Jason Gardiner has spoken out about his time as a judge on Dancing On Ice and said – by the end – the show was “toxic”.
The 49-year-old choreographer left the popular ITV show in 2019 after having a very public feud with contestant Gemma Collins, which he described as ‘”traumatic”.
Jason and the 40-year-old Towie star had rather tense slanging matches whenever the judges gave their feedback to the celebrity contestants.
Jason consulted his lawyers after Gemma accused him live on air of “selling stories” about her — a claim he vehemently denied.
Gemma also accused Jason of being a bully because he compared her to a refrigerator.
She wrote on Instagram : “I’m really tired of being BULLIED by this man… I wish you would stop… it’s very very upsetting and hurtful let it go Jason stop bullying me ENOUGH is ENOUGH.
“I won’t be bullied any more making me feel uncomfortable to come back to the final on Sunday! I was looking forward to Sunday but won’t be anywhere near someone who’s BULLYING me… this is NOT ACCEPTABLE on any level.”
Their feud was reignited when Gemma said “Hallelujah” after it was claimed he had been axed from Dancing On Ice.
According to The Sun, Jason said: “By the end the show was too toxic.
“I went through some very dark times after it all played out and I realised I wasn’t valued in any way, shape or form by ITV.”
Jason and Gemma’s clash was shown during the Dancing On Ice highlights show last Sunday.
It also included his bust-ups with Benidorm actor Tim Healy, 69, and choreographer Karen Barber, 59.
Jason was one of the original judges on the ITV show from 2006 until 2011.
He returned to Dancing on Ice for its eighth series in 2013, but the show was cancelled after its ninth series in 2014.
Jason resumed his place on the panel in 2018, before leaving the show for a second time in 2019.
The current judging panel consists of Christopher Dean, Jayne Torvill, Ashley Banjo and John Barrowman.
This year’s final has been brought forward by one week due to several contestants unexpectedly leaving the show due to an injury or Covid.
Dancing On Ice airs Sunday at 6pm on ITV.