DANCING on Ice’s Denise van Outen was rushed to hospital after a face-first horror fall in rehearsals.
The star fell on her face and damaged her shoulder
Horrified medics dashed to her aid and gave her urgent treatment in front of her shocked pro partner Matt Evers.
There are now fears Denise may not be well enough to take part in tonight’s opening show of the series.
Speaking exclusively to The Sun on Sunday, Denise, 46, said: “I’ve taken a few tumbles since we started training but with this one I knew immediately it wasn’t good.
“I was rehearsing with Matt, hit my toe pick and went flying.
“Straightaway I knew I’d done something. I just thought, ‘Please don’t let it be a break.’
“The on-site medics and physio checked me over immediately and my shoulder was quickly iced.”
Denise and Matt appeared to start their turn on the right track
But within seconds Denise stubbed her toe pick and started to topple forward before falling face first
A show medic tends to Denise’s injuries on set
Brave Denise was then raced to hospital following the terrifying fall on the ITV1 show’s studio rink at Bovingdon Airfield, Hertfordshire, on Thursday.
An emergency X-ray revealed a dislocated left shoulder and damage to her tendons.
Denise was left badly bruised and now faces a race against time to be ready for Dancing on Ice’s return for its 13th series tonight.
Doctors have ordered her to rest to speed up her recovery.
If she does get the green light to perform she and US star Matt, 44, will adapt their routine to account for her injured shoulder.
We are taking it hour by hour, resting as much as I can and hoping for the best.
Denise van Outen
Denise added: “Ultimately I had to have a trip to hospital where I was told I had a partial dislocation and tendon damage.
“It’s really affected my ability to move my left arm. It’s touch and go as to whether I can skate tonight.
“I’m working on recovering and hoping and praying I can do my routine.
“We are taking it hour by hour, resting as much as I can and hoping for the best.
The brave star poses in Covid protection gear while in hospital
“I’m having ongoing physio and I’m determined that nothing is going to keep me from getting on the ice.
“I’ve got everything crossed that I can heal enough.”
“I’m so proud of the routine we’ve worked on and I just really want to put on a good show.
“We’ve had to make some changes to not put any additional strain on my shoulder.
At a time when the NHS is so overstretched, I must say an enormous ‘Thank you’ to them for looking after me.
Denise van Outen
“Matt has been brilliant and he’s taking good care of me. We’re working so hard to put on an amazing show tonight.”
Denise also heaped praise on the NHS for treating her amid the Covid crisis.
She added: “I must say that I cannot thank the staff enough for the care they gave me.
“At a time when the NHS is so overstretched, I must say an enormous ‘Thank you’ to them for looking after me.
“They were incredible. I am so grateful to them.
Denise is ‘touch and go’ to skate with pro star Matt Evers on Sunday night’s opening showCredit: Rex Features
An industry source said: “Denise was incredibly brave. She’s a real trouper. The ice is harder than concrete and very unforgiving.
“She had a nasty fall so she’s impressed the whole crew by getting back on her skates. Everyone is rooting for her.”
Just a day before the accident skating novice Denise revealed she was finding it difficult controlling her body on the ice.
She said: “I love performing so the top half I can do but the bottom half I’ve found really hard. You’re skating around with blades on your feet.
“I’ve never even skied in my life so when I stepped on to the ice at my first audition I genuinely couldn’t move.
“I was stood in the middle and had to get someone to manoeuvre me across the ice — so I’ve learned from scratch.
“For anyone out there who has ever stepped on ice they’ll know it’s not easy and I take my hat off to all of us who are taking part. It’s a big thing to take on.”
The actress, 46, dislocated her left shoulderCredit: Rex Features
Denise, who attended the Sylvia Young theatre school as a youngster, also worried she would have an accident because of her ballet training.
She explained: “A lot of it is the absolute opposite to what my body has been taught to do, like ballet. All of the discipline which was applied to dance, you have to undo that and retrain your body and mind.
“I do things on the ice that you shouldn’t do, what a ballet dancer would do, and that just leads to having an accident.”
The show has endured an accident-riddled week of rehearsals ahead of tonight’s debut.
Ski ace Graham Bell’s pro partner Yebin Mok had her leg slashed open by a blade and could be ruled out for several weeks.
Former Big Breakfast presenter Denise was Strictly runner-up in 2012 and has rekindled her competitiveness for Dancing on Ice.
She was so dedicated to the show she moved Matt into the home she shares with commodities trader beau Eddie Boxshall, 45, and her daughter Betsy, 10, so they could all be in the same bubble.
15 years of hurt
DANCING On Ice has been ravaged by injuries to celebs and pro skaters since 2006.
Last week US pro Yebin Mok, 36, was stabbed in the leg by Olympic skier Graham Bell’s skate blade.
The horror injury will keep her out for several weeks.
Michael Barrymore, 68, pulled out before last year’s series even started after breaking his wrist in training.
In 2018 Corrie star Antony Cotton, 45, fractured ribs when a lift went horribly wrong in rehearsals.
In 2012, former Brookside star Jennifer Ellison, 37, kicked herself in the head with her own skate blade on live TV.
Ex-goalie David Seaman, 57, dropped partner Pam O’Connor in the first series in 2006. She needed her split chin stitched.
She explained: “Matt has been with us since October. I knew him before. He was a friend anyway but we got to know each other a lot more living together. It’s been lovely.
“We’d spoken previously and I know he’s been waiting all year to do the show. When the first lockdown started last March he had just finished his run with Ian “H” Watkins on the last series of Dancing on Ice.
“He hadn’t been home (to the US) or seen any of his friends or family. He found that first lockdown really hard so I just said, ‘Come live with us.’ He wanted to have that feeling of being part of a family again.
“He’s just been so lovely and made it easier for us living together. We live near to the rink and he’s cooked for us. Eddie cooks for him. It’s just been really nice. He’s the perfect housemate.”
- DANCING On Ice returns on ITV1 tonight at 6pm, hosted by Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, with judges Jayne Torvill, Christopher Dean, John Barrowman and Ashley Banjo.
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