DANCING on Ice may seem like harmless Sunday night telly – but to local lad Ben Hanlin, its dangers are real.
Ben told the Solihull Observer: “You do have to weigh up the risks for sure – I thought it was the hockey players who were hard, but the dangers are just as great for professional figure skaters – one professional almost broke her neck,
“Michael Barrymore broke his wrist- and it’s not like the more confident you get it becomes less risky. There’s always a danger there even for the pros.”
Magician Ben, who found fame performing tricks and celeb pranks on ITV2, has dug deep to recover from a fall at Planet Ice in Solihull, which left him with bruised ribs. Posting on Instagram, the 33-year-old said: “I’ve had a big injury and I’ve smashed my ribs. I’m all strapped up but I just went out skating and couldn’t do any of the lifts. I couldn’t lift Carlotta … but I’ve got till Sunday to get through it.”
Along with his professional figure skating partner Carlotta Edwards, Ben is aiming to replicate Torville and Dean’s ‘Bolero’ routine in the final of the ITV skate show.
He said: “Of course we are taking one week at a time, but I used to watch Torvill and Dean do the Bolero on telly and to think there’s a chance we could peform the Bolero is amazing.
“It’s week five now – last week I finished in third place and we’re still enjoying the show – to start with, I’ll be honest, it ruined my Christmas, as I was thinking about staying fit and training.
“But it is nuts what I can do now after training with Carlotta [Edwards].
“Doing something so intensely every day, it doesn’t matter where I get now, we have come on so much and I can be proud of that.”
Ben, who went to Warwick School, may be proud of his achievements on the prime time ice rink, but he hopes the people of Solihull will show their pride and keep voting for him on the show’s app.
Up against rivals Maura Higgins, from 2018 Love Island, and lingerie model Caprice Bournet, it’s clear his opponents have strong followings.
Having recently moved back to the borough, however, Ben is assured of the support of Solihull: “Our support has been great – the training is so intense and then we perform in the studio, so we forget that people are watching at home.
“I was walking through Touchwood and people were coming up to me saying how my routine had improved.
“It would be great to have votes from Solihull behind us, I was raised in Earlswood and moved back to Solihull recently with my family. It would spur us on – the show is full on, it’s like climbing a mountain but to have the support is great.”