DANCING On Ice’s Ben Hanlin has joked that bosses are trying to get rid of him by making him perform a “bonkers” Morris dance with partner Carlotta Edwards on Sunday.
The 33-year-old, who fronted celebrity magic show Tricked, has been hailed “the dark horse” of the BBC competition after getting through each week with impressive scores.
Head judge Christopher Dean said he saw “finalist” potential in Ben, whilst Jayne Torvill added: “You are improving every week and that’s what we like to see on this show.”
But this week he’s been learning how to Morris dance on the ice as Sunday’s challenge sees the remaining couples take on different styles of dance.
Morris dance dates back to the 15th century and is often known for the handkerchiefs, swords, sticks and shinpad bells used by the dancers.
The magician admitted his surprise when he saw his brief, telling Lorraine Kelly today: “It’s dance week, and everyone’s got a dance.
Ben has been paired with Carlotta on the BBC show
“So you’ve got tango, salsa, jive, jazz. They’ve given me Morris dancing.”
Laughing at his shock, Lorraine replied: “Oh I’m so sorry, oh gosh. I don’t know how I would take that!”
And Ben quipped: “Yes, they looked at me and thought, ‘you look like a Morris dancer.’ Then I had to explain to Carlotta what is morris dancing.
“I mean it could be genius, but I just thought the producers wanted me out.
“The producers said to be ‘this has never been done before’ and I said there’s a reason for that. If this was good you’d have given it to Ray Quinn a few years.”
Ben has been partnered with Canadian pro skater Carlotta Edwards
However, Ben still plans to dominate the ice as he praised Carlotta, who is married to Maura Higgins’ partner Alexander Demetriou, for whipping him into shape.
Ben told Lorraine viewers: “I couldn’t skate, I can’t dance, and then Carlotta has been my boss getting me up to speed.
“It’s getting to a point now where everyone is getting good. You do need to get higher up that leader board. I’m getting to the point where I’m feeling the pressure this week. I can’t go back a gear. I have to step it up a bit.”
Speaking about how he’ll approach his morris dancing challenged, Ben added: “I’m just trying to have a laugh with it really because it is bonkers.”