Speculation is rife that Dancing On Ice could be facing the axe in the wake of disappointing ratings for the latest series.
According to the Sunday Mirror, producers are considering the future of the ITV1 show after viewing figures dropped to around the 6m mark.
Last Sunday’s show, which was seen by an audience of around 6.7m, was beaten in the ratings by BBC One’s Countryfile – while the audience for the results show was even lower at 5.4m.
By contrast, the first series of the show in 2006 pulled in 13m viewers for its final, which was won by Gaynor Faye.
And while ITV has said it is planning a ninth seeries in 2014, a source told the paper that channel bosses weren’t so sure.
The source added that the network has done its best to boost the show – bringing in Pamela Anderson as a contestant and reinstating Jason Gardiner as a judge.
However the plans went awry after Pamela was booted off in the very first week of the series – effectively costing ITV £1,000 a second to hire her.
To be fair to ITV, they refused to be defeated and ploughed a huge amount of money into this year’s show,” the insider added. “They got rid of Louie Spence from the panel and brought back Jason, who has definitely added spice.
“Then they paid their highest-ever celebrity fee to bring in Pamela, but that was an absolute disaster.
They even had a celebrity romance between Samia Ghadie and Sylvain Longchambon, which usually boosts ratings, but that had no effect.
The source said axing the show would be a “big decision”, but admitted: “The Sunday-night slot is as primetime as it gets and they’d be expecting more people to tune in.”
The series’ seven remaining couples will take to the rink once again at 6.15pm this Sunday, with a series of romantic routines in the show’s Valentine’s Day special.