DANCING On Ice star Matt Evers has revealed the huge changes to the show in order to ensure it meets Covid-19 restrictions.
The professional ice skater took to the show’s YouTube channel on Wednesday to explain the dramatic revamp to make it on air.
Matt went behind the scenes to find out more about the adaptationsCredit: YouTube
The 44-year-old, who has competed on every one of Dancing On Ice‘s ten seasons, went behind the scenes to give fans more information.
While walking about the practice ice rink at London’s Alexandra Palace, he revealed it had been a “massive undertaking” to not break the rules.
“The cast joined the show in October and with six months until the final, countless things have been put into place to make sure that the show goes on,” he tells the cameras.
Matt went onto explain that the professionals and celebrities had been put into “cohorts” as part of an “industry agreed approach”.
He spoke to the staff working in the Dancing On Ice office about the changes Credit: YouTube
“[The cohort] supports people being within two metres of each other,” Matt explains. “Which means the entire cast has to be careful about who we mix with.”
The video shows married professional skating couple Andy Buchanan and wife Robin Johnstone having to keep a distance at all times.
It was also revealed that the professional numbers will go ahead thanks to a “bubble”, but that all of them were filmed “ahead of time”.
“Anyone in a cohort is tested every week,” Matt continues, adding that staff and crew are all avoiding public transport to keep safe.
Matt said it was a “massive undertaking” to stick to the Covid-19 regulationsCredit: YouTube
Matt is partnered up this series with Denise Van OutenCredit: Instagram
The American pair skater – who is paired up this year with Denise Van Outen – took viewers behind the scenes at the Bovington studios, where his temperature is checked on arrival.
Clips show the studio offices separated by screens, with Covid secure routes around the site so that nobody has to pass each other in hallways.
Masks are mandatory for the cast “unless they are filming or skating”, with staff including the hair and make-up team required to wear them at all times.
The show’s make-up supervisor Marcos Gurgel explained that the team has formed “bubbles”, and avoid cross contamination with individual make-up kits for each star.
The American pair skater is due to feature on the upcoming seasonCredit: ITV
“The wardrobe department has had to rethink their approach to this season,” Matt went on, taking a trip to the costume cupboard.
Outfits have to “sit” for a period of time to ensure any bacteria are gone before they are worn.
The show will also not to include backing skaters for any numbers to ensure there is a minimal number of people backstage.
Show bosses hope that viewers at home “won’t notice the differences”, as Matt ensures fans: “There’s no loss of quality and no loss of sparkle.”
Hosts Holly and Phil will have to stand two metres apartCredit: Rex Features
Contestants have had to form “cohorts” and “bubbles” to meet restrictionsCredit: Rex Features
Walking around the Dancing On Ice studio, Matt reveals the set has been completely redesigned to allow for a two-metre rule.
Each judge has a perspex screen between them, sitting at the regulation distance on a longer desk.
Hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield will also see noticeable changes, having to stand two metres apart.
The Covid update from the show comes days after bosses feared it could be pulled after five crew members tested positive for the virus.
A TV insider said: “ITV have put a number of stringent rules in place, and after seeing members of production going down with it, they are urging everyone to take note of them.
“They’re now enforcing even stricter regulations.”
Dancing On Ice returns to our screens on Sunday at 6pm on ITV.
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