Jason Donovan 'gutted' to pull out of Dancing On Ice

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Jason Donovan

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Jason Donovan has become the latest contestant to be forced to pull out of Dancing on Ice, after the singer and actor failed to shake off back pain.

The Australian star said doctors had advised him not to carry on because of his “ongoing back issue”.

Donovan said: “It’s a nightmare and I’m completely gutted.”

He is the fifth celebrity to withdraw. Denise van Outen and Billie Shepherd also got injured, while Rufus Hound and Joe-Warren Platt caught Covid-19.

Meanwhile, professional skater Hamish Gaman, who had partnered soap actress Faye Brookes, was replaced last week after injuring a finger while putting on a sock.

ITV cancelled the live show on Sunday but said the contest would resume this weekend with five remaining celebrities – Brookes, Rebekah Vardy, Lady Leshurr, Colin Jackson and Sonny Jay.

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Posted by Jason Donovan on Monday, February 22, 2021

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Announcing his departure in a video, Donovan told fans: “I am devastated to announce that due to this ongoing back issue that occurred on Dancing on Ice about 10 days ago, and at the advice of my medical team in the show, that unfortunately I can’t continue in the competition and therefore have to withdraw.

“We put so much work into getting to this point but I have to respect my health and I have to respect my body moving forward. That is my biggest priority.”

He thanked his professional skating partner Schauman, saying: “She’s believed in me when at times I didn’t even believe in myself.”

He ended with a message to the show’s surviving participants: “Please stay safe, stay healthy and take lots of care.”

Donovan missed the last live programme on 14 February but has not recovered enough to go back on the ice. ITV said his back problem was not caused by any injury while training.

A spokeswoman said Donovan had “brought us so much joy with his performances on Dancing On Ice”. She added: “Our thanks go to Jason and his partner Alex for being so wonderful and committed to the series. We’re sorry to see them leave and we wish Jason a speedy recovery.”

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