As the Dancing on Ice final approaches, hot favourite Jake Quickenden says all the finalists are feeling the strain...

He’s always been the favourite to win Dancing on Ice – but Jake Quickenden has admitted he doesn’t feel under any extra pressure going into Sunday’s final.

Reality TV favourite Jake will be skating against Coronation Street actress Brooke Vincent and rugby star Max Evans for the chance to win the title of Dancing on Ice champion 2018.

When asked whether he feels being labelled the ‘favourite’ puts him at an advantage or disadvantage in the competition, Jake – who is paired with Vanessa Bauer – told “I don’t think it really makes a difference because you’re only as good as your last dance. We don’t really concentrate on any of that, we just concentrate on us and on trying to get the best out of us.”

He added: “Vanessa and I feel pressure every week but then I think we ALL feel pressure. We’re all doing lifts on ice, injuries can happen, people can get hurt, so the pressure is always there. I don’t feel any extra pressure, I just want to do well.”

Jake’s chances of winning were thrown into doubt earlier this week when it was revealed he’d been taken to hospital after dislocating his thumb in training.

“When I did it, my first thought was: ‘Am I going to be able to skate?’,” admitted Jake. “But that’s why I had to go and get the X-ray and MRI just to make sure it wasn’t too bad. The pain stops when I’m on the ice because I’m enjoying it so much. It’s when I get into bed at night and I’ve got my hand in the ice bucket, it’s a bit sore.”

But Jake’s not going to let his injury hold him back. “I don’t want to let it affect my chances,” he said. “My hand will need to be strapped up just for support but we’ll get some glitter or something on it, so it’ll be fine.

“We haven’t had to change our routines at all, which is really lucky, everything we already had planned, I’m able to do,” said Jake, who also confirmed: “We’re doing the headbanger again – and I’ll give it a little bit more bounce this time!”

Unsurprisingly, Jake would love to clinch the title on Sunday night. “I’m so happy I’m in the final,” he said: “I’ve fallen in love with skating and I’m so happy that I’ve got to do it from start to finish but, obviously, it would be great to win. I’m not gonna sit here and say I’m fine with coming second – I would LOVE to win it.”

Dancing on Ice: The Final can be seen on March 11 at 6pm on ITV.