Why did Michael Barrymore quit Dancing On Ice 2020 and who has replaced him?
20 December 2019, 14:30 | Updated: 20 December 2019, 14:32
Dancing on Ice 2020 hasn’t even started yet, but Michael Barrymore has already had to pull out.
Just weeks after the Dancing On Ice lineup was announced, Michael Barrymore was forced to withdraw from the competition.
The 67-year-old said he was "absolutely devastated" about having to pull out, later thanking the public for their "overwhelming support".
But why did the comedian have to pull out and who will be replacing him?
Why did Michael Barrymore quit Dancing On Ice?
Michael pulled out of the series - which kicks off in January - because he has broken a bone in his hand.
View this post on Instagram
Took a nasty fall on the ice last Friday during rehearsals and sadly broke my left wrist. Absolutely devastated to hear that I can’t go on back on the ice for a while. Really enjoyed every single moment of being part of the terrific show and working with all the incredibly talented people involved x
In a statement, he said: "Shortly after shooting the Dancing On Ice Christmas Special I took a tumble whilst rehearsing for the January shows.
"After the fall, I thought I had sprained my wrist but it turns out that it is broken. Unfortunately, the medics have told me that I cannot compete.
"I am absolutely devastated; I have loved every second of the journey so far with my wonderful dance partner Alex Murphy and the support from the public has been overwhelming."
“I have been fortunate enough to work with such a great bunch of people over the previous few months; trainers, celebrities, pro skaters, the judges, Holly and Phil and the incredible production team at ITV who really are exceptional and help to make it the fantastic show that it is.”
However, the presenter, who was set to make his first major TV appearance since Celebrity Big Brother in 2006, said he will still be a part of the series.
He added: "I shall be in the studio for the first show on Sunday 5 January and hope to make other appearances throughout.”
ITV also released a statement, saying: “Owing to an injury sustained in training, Michael Barrymore has had to withdraw from the competition.
“Michael has been a fantastic addition to the Dancing on Ice family and we wish him all the best.”
Who is replacing Michael Barrymore?
After announcing Michael’s departure, ITV revealed that presenter Radzi Chinyanganya will take his place, and will be partnered with professional skater Jessica Hatfield.
View this post on Instagram
Cant believe I'm saying this... but I am officially Dancing on Ice!!!!!!! 😁😁😁😁😁😁 Absolutely cannot wait to skate live on @itv with @jess_hatfield_skater, but we'll be doing it for the legend @michaelbarrymore who sadly has to withdraw due to injury. Just two weeks to turn myself into a skater... 🤞🏾🤞🏾 @dancingonice heere we come!! #jadzi #dancingonice #itv #live #torvillanddean #Sunday #night #iceskating
The 32-year-old is known for presenting Blue Peter, Cannonball and Match of the Day Kickabout.
He first appeared on screen as a contestant on Gladiators, on which he reached the semi-final before he became the official weightlifting correspondent at the London 2012 Olympics in the Excel Arena.
Speaking about his last minute opportunity, Radzi said: “I am thrilled and privileged to be part of the Dancing On Ice cast.
“I am absolutely gutted for Michael, who is one of my all-time favourite TV presenters, and I wish him a speedy recovery.
“I’ve only got two weeks to get ready to ice skate in front of the nation so I’m looking forward to a Christmas and New Year filled with training on the ice.”