Instructor steps out with star for crack at Dancing on Ice

A TOP ice skating instructor who trains at iceSheffield, in Attercliffe, is set to appear in the new series of television contest Dancing On Ice as the partner of television presenter and actress Nadia Sawalha.

Mark Hanretty, 25, has already been training at the ice rink with Miss Sawalha, who is best known for her former role of Annie Palmer in EastEnders.

For the last three years, Mr Hanretty has been ice skating competitively with American-born Christina Chitwood, before he became a full-time coach last year.

At iceSheffield he has been perfecting ice skating techniques with his new skating partner before the live shows begin on ITV on Sunday, January 9.

Other celebrities to be taking part in the competition include rapper Vanilla Ice, Kerry Katona, cricketer Dominic Cork, Angela Rippon and model Elen Rivas.

Mr Hanretty, who last year won the International Figure Skating Festival in North Korea, said: "I was honoured to be asked to be a pro skater on Dancing on Ice.

"It is such a popular programme, which is great profile for the sport and it will be fantastic if iceSheffield's world-class facilities are showcased on national television.

"Training has been going really well so far. Nadia is such a committed contestant, puts in 100 per cent at every session and we have great fun together too.

"We have also been working with Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean on our routine and we can't wait for everyone to see it at the live show."

Miss Sawalha added: "I am really enjoying it but I don't have natural talent for it. I just work hard, really hard."