17 April 2013Beth Tweddle's looking cool as stars hit the ice
She said after spending so many years doing her gymnastics training at Lilleshall, she is now beginning to feel as if Shropshire is a second home.
“I’ve trained at Lilleshall since I was nine and my parents just live 50 minutes down the road. I used this rink when I was training for Dancing on Ice as well. The staff have been really kind,” she said.
“When I’m driving around I know where the landmarks are now.
“It’s quite nice to have all the local connections.”
The Celebrities on Ice tour, based on the ITV Dancing on Ice show, will see Tweddle continue her ice skating partnership with professional skater Dan Whiston which saw them take the Dancing on Ice crown last month.
The tour will start on Friday at the NIA in Birmingham, where Peter Andre will be the special guest, and run until the middle of June.
“I really didn’t expect to be going on tour with Peter Andre when I signed up for Dancing on Ice,” Tweddle said.
“I’m really looking forward to it though. I’ve loved being on the show, and the fact that I can keep skating is really great.
“There are some good bits to look out for in the show. I’ve got some of my gymnastic bits in, doing a Tweddle Tip that I came up with in the show, and doing a supported tuck back.
“There’s going to be some break dancing during the show, and we’ve got a rugby skate off going on with England against Wales.
“Then there’s Alfonso, who’s a Mexican professional skater, and he’s just crazy. He does tuck backs completely unsupported, and fire juggling.”
Other stars preparing to take part in the show include EastEnders actor Matt Lapinskas, who was the runner up in this year’s Dancing on Ice, and former X Factor contestant Chico, who is helping to produce the show.
The amateurs are being supported by members of the International Ice Stars, which has regularly used the Telford rink for training sessions over the past decade.
Estonian skater Valdis Mintles, who will be in the show, said he was impressed at the changes which have been made at the rink during the past year.
“It’s a lot lighter now, and it is nicer,” he said.
“Although I miss the upper level where you used to be able to sit in the bar and look at the rink through the window. Being at this rink is very familiar. I have been here so many times, and my son was born in Shrewsbury hospital because we were here when he was due.”
During the launch at Telford Ice Rink, local journalists were invited to take to the ice by some of the stars of the show, and onlookers were treated to the sight of radio presenters wobbling around as they gained confidence on the slippery surface.
However, under the expert tutelage of the International Ice Stars, they soon managed to get to grips with slightly more complicated techniques including a basic spin.