Louie Spence is to replace acid-tongued Jason Gardiner in a shake-up of judges on ITV1’s skating show Dancing On Ice.
In another major change for the judging panel, Olympic figure skating champion Katarina Witt will take the place of Emma Bunton.
The pair will join head judge Robin Cousins, who returns to the panel once more when the show slides back in the New Year.
Australian star Jason has been with the series since its launch in 2006 and has earned a reputation for his forthright views. He was in the spotlight earlier this year after he unveiled a new head of hair following a transplant, and recently had a knife held to his throat by muggers in south London.
His replacement Louie rose to fame in Sky docu-soap Pineapple Dance Studios, set at the famed London studio at which he is artistic director.
Louie – who has also hosted his own series Showbusiness – said: “I’m looking forward to being part of such a challenging and spectacular show, and can’t wait to give my encouragement and critique on the contestants’ dance and performance on the ice.”
New judge Katarina dominated figure skating for more than a decade, winning Olympic golds in 1984 and 1988, and she also went on to win an Emmy for the 1990 film Carmen on Ice.
She said: “I can’t wait to join the Dancing On Ice judging panel. As well as offering support and constructive advice to this year’s celebrity skaters I’m also looking forward to working alongside my close friends Torvill and Dean.”
Layla Smith, ITV’s controller of entertainment, said of the new arrivals: “The pair have a wealth of experience which they will be bringing to the new series. Their unique flare and passion for their professions will doubtless make for some interesting debates.”
She added: “We’d like to thank Emma Bunton and Jason Gardiner for their valued contribution during previous series and wish them both all the best with their future projects.”