Ashley Banjo, 31, was revealed to be one of the judges joining the panel when it was announced Dancing on Ice would be returning to screens after a four-year hiatus in 2018. Although he has remained a fixture over the course of the past three series of the revived ITV skating show, there have been some changes to the panel. With this year’s final airing tonight, the Diversity dance troupe member has spoken out about his future with the programme if it were to return.
The professional dancer has sat alongside veteran ice skaters Jayne Torvill, 62, and Christopher Dean, 61, since the show was brought back, offering his critique to the contestants taking part.
This year, they were joined by former star of the programme John Barrowman, 52, after former judge Jason Gardiner, 48, stood down.
It’s not yet known if the hit dance show will be making a return next year, but viewers would expect the entire panel to make a comeback.
Speaking with press including Express.co.uk, Ashley addressed whether fans are likely to see him again.
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Asked if he would like to be asked back, the Diversity dance troupe member said: “Of course, I think this year’s been incredible.
“I think it’s been the best one ever actually. So yeah, I’d love to do it again,” he continued.
However, as it stands, he will be offering his last comments as this year’s finalists take to the ice tonight.
After nine weeks of intense competition, just three celebrities remain to fight it out for the title of Dancing on Ice champion.
These are Perri Kiely, 24, and his professional partner Vanessa Bauer, 23, Joe Swash, 38, and skater Alex Murphy, 29, with Libby Clegg, 29 and Mark Hanretty, 34, completing the line-up.
I’d love to do it again
Speaking on who he thinks could win and take the crown from reigning champion James Jordan, 41, Ashley said: “I feel I’d be happy with any of them.
“Perri’s been incredible all series so he would deserve it because he’s been on top of the leaderboard.
“I think Joe has improved and improved and he’s like, the most likeable person and he’s almost got the most watchable routines ever.
“And I think the personal hurdles Libby’s overcome would also make her like a massively worthy winner.”
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The judge continued: “So like genuinely, I feel like I’d be happy for any of them to take it home and I think they would as well like that, they are a really supportive three.”
However, there is one person Ashley believed should have made it to the final: Coronation Street star Lisa George, 47.
“Even though I gave her a hard time because sometimes, this show’s as much about the entertainment value and the creative and the choreography as it is about hardcore skating.
“She had a couple of falls, her confidence got knocked and the whole competition just didn’t work how in the right way for her. But as a skater, I always thought Lisa was one of the best from day one.”
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As it stands, Perri is the hot favourite to go all the way and win the title, with fans backing the Diversity dance troupe member.
According to the latest odds from thepools.com bookmakers, the contestant is at 2/9 to become the victor of the third series.
Joe looks set to be the runner-up at 3/1 with Libby the outsider at the moment, with her chances of winning standing at 25/1.
Will the odds stand in the cast finalists favour, or will some of them come to defy their chances?
Dancing on Ice concludes tonight at 6pm on ITV.
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