Matt Richardson joins Dancing On Ice

To replace Covid-hit Rufus Hound

Matt Richardson is to join Dancing On Ice this weekend – replacing a Covid-hit Rufus Hound.

The comedian turned musical star has been forced to leave the ITV show having tested positive  for coronavirus.

He  had already missed one episode after coming into contact with someone with Covid-19, and yesterday Hound revealed he had contacted it himself.

In a YouTube video, he said: ‘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

‘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 sucks’.’

He paid tribute to professional skating partner Robin Johnstone,  as ‘human sunshine’ and a ‘tremendous pal’

Now Richardson and professional skater Vicky Ogden will replace  the pair for the next episode, which airs, this Sunday evening at 6pm on ITV.

On his first appearance in the competition, Hound used his platform on the show to criticise the government over the paltry replacements families were receiving for free school meals.

He told presenter Phillip Schofield:  ‘Mate, we live in a world where people we elect don't want to feed hungry children, so this is the least mad thing that's happened to me in a long time!’

Following his comments, The Sun raked over his old Twitter post to find some ill-advised tweets, including sharing a conspiracy theory that the timing of the Manchester suicide bombings  ‘seems fortunate for [Theresa] May… as Labour are making progress.’

When called out on the suggestion he was making he said: ‘I guess, I’m not really alleging it as true, more that I don’t believe our establishment is incapable of such evil. Esp. during an election.’

However, ITV bosses refused the tabloid pressure to fire him over the messages.

In his video, he talked about the newspapers who were 'out to get him'.

He said: 'Various journalists have made it their mission to encourage their readership to think I’m scum.. for comments I made years ago for which I have apologised for.’

He recognised that saying sorry might not be enough, but said: ‘The person I have been is not the person I have now’ – and explained he left his old posts intact as proof of how he evolved.

A spokesman for the broadcaster said: ‘We can confirm that following a positive test result, Rufus Hound is unable to return to Dancing on Ice this weekend. 

‘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.’

Here is his first dance ont the show:

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Published: 4 Feb 2021

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