Jayne Torvill: All your questions answered on the Dancing On Ice judge

Jayne Torvill

by Emma Dodds |
Updated on

Jayne Torvill is one half of the most renowned ice skating pairs in UK history. But how much do you actually know about her? We've answered your most burning questions about the Olympic champion...

Jayne Torvill OBE is one of the most famous ice skaters in the world. Best known for winning a gold medal in the 1984 Winter Olympics with her dancing partner Christopher Dean, she has gone on to achieve monumental things since then - most notably being awarded an OBE and the creation of Dancing On Ice.

WATCH: Dancing On Ice's head judges Torvill and Dean answer Closer Online's quick-fire questions...

READ MORE | EXCLUSIVE! Torvill and Dean: 'Dancing On Ice has jeopardy... It's live and dangerous!'

Who is Jayne Torvill?

Jayne Torvill OBE is an ice dancer. She is best known for winning a gold medal at the 1984 Winter Olympics with her professional dancing partner Christopher Dean.

They performed a beautiful routine to Boléro by Maurice Ravel, catapulting the pair to fame and putting them as two of the most famous ice skaters in British history.

She stated ice skating at the age of eight-years-old after going on a school trip, and at age 14 became the British National Pairs Champion with her then-partner Michael Hutchenson.

She married her American husband Phil Christensen in 1990, living in East Sussex with him and their two children, Kieran and Jessica.

How old is Jayne Torvill?

Jayne Torvill was born on 7 October 1957, making her 60-years-old.

WATCH: Torvill and Dean perform Bolero on Dancing On Ice 2014 - Week 10

Jayne Torvill on Dancing On Ice

Jayne Torvill took a break from professional ice skating for seven years in 1998, and in January 2006 she teamed up with Chris again to become coaches on Dancing On Ice.

Each week, Jayne and Chris would choreograph each of the celebrities' dances as well as being on-hand to coach them through their training. After the all-stars series in 2014 which saw the previous winners of the shows compete in one series together, the show took a break.

In September 2017, ITV announced that Dancing On Ice would be returning. Torvill and Dean revealed in an interview on This Morning with presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, who will also be returning to present Dancing On Ice, that they would now be taking on the role as head judges, rather than coaches.

We spoke to Jayne and Chris about how they felt returning to the show in a new role, and they said they were over the moon to be trying out a new role.

Torvill and Dean
©Closer Online

Jayne told us that they were both "super-excited" and Chris added that they were looking forward to taking on their new role as judges.

But Jayne did tell us that it had never occurred to her to want to be on the judging panel before.

She said: "No, it didn’t occur to me really. Sometimes we did disagree with some of the comments from the judges, and that was because we had been working with the celebrities all during the week so we knew what problems they’d had and we knew how difficult their routines were.

"But I don’t think it ever crossed my mind to wish I was a judge, because we enjoyed the creative process and the choreography. Having said that, it was very intense - it was pretty much the whole week getting the show ready.

"There was no show next week until we choreographed the routines for the celebrities. So being judges will take that pressure off, and all the pressure will just be on us on the Sunday night."

READ MORE | Dancing On Ice 2018: Here's everything we know so far about the new series

Torvill and Dean
©ITV Pictures

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean

Jayne Torvill teamed up with Christopher Dean in 1975, and after they came fifth at the 1980 Winter Olympics in New York, they gave up their respective jobs as an insurance clerk and a policeman to skate full time.

Throughout their years as a professional ice skating pair, there was a LOT of speculation over whether they were involved romantically too - something that they had NEVER commented on before an interview on Piers Morgan's Life Stories in 2013.

They staunchly denied having ever gotten together, but after a bit of pushing from Piers, revealed that they've once had a snog - but that was as far as it had gone.

Jayne told Piers: "Well you see, when I first saw Chris, I fell in love with him but then we started skating together and that was it, it was done. People find that hard to understand."

Chris said: "It was a dabble. There might have been some kissing. And that’s as far as it goes.

"It’s an unusual relationship that we have. And yet at the same time, of course we love each other. You wouldn’t be able to do all that we do without love."

Piers Morgan

Bolero 1984

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean performed their winning 1984 Winter Olympics routine to Boléro by Maurice Ravel, something Chris described to us when we met him as "an amazing piece of music," adding that he wanted it played at his funeral!

The pair became the highest scoring figure skaters of all time for a single programme for that performance, receiving twelve perfect 6.0s and six 5.9s from the judges.

But they were sneaky about it. The time limit for an ice skating routine was four minutes and 10 seconds, and Boléro is four minutes and 28 seconds - but Torvill and Dean knew that the time only starts when their skates touched the ice, which is why they began the routine on their knees with the iconic move with their arms for 18 seconds.

When we met Torvill and Dean, we asked whether they would ever get sick of dancing Boléro, Jayne said: "I think it’s just become a part of us. It’s amazing that people still talk about it 30-odd years onwards. I suppose we kept it alive through DOI and the tours but it’ll always be part of us."


**Are you happy that Dancing On Ice has returned to our screens? Let us know over on **Facebook and Twitter.


EXCLUSIVE! Torvill and Dean reveal their DREAM Dancing on Ice contestants

Here's everything you need to know about Dancing On Ice's Brooke Vincent

Dancing On Ice's Kem Cetinay: 'I'm worried about the lifts!'

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us