Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards says he is “delighted” to have been signed as an emergency replacement on ‘Dancing on Ice’.
The Olympian, 59, is famed for becoming the first athlete to represent Team GB in ski jumping in 1988 and is now set to strap on his skates for the 2024 series of the ITV1 show after ‘Gogglebox’ stalwart Stephen Lustig-Webb, 52, crashed out of the contest at the weekend with a broken ankle.
Eddie – born Michael Edwards – said on Wednesday (25.10.23) night about joining the show: “It’s bittersweet as whilst I’m delighted to be taking part in the new series I’m gutted for Stephen and wish him a speedy recovery.
“‘Dancing on Ice’ is a show I’ve always wanted to do. It’s a challenge I think I’m going to relish!”
Eddie will be joining world champion boxer Ricky Hatton, 45, actress Claire Sweeney, 52, and singer Hannah Spearritt, 42, as well as West End star Amber Davies, 27, and 36-year-old Olympian and presenter Greg Rutherford.
Also in the line-up is TV personality Miles Nazaire, 27, comedian Lou Sanders, 37, actor Ricky Norwood, 40, broadcaster and DJ Adele Roberts, 44, and actor Ryan Thomas, 39, as well as 40-year-old ‘Emmerdale’ star Roxy Shahidi.
‘Dancing on Ice’ will return to ITV1, STV and ITVX in 2024 with the new cast, which sees the 12 celebrities take to the ice each week to skate live in a bid to impress the judges and viewers at home.
A TV source told The Sun about Eddie joining the show: “Eddie is a brilliant signing for ‘Dancing on Ice’ – he’s known to all and is remembered so fondly as Britain’s ski jump pioneer.
“It’s fair to say he’s probably more at home on the ice than others but he’s now nudging sixty, so who knows , he could be more feeble than Eagle.”
Eddie was played by ‘Rocketman’ actor Taron Egerton, 33, in a 2016 biopic.
The Olympian started out as a plasterer when he first qualified for the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada as the sole British contender for the ski jump and was forced to take up accommodation in a mental hospital due to lack of funds.
He finished last in both the 70 metre and 90 metre events at the games, but set a British record at 71 metres – which is now held by Sam Bolton, at 134.5 metres – and Eddie is still ranked sixth on the list of the all-time greatest British ski jumpers.