Comedian Rufus Hound has withdrawn from Dancing On Ice after testing positive for coronavirus.
The star had already been forced to sit out last week’s show for coming into contact with someone with Covid-19. He revealed his own diagnosis in a video posted to YouTube on Wednesday.
“Unfortunately, the rules on Dancing on Ice are completely cut and dry, very strict, because they need to keep everybody on that production as safe as possible,” he said.
“So it seemed like when I was just quarantining, there might be a window of opportunity for me to be able to get back to the show, a window that I now know doesn’t exist.”
“And that bores,” he added, before paying tribute to his professional skating partner Robin Johsntone, whom he called “human sunshine” and a “tremendous pal”.
Comedian Matt Richardson and professional skater Vicky Ogden will replace Hound and his partner Robin Johnstone.
Hound, who previously won a Christmas edition of Strictly Come Dancing, impressed judges with his first Dancing On Ice appearance three weeks ago.
His Super Mario-themed routine earned him a golden ticket from the show’s judges, meaning he progressed straight to the third week of the competition without facing a public vote.
An ITV statement confirmed he had now left the show, saying: “Although Rufus and his partner Robin’s time on the ice has been all too brief, they can be truly proud of their achievements.
“We thank them for all their hard work and commitment to the show.”
Hound is not the first contestant to leave this year’s series – with actor and singer Denise Van Outen forced to withdraw after dislocating her shoulder in training.
Reality TV star Billie Shepherd also took time away from the competition after a family bereavement.
Instant withdrawal from the competition for any contestant who tests positive for Covid has become a necessary requirement for many reality TV shows in recent months.
Boxer Nicola Adams and her partner Katya Jones had to leave the most recent series of BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing after three weeks, when Jones tested positive during one of the show’s routine checks.
Campmates on ITV’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! were tested every three days, and ITV remains hopeful of screening a 2021 series of Love Island, with contestants subject to regular tests and instant replacement should they become infected with Covid. – bbcworld