Gareth Gates’ Dancing On Ice career is at an end after he became the latest celebrity to skate off the show.

The singer – who had been the bookies’ favourite to leave the competition – was the only remaining contestant in the all-star series who was not a former champion, having finished fourth in 2008.

However he proved unable to fight off the challenge from Sam Attwater when they both found themselves in the skate-off – Sam for the third time this series, Gareth for the first time.

And after both had performed their ‘save me’ skates, the judges – who this week included Nicky Slater standing in for Robin Cousins – unanimously voted in Sam’s favour.

“Both of you you skated really well, one had more softness to the routine and one had more power,” Nicky told them.

Meanwhile Jason Gardiner added: “Gareth this was your best night by far, you can hold your head high whatever happens.”

Afterwards Gareth told Philip Schofield: “Never mind, it’s been amazing” – while also praising his skating partner Brianne Delcourt.

Earlier in the 1984-themed show he had donned a blond wig in order to perform a fast-paced routine to the Wham! chart-topper Freedom.

“Gareth you are the underdog but you keep coming back and having fun. You Whammed it out!” Ashley Roberts told him.

Karen Barber added: “That was your best performance so far, the champions are pushing you and we know we have to work on the basics.

Five other celebrities – Suzanne Shaw, Beth Tweddle, Ray Quinn, Kyran Bracken and Hayley Tamaddon – sailed through to next weekend following the public vote.

Next Sunday’s Dancing On Ice will see the return of the team challenge as the competition hots up.