Dancing On Ice champion Ray Quinn tells us about winning the show, his tips for 2010’s hopefuls and whether he’s still in contact with Leona Lewis.

So how would you describe the past year for you?
“It’s been a whirlwind! A year ago I was on Dancing On Ice, then I won that, then went into Grease in London and am now in pantomime in Birmingham as the prince in Sleeping Beauty. What a year! It has been fantastic.”

What are your abiding memories of Dancing On Ice and being named the show’s champion for 2009?
“I have so many good memories of the show. It was just amazing. It was great to work with Maria (Filippov, his dance partner), make so many friends and share so much with everyone else taking part. I loved the challenge of it all and the sense of self- achievement you get – it was beyond belief. We all tried our best and it all turned out really, really well.”

What was your favourite dance?
“I really enjoyed them all. I liked week six when we got all 6s and probably the bravest routine was the flying! I was so nervous and felt so sick! But we managed to do it.”

What advice would you give this year’s contestants?
“Just do your best and don’t forget to enjoy it and make the most of it. It’s a massive opportunity that so many people would die for and you’ve got to live it up and enjoy it. Torvill and Dean are legends and I for one look up to them so much. A lot of people do – and that’s not something to be sniffed at. Make the most of it.”

So do you still skate?
“When I get time. I love skating. I’ll definitely keep it up. It’s something that’ll stay with me forever now.”

Tell us about the new DVD you’re in – Torvill & Dean’s Dancing On Ice: The Bolero 25th Anniversary Tour 2009?
“The DVD is great! It features people skating against each other that you wouldn’t normally see, like Chris Fountain, Suzanne Shaw and Kyran Bracken – and I compete against them as well. It was a lot of fun doing the tour. We got to relive the show every night! Skating every night was great as we just got more and more confident on the ice. The next thing you know you try a new thing. It becomes such a real adventure and a great thing to be a part of.”

So what are you up to at the moment?
“I’m doing panto in Birmingham with Joe Pasquale – Sleeping Beauty – which is great fun. It’s really exciting. I’m the prince. No flying though, thank goodness, but quite a bit of dancing and singing and just panto magic really.”

What are you doing for Christmas?
“I will be going back home for a bit to spend time with my family. I love Christmas. I can’t wait!”

What’s the best present you ever got?
“When I was a lot younger, I got a drum set off my mum. She didn’t like me drumming away loudly all the time though – but I didn’t care!”

You were runner-up in the X Factor to Leona Lewis in 2006 – do you still keep in contact?
“I speak to her now and again. She’s done fantastically!”

What are your hopes for 2010?
“Bigger and better! I just hope for work! I hope I’m healthy, and happy and working! As long as I’m happy, working and alive, that’ll do for me.”

Torvill & Dean’s Dancing On Ice: The Live Tour – Bolero 25th Anniversary is available to own on DVD now.