Phillip Schofield speaks out on John Barrowman’s Dancing On Ice exit

Phillip Schofield has spoken out about John Barrowman’s absence from the upcoming series of Dancing On Ice.

In 2021, it was confirmed that John, 54, would not be returning to the skating competition and it's now been revealed that he'll be replaced on the judging panel by Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer, Oti Mabuse.

Phillip, 59, admitted that while the new series will be “amazing”, he would miss the “larger than life” judge.

He began: “I adore John and obviously we will miss that larger than life personality but in every panel you want to make sure each area is well and truly serviced.”

This Morning host Phillip continued: “Oti will definitely be the one to pick them up on their dancing and their dancing skills and that’s really important.”

This comes after allegations emerged about John's time on the set of BBC’s Doctor Who.

Last year, after the reports surfaced, John appeared on Lorraine and insisted that his “silly behaviour” had been exaggerated.

John said: “I think that if it was now it would be crossing the line. I think that something that happened 15 years ago – it was bawdy behaviour, silly behaviour.”

“It was being done in the confines of the set and we were like a family working together. The fact that it was stories that I’ve already told, I’ve been telling them for years. I haven’t hidden anything.”

“They have been exaggerated and they have tried to turn them into sexual harassment, which it absolutely is not. The one thing that for me, all the people that are making the fuss about it, they weren’t there.”

”They don’t know the context of things that were done. Like I said, I would never do it now.”

Speaking about the other judges on the panel and the series this year, Phillip explained: “So, you’ve got Ashley [Banjo] with the overall showbiz nature and difficulty with the moves, obviously Jayne [Torvill] and Christopher [Dean] who have ice skating sewn up, and then you’ve got Oti who knows exactly what’s required.”

He continued: “We really like her as well, she has been on This Morning a lot so we know she will be a great part of the team.”

The veteran host also went on to offer his advice for the new judge, Oti, saying: “Well, I think you have to take that into consideration. I love Strictly but compared to the skills that are required for Dancing on Ice, it’s a walk in the park, because you have the possibility of real danger, real injury.”

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“You have a rink that is full of essentially blades, and we know how dangerous they can be and how deeply they can cut and how sharp they are.”

“I’ve just watched a video of [one of this year's contestants] Bez on his second day fall over backwards so hard that his helmet flew off. It’s one of those things but you don’t see that on Strictly. Dancing On Ice is really dangerous.”

“They really all risk everything for it. We’ve seen in the past that people do get hurt and, of course, you want to avoid that at all cost. I think we will be wrapping Bez up in bubble wrap, that’s for sure.”

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