Gardiner Fears The Ice Axe

Dancing On Ice’s answer to Harold Steptoe admitted that he was crapping himself last night as more than 2,000 complaints were made by viewers following his viscousness on Sunday evening’s Dancing On Ice.

Jason Gardiner could probably have kicked a puppy mid-show and received less abuse than he did after slating brave war legend Johnson Beharry and telling his mentor Karen Barber that if her opinion mattered “she would be on the panel.”

When asked if he feared for his future on the ITV figure-skating show, the flat-capped judge told reporters that bosses were talking about his future.

“I don’t know what they will do. I can’t do anything about it,” he said. “If I’m honest, I’m always surprised I get invited back every year.”

Phillip Schofield (who usually sits on the fence in a manner that would make the average Swiss feel ashamed) even waded into the furore yesterday by saying that Gardiner had “crossed the line”. The Dancing On Ice presenter then had to go for a bit of a lie down after becoming upset by his own harshness.

Gardiner did apologise live on air on Sunday and grovelled further in his column in The Sun yesterday.

“There was no pressure from anyone (to apologise on air),” he wrote. “When I saw it played back in the results show I thought, ‘I’m not thrilled with what I said there and how that came across’.”

“I felt I overstepped the mark. It was personal and I wasn’t proud of it. I thought, ‘Be a man and apologise’. I honestly wanted to apologise to Karen. I’ve known her for six years. Even though it’s been a tempestuous time, I don’t wish her any harm.”