The rumours have been confirmed - John Barrowman will be joining the Dancing on Ice judging panel in 2020 as Jason Gardiner’s replacement.
Recently, Gardiner shared the news on Instagram that he would not be returning for the next series of the ITV celebrity skating show and I’m a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! contestant Barrowman began being touted as his successor.
Now, ITV has announced that TV and musical theatre star Barrowman, who competed way back in 2006 for series one, is the newest addition to the Dancing on Ice panel, and will join Ashley Banjo and Torvill and Dean for the new series.
Gardiner, known as the show’s Mr Nasty, hit the headlines during the 2019 series for a huge fall out with contestant Gemma Collins, where she accused him of bullying live on air.
Barrowman said: “I am so excited to be returning to the Dancing On Ice family. Unlike most I have been through the rigorous task of skating live as a contestant in the first series.
“This is a thrilling adventure for me and I hope to bring a Fresh, Fun and Fab-u-lous angle to the judging panel.”
As well as his insider’s knowledge of the show as a former celebrity skater, Barrowman is a seasoned reality show judge.
He was on the panel for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical talent shows How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?, Any Dream Will Do, and I’d Do Anything.
Barrowman is known for acting roles in Doctor Who and Torchwood, as well as West End and Broadway theatre roles.
Despite speculation that Gardiner was leaving over his row with The GC, in his Instagram announcement he simply said that he was concentrating on new projects.
Gardiner said in a video: "I know there has been a lot of speculation about me and the upcoming series of Dancing on Ice. I wanted to set the record straight, I've been an original judge since 2006.
"I've done every series except one, when I was replaced by my good friend and dance sister Louis Spence in 2012.
"The show had been off air for four years and when it was revived I was the only original judge to return.
"The past two series there have been new additions to the panel including the fantastic Ashley Banjo and the legends Torvill and Dean. I have absolutely loved sharing the panel with them.
"After all these years I feel it's time for me to say goodbye to my judging role and return to things I have been putting on hold and have been on the back burner for a while.
"To all of my DOI fans I really thank you for your support and encouragement over the years, I know we've gone through some controversies and I'm glad you got my unique judging style and honesty."
Katie Rawcliffe, head of entertainment commissioning at ITV, said of the new signing: “John’s quick wit, inimitable talent and all round fabulous personality make him the perfect addition to Dancing on Ice’s all star panel and we’re looking forward to seeing him bring his own brand of sparkle to the show.”