Dancing on Ice judge Louie Spence reveals why he’s not the ITV1 skating show’s Mr Nasty…

How are you enjoying being on this year’s Ice Panel for Dancing on Ice?
“I’m having great fun – but I can only speak for 30 seconds and everyone knows I can talk for a LOT longer than that! I’m there to look at dance and performance while Robin and Katarina judge the actual skating. It’s good to have a balance; after all, this is an entertainment show not the Olympics!”

What feedback have you had from fans of the show?
“It’s been really positive. I have quite a few followers on Twitter and people say they love the fact that when I give a negative comment, I then say something positive. I went for a sunbed recently and a woman hung out of the window and said: ‘Oh love, you’re doing a great job!'”

When you first took the job, people were quick to compare you to former judge Jason Gardiner. What’s your take on this?
“I’m good friends with Jason, but I wasn’t just going to copy someone. I have my own opinions and my own personality. I got booed on the first show just for saying that someone had sloppy arms, but I don’t always think you always need that pantomime element. I don’t want to be boxed in as ‘the nasty judge’ – I’m an honest judge and I’ll comment on what I see.”

And are you pleased with what you’ve seen from the contestants so far?
“Chico has been a huge surprise; his timing is spot on, his choreography is good and he has a good speed across the ice – but I did find him a bit cheesy at first! Matthew Wolfenden and Jorgie Porter have been just fabulous and I think Chemmy has a really great energy. But we’ll have to see how the public votes.”

Finally, what’s your own skating like?
“Every winter you’ll see me at an ice rink wobbling around on skates, but that’s it. There is a real element of danger with skating. When the skaters on this show go really fast I hold my breath and think: ‘Oh no, they’re gonna go!'”

*Dancing on Ice continues on Sunday, February 12 at 6.30pm on ITV1. The Skate-Off can be seen later at 9.30pm.