Dancing on Ice returns with nearly 9 million viewers

Phillip Schofield and Christine BleakleyThe return of Dancing on Ice to ITV1 was seen by nearly 9 million viewers early overnight figures reveal.

The seventh season of the dancing competition kicked off last night on ITV1 was a brand new batch of celebrities as well as a new co-presenter, in the form of Christine Bleakley, and two new judges; Louie Spence and Katarina Witt. Amongst the celebrities competing this year are Charlene Tilton, Laila Morse, Corey Feldman, Mark Rhodes and Jennifer Ellison. Pop singer Chesney Hawkes was due to take part but pulled out because of an injury and was replaced by former X Factor hopeful Chico.

Early figures reveal last night’s launch show was seen by 8.7 million viewers – up slightly on last year’s opener. The results show later in the evening, in which Blue Peter’s Andy Akinwolere became the first celebrity to leave, pulled in 6.5 million viewers.

Sandwiched between the two editions of Dancing on Ice was African based drama Wild at Heart which also kicked off its seventh season last night. The drama, starring Stephen Tompkinson and Dawn Steele, returned with 7.2 million viewers at 8.30pm.

  • Find out who else is in this year’s Dancing on Ice here >>