Dancing on Ice judge Nicky Slater hopes the reality show will ‘stay strong’ as ITV makes cutbacks during the recession.

It was announced on Wednesday that the channel has been forced to axe 600 jobs and slash programme budgets in an attempt to save money.

Speaking at the Children’s Champions Awards 2009 in London on Wednesday night, Nicky said: “Dancing on Ice is a flagship product for ITV and when there’s a downturn, what I’ve heard in the past, is that entertainment does well.

“We need a bit of light in our lives and Dancing on Ice does that, so I hope that it stays strong.”

He also tipped former X Factor star Ray Quinn to win the ice dancing contest – but still thinks that anything could happen.

He said: “As far as the ability to skate and perform and dance, Ray is by far the best we’ve ever had. He should be the winner – but you never know.”

The Children’s Champions Awards 2009 is on Sunday March 8 at 4pm on Sky1 and Sky1 HD.

CLICK below to watch an interview with Dancing on Ice judge Nicky Slater

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