DANCING On Ice’s Brendan Cole is desperate to match his Strictly co-star James Jordan and win the show.
The competitive Kiwi, 45, has a hard act to follow in former champ James, 43, whose routines blew away both judges and viewers in 2019.
But Dan Whiston, the show’s Associate Creative Director, said Brendan is determined to do the same and is pushing boundaries to make it happen.
In an exclusive chat with The Sun, he said: “He’s brilliant to work with. He’s so hardworking, he’s on the ice all the time, he’s giving as much as he can because he wants to be the best.
“He’s not said this but I know he’ll be thinking ‘right, James has done it, I can do it’, and there’ll be competition on that basis as well as the rest of the people who are in the show. He’s really got it between his teeth and he’s giving it everything he’s got.”
And so far it’s neck and neck between the former Strictly stars, with Brendan bringing his ballroom flare to the ice.
Dan said: “Very very similar because they’ve both got that dance presence on the ice. They’ve both got that magic they bring to the ice. He’s doing really well and I’d say he’s absolutely up there at the top of the competition leaderboard right now.
“He’s pushing boundaries, he’s got ideas he’s bringing to the ice that we would normally see on Strictly.
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“It’s very exciting to introduce someone like Brendan because not only does he have his dance background he’s got that real grit and determination and competitive attitude which I think adds that excitement to the show.”
The former Strictly pro is currently favourite with the bookies to win and some fans feel his dancing background gives him an unfair advantage.
However, James Jordan rebuked similar claims when he was on the show, telling us: “It’s completely unfair to say that having me on the show makes it a fix.
“What people don’t realise is that the way you move your body on ice is completely different to how you move it as a dancer.
“If I positioned my feet the way I dance in the same way on skates I would fall on my face.”
Dan Whiston is the Associate Creative Director of Dancing On Ice which is back on our screens on ITV at 6.30pm on Sunday