Charlene Tilton: ‘My fiance’s death inspired me’

Former Dallas star Charlene Tilton tells TV Times magazine the heartbreaking reason why she’s taking part in Dancing on Ice

Why did you decide to take part in Dancing on Ice?

“If they had asked me to do the show two years ago, I wouldn’t have. My fiance died completely unexpectedly last Christmas. We were talking about what we were going to have for Christmas dinner and he just passed away. It made me realise life is short. I don’t care if you’re 20 or 50 like me, you have to grab and seek out opportunities for yourself.”

How have you taken to ice skating?

“I have fallen in love with it. It’s been a good challenge for me, just helping me to get out of the situation I was in because I had to make a decision: either I’m going to lie down and give up, or I’m going to get up and go – so here I am.”

Had you ever been on the ice before?

“No! I’m loving the challenge of doing something new, but it’s hard. I am truly the most un-athletic person ever born in the history of the world. You have to find it within yourself to push yourself and to not give up.”

What’s it been like working with your skating partner, Matt Gonzalez?

“There have been times when we’ve been learning how to do, say a Mohawk [a type of turn] and Matt’s like ‘That’s easy’. And I look at him like ‘Are you crazy?!’ I just have to trust him.”

How determined are you?

“I made a decision yesterday that I really want to go as far as I can [in this competition], but I know there are other great contestants who are dearly beloved by the public. We’re just going to try our best.”

Have you picked up many bumps and bruises along the way?

“You get to be a certain age and things creak, crack and ache. But Matt doesn’t let me make excuses. Believe me I’ve tried – and I can’t get one person to bring out a violin for me, whether it’s my old weak knees or my shoulder, not one person is like ‘Aww that’s too bad!'”

You’ve been busy filming the revival of Dallas. What can we expect?

“I predict it’s going to be a huge hit. I know everybody is so excited, and rightly so. I saw the first episode and it is amazing.”