They saved the best until last with Brookes, whose routine to Taylor Swift’s Lover was simple but romantic. She had genuine chemistry with partner Hamish Gaman and the pair were perfectly in-sync. Scoring 31.5 points, highly impressive for week one, it was hailed by judges Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean as “the best first-skate ever” and secured Brookes status as hot bookies’ favourite. Emmerdale’s Joe-Warren Plant looks her most likely rival at this stage. This contest could become a tussle between the ITV soap stars.
Klass was rightly consigned to this year’s first skate-off. She faced rapper Lady Leshurr, who came bottom of last week’s public vote. The pocket rocket came out fighting, performing a high-energy routine with spectacular lifts. It was an easy decision for the judges and Klass bowed out graciously.
Elsewhere there was a guest return for TOWIE “star” Gemma Collins, who memorably competed (and face-planted) two years ago – the most-watched moment in the show’s history, worryingly. The dim-witted diva made a typically modest entrance by being lowered from the ceiling on a giant diamond ring.
Presenting duo Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby were strangely dressed again – him in a rollneck and her in what looked like a wedding gown with some seagull feathers glued on, presumably to prevent complaints to Ofcom about her cleavage.
Garment of the night instead went to injured Denise Van Outen’s sparkly shoulder harness, which she called her “bling sling”. During the group skate, Van Outen was pushed around like the rink like a dowager in a bath chair.