Dancing On Ice star Joe Swash plans to ‘get drunk like I’m 17’ after final

Joe Swash admits Dancing on Ice has sometimes left him in tears with its physical and emotional demands.

And that was before his partner Alex Murphy kicked him in the head with an ice skate during rehearsals.

Last week’s accident has left him wearing a thick head bandage after operations to drain fluid from an infected injury to his right ear.

He has been cleared to skate in tonight’s two-hour final but admits he can’t wait for the ITV contest to end.

And the former EastEnder says he’ll celebrate by getting drunk “like a 17-year-old” after four months on the wagon.

The dad-of-two told us how the show’s rigorous training regime has left him little time to spend at home over the past three months.

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It has meant being away from his nine-month-old son Rex, with fellow TV star Stacey Solomon, and 12-year-old son Harry from a­­ ­previous relationship.

“Me and Stacey are like ships in the night,” he said. “I didn’t realise how much it’d take over my life.

“We’ve worked seven days a week, ten hours a day for three months now. I see more of my son on Instagram than I do in real life at the moment. The fact that he recognises me on FaceTime is nice.

“I get dad guilt massively with my eldest and with the new baby. My ­eldest, who’s 12, has really needed me the past couple of months but I’m just juggling. His school is 75 miles away from the studio. You have to fit it all in or they don’t see you.”

Joe admits being shattered by the training and his many injuries, including groin strain and hip problems.

“Once we finish training, I go home, do the night feed with Stacey and I’m back again the next day,” he said.

“Emotionally, this has had me in a right mess. Physically, mentally and emotionally, the past couple of weeks I’ve been right on the edge.

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“It doesn’t take a lot to wobble me at the moment. It’s so physical and the hours are so long. You have to learn up to three routines. ­I feel so tired.

“There have been a few tears. I have a little ten minutes where I have a little breakdown.”

Joe, 38, and 30-year-old Stacey are ITV’s golden couple and Joe praised the Loose Women star for holding the fort at home.

I’m a Celeb winner Stacey is also mum to Zachary, 11, and Leighton, seven, from earlier relationships.

“We’re very stressed at the moment,” said Joe. “Stacey is going through her own thing.

“While I’m not there, she’s at home with her three kids. Her day is completely packed as well, so when I come home we swap roles a little bit.

“Because me and Stacey are in the same business, we help and support each other but it’s been a long process. We’ve got a couple of ­holidays booked.

“You can lose perspective when you’re tired and you’ve got to come and learn a new dance and you’re stressing.”

Their son Rex has become a social media star in his own right as Stacey’s entertaining videos of the tot have struck a chord with fans.

Joe hints there could be more children on the way when they ­finally get to spend time with one another.

“Rex is such a good kid,” said Joe as his face lights up at mention of his boy. “He always gives you a smile.

“He’s definitely lured us into a false sense of ­security where we’re like, ‘Let’s have another’.

“But the next one will be like the devil child. We’re not sure yet. We’ve got a big family as it is. We’ve got four mouths to feed so let’s see what happens.”

Joe, who played Albert Square’s lovable wide boy Mickey Miller, never thought he would get so far in the skating competition.

“I thought I’d be the joke act,” he confessed. “I thought I’d break something.

“Somehow we’ve gone ­under the radar and made it to the final. We’ve got an amazing team. Every Sunday I’m limping off.

"My groin and hip flex are bad, but every week they get you through. Without them, I don’t think I would have made it this far.

“My ear swelled up really badly so they stuck this bandage on. I said it was ­excessive but they said it was the only way they could keep the bandage on.

“I’m not allowed to take it off apart from on Sunday for the performance. Then I’ve got to put it back on.

“Sixty per cent of me is annoyed by this and 40 per cent thinks it’s just typical me.

“I’ve worked for three-and-a-half months learning how to skate and it happens in the last week. I look like Princess Leia with half a hairdo.

“I’ve been told I have to put it back on for the wrap party but I’m like, ‘That’s not going to happen, come on’.”

There’s been much speculation that Joe and Stacey secretly tied the knot during a holiday to the Maldives last October, but he insists not.

“It’s lovely that people are invested in it and they want to know because they love Stacey but we’ll definitely have to tell our mums and dads first,” he said.
“It’s something that might happen in the future.”

The couple are also in talks to do their own TV show and in April, will be working together on a new project.

Joe and Alex, 29 – who replaced injured Alexandra Schauman, 39, as his skating partner in January – are aiming to beat Scottish paralympian sprinter Libby Clegg and her partner Mark Hanretty, as well as Diversity dancer Perri Kiely and Vanessa Bauer in ­tonight’s final.

But whatever the ­result, Joe’s next mission is to get drunk.

“I’ve told Stacey that after the final, she’s going to take the kids home and then I don’t want them to see me ­because it’s going to be bad,” he grinned.

“I’ve not had a drink for four months so it’s going to be 17-year-old drunk.

“I want to celebrate our time. “I’m a really cheap date, ladies.”

• The Dancing on Ice final starts on ITV at 6pm tonight.

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