ITV commissions Dancing on Thin Ice with Torvill & Dean

[Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean prepare to dance to the Bolero on a frozen mountain lake in Alaska]


ITV Press Centre

ITV announces the commission of brand new documentary ‘Dancing on Thin Ice with Torvill & Dean’, produced by Wingspan Productions. This unique 1 x 90’ film will be a highlight of this year’s festive schedule, as Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean travel to Alaska on an extraordinary quest to fulfil a life-long dream that also provides a first-hand insight into the effects of climate change.

The Olympic champions have spent a remarkable 45 years on the ice together – but astonishingly they’ve never skated in the great outdoors. Jayne and Chris recall how as children they were inspired by a mural in Nottingham ice rink showing skaters on a frozen mountain lake. Ever since, they’ve wanted to skate free in nature, rather than around in circles on artificial ice. Now they’re heading to Alaska to make that dream come true.

But luck is against them – in Alaska’s hottest year on record there is not a lot of ice to be found. The effects of global warming on the environment are already being felt. So Jayne and Chris’s travels into the remote wilderness will become a hunt for wild ice, skating wherever they can, as they seek to find the perfect place to dance a special Bolero. From train to husky sled, from frozen lakes to glaciers, it will be a spectacular journey.

The film is narrated by Stephen Fry, executive produced by Archie Baron for Wingspan Productions, directed by Emma Frank, produced by Helena Braun and commissioned for ITV by Jo Clinton-Davis, Controller of Factual and Sue Murphy, Head of Factual Entertainment.

Jo said: “We’re delighted to be bringing this festive treat to ITV viewers this winter. Jayne and Chris are genuine skating icons and in pursuit of a dream that inspired their careers. In this film they will be searching wild Alaska for the perfect ice-skating setting - in a world where the ice is rapidly disappearing. With breathtaking scenery and their usual exquisite attention to detail, their unique performance is not to be missed.”

Jayne said: “I’ve always dreamed of being out in nature, skating outside and this was the most perfect opportunity to achieve that, whilst also seeing the reality of climate change with our own eyes.”

Chris said: “This is an extraordinary chance for us to skate out in the open with no constraints or the barriers of a rink. To discover how quickly the ice is disappearing is truly devastating. We hope it will be a reminder not to take our precious planet for granted.”

Archie said: “We’re so proud of this hugely joyful and entertaining documentary, which highlights one of the most pressing issues of our times in a unique and beautiful way.”

Viewers inspired by the show to reduce their own impact on the environment will be encouraged to go online to a bespoke ITV website for tips on how to measure and reduce their carbon footprints. Details will be shown on air during the broadcast.


Note to Editors: Wingspan’s production for Dancing on Thin Ice received the highest possible BAFTA ‘Albert’ environmental certification grading, 3 stars.

ITV announced earlier this year its pledge to reduce ITV carbon emissions to Net Zero by 2030

November 12, 2020 3:55am ET by ITV Press Centre  

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