Coronation Street star Jane Danson has spoken of her excitement at signing up for Dancing on Ice – as her character’s life hangs in the balance on the cobbles.
Soap viewers saw Leanne Battersby, played by Danson, become a shock casualty of a car crash on Friday’s episodes as she was hit by drug dealer Ronan Truman’s car after he mowed down Ryan Connor.
And there was a surprise return as her ex Nick Tilsley rushed to her hospital bedside when he was called as her emergency contact.
But off-screen, Danson is preparing for a new challenge after being announced as a contestant on the ice skating show.
The actress, who first appeared on the soap in 1997, said the offer was too good to say no to.
She said: “I think I’ve got to a stage in my life where if opportunities come along I can’t really turn them down.
“I’m 40 in November and the opportunity came up, I’ve not done anything new for a while and I just thought, do you know what, to be working with Torvill and Dean, who are amazing, it doesn’t really get any better than that.
“If I say no to this, I’m going to watch it and think that could have been me and I think I’d be a bit upset with myself.”
The mother of two said she has been getting tips from co-stars Brooke Vincent, who finished second in the show earlier this year, and Samia Longchambon, who appeared on the series in 2013.
Asked if she could skate, Danson said: “I can stand up!”
She added: “I’ve never danced. I’m under no illusions that I’m a dancer, that’s the challenge.”
While she is taking on a new challenge, character Leanne may be heading back to old territory following the return of former flame Nick.
Danson said: “I think when he sees her in the hospital bed it makes him realise what he walked out on and the fact he might lose her forever wakes him up and he thinks, ‘Oh God, I might actually lose this girl and I’ve got to do whatever I can to get her back’.
“So we explore their journey but obviously, with it being Leanne, it’s not easy and there are a few things getting in the way.”
Soap viewers have also seen Danson at war with on-screen rival Tracy Barlow (Kate Ford) this week – in a storyline which ended with the destruction of a wedding cake.
Danson said: “Tracy and Leanne have always had a bit of a thing, there’s always been a bit of claws out, they’ve always been a bit gobby.
“This has put another layer on. There’s always revenge on someone’s mind.”