As the sixth series of TV’s most dangerous reality show kicks off, we talk to Dancing on Ice stars Denise Welch and Steven Arnold as they limber up…

Dancing on Ice is very demanding – what made you agree to take part?
Steven:
“I’ve been playing Ashley Peacock for the last 15 years so this is a great opportunity to do something completely different and a chance to show people what I’m like.”
Denise: “Series one champion Gaynor Faye is one of my best friends so I talked to her and Hayley Tamaddon, who won last year and they said it will be really challenging, but it’s an experience I may never get offered again and I should do it – so here I am!”

How nervous are you feeling?
Denise:
“I dreamt that we built an ice rink in my house – it’s clearly stress-related! I have questioned my sanity every day since I said I would do this, but I’ve got the loveliest partner in the world who I laugh with constantly. If that hadn’t been the case I might have had second thoughts.”

Have any of you ever skated before?
Denise:
“When I was 11 I sometimes went to Whitley Bay ice rink on a Saturday with my friend Catherine – but that was to try to get off with boys!”
Steven: “I’ve been twice – once on a date and once with my auntie, so it’s all new to me!”

Are you enjoying wearing the sparkly costumes?
Steven:
“It’s the nature of the job – when in Rome!”

Are your friends and family supporting you?
Denise:
“They were very worried about it at first, but now they’re looking forward to it. I just want them all to be there for the first show in case it’s my one and only night.”

How competitive are you?
Steven:
“I couldn’t stand up at first, so I’m happy just to get round without falling over. If I reach Todd Carty’s level I’ll be pleased!”