International ice icons Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean made their pantomime debut over the festive season in CINDERELLA at the Manchester Opera House, playing the fairy godparents, Queen Juniper and King Crispin, a slight deviation from the traditional tale. It was still the familiar Cinders story though, with an icy twist… well not real ice, but it looked like ice and Jayne and Christopher used roller skates rather than the ice versions, but their routines were just as immaculate and amazing.
It’s been over 30 years since the pair shot to International fame, becoming the highest scoring figure skaters of all time and providing one of the most memorable sporting and entertainment moments, skating to Ravel’s ‘Bolero’ at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo to win the gold medal.
For the past decade they have been involved with ITV’s DANCING ON ICE.
“This is our first pantomime,” said Jayne in an interview prior to the Christmas run, “…and something we have been wanting to do for some time.”
I didn’t get to Manchester to catch their performance live, but by all accounts Britain’s most loved sporting heroes impressed in their first ever panto. My drawing however got to them in person at the venue and immediately came back signed.
Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean stunned the world with their steamy skating synchronicity at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo in Yugoslavia to win the Gold medal for Great Britain in the ice dancing competition.
Performing the memorable ‘Boléro’ the pair became the highest scoring figure skaters of all time, receiving twelve perfect 6.0s and six 5.9s. They earned accross-the-board perfect scores for artistic impression in the free dance section – a feat that has never been matched.
In addition to their Olympic title, they have won 4 European and World Championships and 7 British.
They turned professional after the 1984 Olympics, winning the World Professional title on five occasions, but decided to return to the amateur arena for the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway due to a change in the eligibility rules.
Their routine had an assisted lift, which pushed the envelope of the rules, and despite winning the British and European Championships that year, the Olympic judges placed them third with a bronze medal.
Their 1984 gold medal winning performance has been rated as the eighth most memorable of the 100 Greatest Sporting Moments. They retired from competitive skating in 1998.
Jayne and Chris signed my sketch at the O2 Arena in Greenwich in April 2010, as part of their Dancing on Ice Tour.