appear on the ITV show which begins in January.
But she looked less than stable on her feet as she tried to stay straight on the ice in her first workout yesterday.
Maura said: “I have skated twice in my life just for fun so I have no experience at all. I’m up for the challenge. I’m more excited than scared. I’m brave and competitive so I think this will lead me.
The contestants have yet to be matched with professional dance partners and Maura admitted she would benefit from someone cracking the whip.
And more confident too, as Maura, 28, admitted that she wanted to have secure hands around her to perform the headbanger movement on the ice, which involves a skater being caught by the ankle and turned by his partner.
Maura explained, “The headbanger is what scares me. I am more excited than scared. I’m competitive so I think that will motivate me.
Another Irish face trying to keep his balance on the ice yesterday was former Irish football star Kilbane.
The 42-year-old, who confessed to never putting on a pair of skates in his life, claimed he would be the “novelty” in Ice dance.
BBC and Newstalk expert Kevin said: “I’m continuing as a total novice. I’m starting from scratch here. It’s going to be a huge challenge for me.”
The former midfielder doubted his own fitness for the grueling training sessions required on the ice.
He said: “I’ve been calming down for a few years since I finished, so let’s see how this one goes. I probably need to try toning up a bit too.”
The ex-Everton star said he only entered Dancing On Ice to keep his daughter happy.
The player, speaking on the Late Late Show, said Ryan tubridy he called her to tell her that he had been invited to the show.
He added: “She burst out laughing and said, ‘Daddy, you can’t skate and you can’t dance but you have to do it,’ so that was enough to push me in.”
TV presenter Michael Barrymore and Ian Watkins, better known as H of Steps, were also seen making their staggering first steps on the ice yesterday with Torvill and Dean.
Other celebrities attending Dancing On Ice 2010 include presenter Lucrezia Millarini,
Coronation Street actress Lisa George, Diversity’s Perri Kiely, Paralympian gold medalist Libby Clegg, I’m a celebrity reality TV star Joe Swash, magician Ben Hanlin, TV presenter Trisha Goddard and model Caprice Bourret, which was announced this week.