Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield unveil first contestant for Dancing on Ice 2023 and it’s not who we were expecting!

The first contestant for Dancing on Ice 2023 has been revealed on This Morning but did you guess this celebrity would take part?

First contestant for Dancing on Ice 2023 announced by Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, seen here the presenters during the Dancing On Ice 2019 photocall
(Image credit: Future//Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage via Getty)

Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield have unveiled the first contestant for Dancing on Ice 2023 on This Morning after teasing intriguing clues.

With the arrival of autumn dance enthusiasts might well now be glued to the progress of the contestants who are on Strictly Come Dancing 2022 and wondering which of their favourite celebrities might salsa and foxtrot their way to the final. However, Strictly isn’t the only hit dance-focused show coming over the next few months! Looking ahead to the start of 2023, Dancing on Ice is set to return to banish the post-Strictly blues. 

Presented by ITV daytime stars Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield together for many years now, it’s perhaps very fitting that it was the duo who got to reveal the first contestant for Dancing on Ice 2023 during their show on 3rd October. 

Reflecting on the clues they’d given viewers ahead of the grand reveal, Holly counted them down on her fingers, saying, “Well, we’ve had the red wig, we’ve had the DJ decks. It is time to find out!”

Following a mini drum roll in the studio, former EastEnders actor Patsy Palmer appeared on the interview screen as she was revealed to be the first Dancing on Ice 2023 contestant. 

“It’s Patsy Palmer!” exclaimed Holly. “Oh, Patsy! I’m so excited it’s you! Welcome to the show.”

The actor and DJ looked just as delighted as she replied, “I can’t believe I’m the first one.”

“I know, no backing out now! That’s it, we’ve revealed you,” teased Holly as Patsy quipped jokingly, “Thanks for that!”

Patsy Palmer deejays at the Love Malibu Style: Love Amazon 2022 Art Exhibit

(Image credit: Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)

It was then that Holly posed an all-important question to the EastEnders icon as she asked about the reason Patsy wanted to take part in the popular ice dancing series.

“Well, I didn’t obviously call them up and say, ‘Can I take part?’” Patsy said laughing, before adding, “Just, you know, out of all the things that came through at that time this was the one that I had to really think about.”

She continued, “Obviously, I wanted to challenge myself, get back to work, get out of my comfort zone. And I just thought, ‘Oh, just go for it’, you know it seems a lot of fun. I do like ice skating - but I’m not an ice skater, a figure skater.”

Phil went on to reveal that Patsy had actually turned down the opportunity to be a Dancing on Ice contestant in the past. 

Patsy Palmer's London launch of her exclusive networking series, Common Wealth Lifestyle Events

(Image credit: Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)

“Yes, I know,” the actor responded cheerfully. “Because I’ve been absolutely terrified before but I feel like my pact that I made with myself when I was 50 - which I was this year - was I have to do things to challenge myself for the next couple of years and get out of my comfort zone”. 

Patsy added, “This is kind of for all the 50-year-olds out there who think that they can’t challenge themselves. So feel free to follow me and watch me do whatever I need to do!” 

Patsy Palmer is perhaps best known for her roles as Bianca Jackson on EastEnders and Natasha on Grange Hill, has been DJing for many years and took part in Strictly back in 2005. It’s not yet known who her fellow contestants for Dancing on Ice 2023 could be though fans will be keeping their fingers crossed that there'll be similarly exciting announcements soon!

Emma Shacklock
Senior Lifestyle Writer

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, Goodto.com, and My Imperfect Life.