Brendan Cole will skate with Brendyn Hatfield in Dancing On Ice this weekend due to his skating partner Vanessa Bauer testing positive for Covid-19, it has been announced.
Former Strictly Come Dancing professional Cole, 45, will be partnered with Hatfield, who previously skated with singer Rachel Stevens before she became the third star to leave the ITV series.
A Dancing on Ice spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, Vanessa Bauer is unable to skate this weekend after testing positive for Covid-19. We look forward to Vanessa returning to the competition soon.
“Brendan Cole will still perform in this Sunday’s show and will be partnered with professional skater Brendyn Hatfield.”
Professional dancer Cole said: “I am absolutely gutted that Vanessa is unable to skate this weekend. I know she would have put together another fantastic routine.
“However, and with Vanessa’s blessing I’ve been given an amazing opportunity to create something fantastic for Musicals Week with Brendyn.
“He’s an exceptionally talented skater and I have no doubt we will be able to create something really special for the show! I can’t thank him enough for stepping in.”
Bauer will return to the competition when her isolation period ends, and this weekend Cole and Hatfield will skate to a song from Jersey Boys as part of Musicals Week, it is understood.
Hatfield said: “I’m thrilled that Brendan asked if I would skate with him this weekend – what an honour!
“Vanessa is a brilliant choreographer and I’ve loved watching her and Brendan skate each week. I’m looking forward to putting together an exciting routine for this Sunday’s show which I’m hoping will impress both the judges and viewers!”
Bauer, who has previously skated with celebrities including Love Island star Wes Nelson, said: “I’m disappointed that I have tested positive for Covid and won’t be able to perform with Brendan for Musicals Week.
“But I am excited that Brendan gets to skate and challenge himself with an incredible fellow pro and friend in Brendyn. I have no doubt they will absolutely smash this Sunday.
“I’m looking forward to returning to the competition to showcase more creative routines!”