Daniel Whiston Interview
Since ITV’s Dancing On Ice started in 2006 Daniel Whiston has been there to witness it all. Winning the show three times and now competing in the last ever series. I had a chat with the ice skater about life after the show, celebrity ego’s and what really happens backstage!
Q. How are you?
Dan: I’m good thanks! I’ve actually just stepped off the ice in Liverpool, driving back to Blackpool, and then packing a bag and going straight back to London. So I’m literally either in a car driving, or on the ice. That’s literally what my life consists of at the moment.
Q. The final series of the Dancing On Ice has started, how do you feel about the show ending?
Dan: If anyone could have said to me nine years ago that this is what’s going to happen, I would have said you’re joking. I’ve absolutely loved it and made some amazing friends, and had so many opportunities because of the show. I’ve performed at the royal variety, assisted on choreographing for the Olympic ceremonies. I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’m sad that its coming to an end but I’m glad that it was because Jayne And Chris decided to pull the plug, instead of it be taken off air or people get bored of it.
Q. So do you have any plans yet for after the show has ended?
Dan: There’s quite a few things in the pipeline. I’ve had a lot of meetings and a few discussions but I’m not allowed to say anything yet.
Q: Are you sure you can’t spill anything?
Dan: I can’t, sorry, but watch this space. Dancing On Ice has opened so many doors for me, so it’s really exciting to move on and do some other stuff as well.
Q. You’ve been paired up once again with Coronation Street star Hayley Tamaddon for this series, who you previously won the show with in 2010. What’s been like working with her again?
Dan: It’s just brilliant. Obviously I’ve known Hayley since we were 12 years old and we won the show together last time so it’s just been amazing. To get a second chance at that it’s just brilliant. We know that this is it now, its our last chance, so were just making every second count. You know so many unpredictable couples are leaving the show every week. Nobody knows who going to go so we’ve decided to just enjoy every single minute of it. Hopefully the public at home and the judges have been enjoying what were doing. We’ve been getting really good feedback on Twitter so the public seem to be enjoying it.
Q. Which celebrity would have loved to be partnered with on the show?
Dan: I think that Katie Price would have been interesting. She’s quite outspoken and I would have loved someone like her. I’ve also got a little bit of a crush on Fern Britton. I absolutely love her! Last time I saw her she gave me the biggest hug and like nuzzled my head into her boobs and I loved it (Laughs). I’ve really got a soft spot for Fern Britton. I’ve always wanted to skate with her and she knows it as well. So someone like Fern I guess, or on the opposite side of the spectrum Katie Price.
Q. So it’s show night. Describe what it’s like in the lead up to the performances?
Dan: It’s hectic, it’s electric and the atmosphere is buzzing. Everyone is so busy, you know, there is nobody stood about because everyone has so much to do! It’s frantic, everyone is running about and there’s quick changes happening everywhere. We start off with a rehearsal in the morning, at about 7am, time just goes so quickly and then out of nowhere it’s show time. You can imagine when were skating at 6:15pm in the evening, we’ve been there since 7am, so everyone’s completely stressed and it’s a very tense atmosphere because everyone wants to skate their best.
Q. So what is it like behind the scenes?
Dan: Backstage is very tense and very emotional. People leaving are people we’ve known for years so it’s sad to see them go. We know someone has to leave, and we all want to win, but it doesn’t take away that emotional attachment we have to the person that’s leaving. Last week when Zara went there were a lot of tears backstage, everyone was generally upset. Zara’s is a great person inside and out and has great energy so she will definitely be missed.
Q. I’ve always wondered, with so many celebrities altogether, does anyone’s egos get the better of them?
Dan: It’s early days, were only on week five. Like I said, backstage is very tense and very emotional so I say watch this space for any fights or tantrums.
Q. When someone’s training to be on Dancing On Ice for the first time, how much work do they have to actually do?
Dan: Well it doesn’t matter if someone’s skated before or they haven’t. Everyone has the same amount of training. The celebrity will do possibly start in October and do an intense training session with the coach. Then we join our celebrity in November and skate every single day apart from weekends until Christmas. Then after that it’s very intense, you know, they work out, go to the gym, watch they eat – especially the ladies because they all know that they’re gonna be wearing slinky numbers – they’re very aware of that. They’re working out and skating as much as they can skate, so naturally the body changes and everyone seem to enjoy that bit. Normally what happens is when you start the show the celebrity has an outfit and is like, “Oh I don’t want to wear that, its too revealing, I don’t like this bit of my body”. By the end if they’ve made it through they’re like “Ok, can we get rid of this bit, I like this bit, can we make it a bit shorter”. It’s a confidence booster and it’s really rewarding to watch your celebrity grow not just on the ice but in confidence as well.
Q. What has been your highlight whilst working on the show over the years?
Dan: You know what, I’ve taken away a friendship from every single celebrity I’ve danced with which is beautiful. I think that’s really important. You’re with your celebrity for so long, you’re will them all the time so when you say a goodbye, it shouldn’t be a goodbye. You should stay in touch and that very much happens. Kerry Katona came round my house a couple of months ago and had a cuppa. It’s a really nice thing to keep the friendships, it’s very important. Not only that but I’ve won the show three times and each of those times have been really special.
Q. Who will you definitely keep in touch with from the show, and is there anyone you wouldn’t want to see ever again?
Dan: There isn’t anyone I wouldn’t want to keep in touch with. I’ve really kept in touch with and got along with all of them. You know, when you spend so much time with someone you do develop a closeness, and I have that with my celebrities and it’s been very lovely.
Q. Are there any big surprises coming up on the show as its the last ever series?
Dan: Absolutely! It’s not going to be a straight run, there are going to be twists and turns all the way. This week we go head to head on the ice at the same time with a different celebrity, so that’s what happens this week. However, there will be a twist to that. It’s not going to be an easy ride.
Q. Is there anything you’re working on apart from Dancing On Ice?
Dan: Like I said there’s a few things in the pipeline for when the show finishes. I also have a business with Karen Barber one of the judges on the show. Karen has been training me since I was a little boy and we’re in business together. We run a skate school that runs all over the UK and we also run a franchise of the sandwich shop Subway together. So we’ve opened two shops already and were working on our third and fourth, so we’ll be opening them shortly in the Blackpool area.
Catch Daniel on Dancing On Ice this Sunday on ITV at 6.15pm.
Watch Daniel perform on Dancing On Ice in the video below: