By Cara Dudgeon

6th January 2020

Jason Gardiner has suggested John Barrowman will struggle as a judge on Dancing On Ice

Image Source/ Hello Magazine

The 48-year-old choreographer has been replaced on the panel by the Torchwood actor – who competed in the very first series of the celebrity skating contest – but doesn’t think he has the experience or technical knowledge for his critique to carry any weight.

He said:

‘I don’t think anyone else can bring to the show what I did, because they will always be dubbed a wannabe, or second best.

‘I don’t envy John Barrowman. It’s amazing that he didn’t even make it to the final as a contestant, and yet he’s in a position to critique. He’s an amazing showman, but he is not a choreographer, so it will be interesting to see how he carves a place for himself on the panel when the credentials don’t stack up’.

The outspoken star also branded programme hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby “fake” and admitted he was upset with Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean because none of them have been in touch since he decided to leave the ITV show.

He told The Sun on Sunday newspaper:

‘Since it was announced I was leaving the show I’ve had nothing from Phil and Holly. Not even a text message.

‘It is hurtful, especially because when Phillip was getting a lot of negative attention recently I sent him a message of support.

‘I thought they would get in touch but I’ve learned this industry is full of fake and disingenuous people.

‘Christopher Dean and Jayne Torvill – who are idols of mine – didn’t contact me either.

‘The only person who sent me a text message was Ashley Banjo.

‘It’s upsetting, because I really ­valued these people, and I can’t understand why they wouldn’t get in touch. It doesn’t take much to send a message or a DM.

‘I thought that I was part of the Dancing On Ice family. But obviously I’m not’.

Jason also hit out at ITV and claimed they did “nothing” to protect him after he was targeted by Gemma Collins’ fans following her accusation live on the show that he had been “selling stories” about her, which prompted him to consult a lawyer to preserve his reputation as he insisted the allegation was untrue.

He said:

‘When push comes to shove, they hung me out to dry. After Gemma made that allegation, I had so much abuse because all of her social media followers are cut from the same cloth – vile people.

‘One person threatened to throw acid in my face in the street. But ITV did absolutely nothing.

‘So I did consult my lawyers, who told me I had a good case. The next week, an hour before the show, three of the top brass marched into my dressing room and demanded to know if I was going to sue Gemma. They made me feel as if it was all my fault and I would be the one to pay.

‘The threat was that I would be “in a difficult position” and that they would have to speak to their legal team to confirm if I could continue on the show.

‘I don’t know if the aim was to scare me into backing down, but it worked. I was absolutely traumatised, and I did agree to drop the lawsuit. Through all of this, not one person asked if I was OK. And after that everything was soured’.

The row caused Jason to suffer anxiety and struggle sleeping, and he eventually decided to force producers to drop him from the show.

He explained:

‘I had no support and the atmosphere on set was cold and tense ­- like I was already on the outside.

‘So when it came to discussing this year’s series, I decided to ask for an outrageous amount of money, knowing they would probably refuse to pay it.

‘Soon after they told me they were taking a “different direction”, because they “feel they have to take contestants’ mental health into account”.

‘The irony is that they haven’t ever considered my mental health’.

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