Veteran newsreader Angela Rippon was skating on thin ice today as she struggled to prepare for this year’s Dancing on Ice – before being rescued by two TEENAGERS.
Angela, 66, has spent a gruelling 12 weeks preparing for the ITV show – during which she has shed a stone and dropped a dress size.
But she admitted two teenagers came to her rescue after they spotted her failing with her attempts to complete an array of complicated turns, twists and jumps.
She spent hours on the ice at a rink in Plymouth, Devon, as she desperately tries to get up to speed ahead of this year’s show, which starts on Sunday.
The veteran newsreader, who famously revealed her pins as part of a 1976 can can Morecambe and Wise comedy sketch – was tutored by regular skaters Jonathan King, 14, and Claire Williams, 18, who took pity on her.
Angela, who hosts daytime TV show Cash in the Attic, yesterday revealed she had lost a stone and dropped a dress size during training.
She said: ”I’m absolutely loving the whole experience, skating is completely new to me and it is terrific exercise. I’ve already dropped a dress size and built muscle too.
”I spent a week skating in mid-November with my dance partner Sean Rice and then came back on my own over Christmas. Everybody at the rink was so supportive, there’s a great bunch of people down there.
”Ice skating is something all ages can enjoy together – I even got to know a blind man who dances wonderfully with his wife.”
Angela, who has a home on nearby Dartmoor, will become the oldest contestant ever to appear on Dancing on Ice when the new series begins on Sunday.
She has been helped in no small part by locals Jonathan and Claire, adding: ”It was very sweet.
”I was trying to do one of the movements when I heard someone say, ‘your leg’s not straight,’ and then, ‘You need to go faster’. They showed me how to do it.”
Claire said: ”Angela is very graceful on the ice – and she can get her legs up higher than most of us here which is pretty amazing really.
”She fitted right in with everyone, was really friendly and is learning much quicker than you’d expect.”
The former news anchor is a trained ballet dancer and famously guest-starred in the 1976 Morecambe and Wise Christmas show, first appearing behind a newsdesk and then emerging to do a high-kicking dance routine.
She is joined by Kerry Katona, rapper Vanilla Ice, Chris Moyles’ sidekick ”Comedy” David Vitty and cricketer Dominic Cork amongst others on the 10 week show.
Angela added: ”It’s a real mixed bag. We’ve all met up a couple of times as a group but when you’re training you just briefly see Kerry Katona or Comedy Dave whizz past during their training sessions.”