A childhood dream became a reality four years ago for actress Hayley Tammadon when she signed up to take part in ITV1’s chilly talent show, Dancing on Ice.
Having always wanted to learn to skate as a youngster, Hayley, who was then best known for her portrayal of Emmerdale character Delilah Dingle, jumped at the chance to take to the ice - especially when she found out who her partner would be. “Me and Dan had known each other since we were 12,” she says, referring to her on-the-ice other half Dan Whiston.
“We’d never skated together as kids – my mum would always say if I wanted skating lessons, I’d have to give up drama or singing. Who would have thought 20 years later, we’d be skating on telly!”
Better than that though, the pair went on to win the 2010 competition, and were therefore somewhat of a shoe-in for the recent farewell series, which saw ice skating legends Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean invite previous winners and runners up to compete for the ultimate champion title.
“No way, I jumped at it,” says Hayley when asked if it was a tough decision to return to the relentless training (and associated injuries) and weekly live TV performances.
“Even though I knew it would be more difficult this time round because you were up against other champions and runners-up. Also, I’m four years older, and not half as flexible as I was first time around.
“It took a lot more work... but I’ve lost half a stone and feel much fitter and stronger in myself, which I’m really pleased with.”
The 37-year-old, who now stars in Coronation Street as Andrea, the bubbly girlfriend of taxi driver, Lloyd Mullaney, says she was also pleased to come in as runner-up to Ray Quinn in the sparkly live final earlier this month.
“I was so grateful to be able to take part. It was a real privilege to be in it until the end and to get to do ‘Jai Ho’ again was quite emotional,” she adds, speaking of the pair’s most popular routine.
It’s a knocking bet that they will perform it again during Torvill and Dean’s Dancing On Ice: The Final Tour, at the Metro Radio Arena Newcastle from April 4 to 6.
“I did the tour after the 2010 show so was definitely up for doing it again,” says Hayley. “The tour is where we have fun. We don’t worry too much about the score. We go out to have a good time. It’s a chance to meet the public who have enjoyed the show and have a real laugh. It’s our way of saying thanks to everyone who voted.”
Joining Hayley and the aformentioned Ray Quinn on the celebrity bill for the tour will be former England Rugby Captain Kyran Bracken, singer Gareth Gates, theatre star Bonnie Langford, comedian Joe Pasquale, former Hear’Say singer Suzanne Shaw and Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle, who also made the final.
Torvill and Dean’s Dancing On Ice: The Final Tour comes to the Metro Radio Arena Newcastle from April 4 to 6. Call 0844 493 6666 or visit www.metroradioarena.co.uk .