Holly Willoughby back on TV screens in Dancing on Ice

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By Noor Nanji

Culture correspondent

Holly Willoughby has returned to TV screens following a three-month absence, to present Dancing on Ice.

At the start of the ITV show on Sunday, the presenter gave a “huge welcome” to her new co-host Stephen Mulhern, who replaces Phillip Schofield.

When Willoughby quit This Morning in October, there had been speculation that she might also leave the ice skating competition.

But in December, ITV announced she would continue to host the show.

Schofield had previously hosted both This Morning and Dancing on Ice alongside Willoughby.

But he left ITV last year, after admitting he had an affair with a younger male colleague and lied to cover it up.

Willoughby and Mulhern first worked together on children’s show Ministry of Mayhem in the mid-noughties. The show was later titled Holly & Stephen’s Saturday Showdown.

They also briefly hosted the skating competition together in 2022 after Schofield tested positive for Covid-19.

When ITV announced the new presenter line-up at the end of last year, it said their reunion marked “the start of an exciting year for the show”.

Earlier this week, Willoughby teased her return to TV screens by posting a photo of her Dancing on Ice script on Instagram, writing: “And so it begins…”

And on Sunday evening, ahead of the show, she posted a picture of herself in a sequined gown writing: “Let’s do this one sequin at a time.”

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Celebrities taking part in the show’s latest season include Olympic gold medallist Greg Rutherford.

Actor Ryan Thomas, ex-boxing champion Ricky Hatton and Hannah Spearitt – one of the original members of pop group S Club 7 – are also in the line-up.

Judges Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, Ashley Banjo and Oti Mabuse are also back on Dancing On Ice.

Willoughby announced she was quitting ITV show This Morning after 14 years “for me and my family”.

She had been absent from the daytime programme for a few days prior to her announcement, after a man was charged with soliciting to commit murder over an alleged plot to kidnap the TV presenter.