DANCING ON ICE 2019: GEMMA COLLINS & RICHARD BLACKWOOD CONFIRMED 0 209

Gemma Collins and Richard Blackwood are the first celebrity skaters confirmed for a brand new series of Dancing on Ice 2019, which returns to ITV in the New Year.

Gemma and Richard were announced during a live appearance on today’s This Morning.

Both will be getting their skates and sequins on ready to compete alongside eleven other celebrities in the quest for glory, under the watchful eye of the skating legends Torvill and Dean, who head up the judging panel.

Each week the twelve celebrities will skate live with their professional partners in a bid to impress both the panel and the viewers, who will ultimately decide who wins the show.

Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby once again return to present the show.

On joining the show, Gemma said “I know how hard it is. I’ve done my research! I am scared, I am nervous. I really want to give it a go. I love the costumes. I love fun factor!”

Richard added “I’m training because I know they’re going to put me in some tight stuff. There’s going to be a lot of shape. I’m training from now!”

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STRICTLY 2019: ANNEKA RICE JOINS LINE-UP 0 21

Anneka Rice is an award-winning broadcaster.

The 17th series of the NTA and Bafta award-winning entertainment show produced by BBC Studios will return in the autumn on BBC One putting the sparkle back into Saturday and Sunday nights.

Anneka says: “I haven’t danced since I was seven and Miss Beer sent me home from my ballet class because I was hopelessly uncoordinated. My family and friends haven’t seen me dance since, not at a wedding or round a handbag so it’s going to be a challenge for my partner. In fact I’ve asked for two, one on each side. I can’t see myself in a long frilly dress either. But I’m feeling recklessly excited. Strictly has always been my Autumn’s entertainment and now I’m part of it! My children will probably leave the country”.

Anneka Rice shot to fame in this country as the Sky-Runner in Channel 4’s Treasure Hunt.

She also presented Sporting Chance, TV-am, Driving Force, Wish You Were Here, Capital Woman, Combat, Holiday, Hell’s Kitchen, The Royal Variety Performance and numerous other shows.

She went on to devise the award-winning Challenge Anneka for BBC One, shining a spotlight on issues like disability, homelessness and animal welfare and has raised millions of pounds worth of supplies and services for charities and communities.

Her radio work includes the Radio 2 Saturday Breakfast Show which she presented for six years; Pick Of The Week, Friday Night Is Music Night, The Arts Show, Sunday Love Songs, Loose Ends, and the award-winning podcast Fortunately.

She is a Patron of Operation Encompass, Help for Heroes and Horatio’s Garden.

CASUALTY NEWS: JANE HAZLEGROVE TO RETURN AS DIXIE 0 22

Casualty fans can expect to see a familiar face back on screen soon, as Jane Hazlegrove is set to reprise her role as Dixie for two episodes in Casualty’s new series this autumn.

Making an appearance as part of the HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service) team, Dixie arrives at a call out in the nick of time to assist the paramedic team with a young lad who has a life-threatening chest injury.

But it’s not just the patient who Dixie will have an impact on. Seeing an old colleague taking on a whole new challenge really leaves an impression on Iain and leads him to think about his own future.

Jane Hazlegrove says: “It was really great to see some familiar faces again and of course to hang out with Sir Michael Stevenson… despite the fact that his jokes haven’t got any better!”

Simon Harper, Executive Producer Casualty and Holby City, says: “It’s wonderful to have the brilliant Jane Hazlegrove back in the Casualty family fold. Dixie was and remains a massively popular character with the audience who miss her to this day, and she and Iain are clearly going to have a lot to catch up on after his tumultuous year.”