Legendary athlete eyeing third Olympics after Dancing On Ice success


DANCING On Ice got Olympic long-jump champion Greg Rutherford into such great shape that he reckons he can go for gold one more time.

He was a key part of Super Saturday at London 2012 and tried to qualify for Team GB’s bobsleigh squad in the 2022 Winter Games.

Greg Rutherford reckons he can go for gold one more time – and it’s all thanks to Dancing On Ice

Greg Rutherford with his  gold medal for the long jump in  the Olympic Stadium , Stratford  ,  London.

Pictures.... Scott Hornby. 5th August 2012.
Greg with his gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics

Now he is seriously considering a third assault on the Olympics with pairs figure skating — all thanks to the ITV1 show and his Canadian pro partner Vanessa James, who has been to four Winter Games.

Greg told me: “I said to Vanessa, ‘If all went well enough and I could put enough time in, how about we go for the next Olympics?’.

“I’ll have to compete for Canada though, because she sadly wouldn’t be able to compete for Great Britain.

“But yeah, why not? Why not give myself another go? I’ve got a couple of years.”

The Milano Cortina 2026 Winter Games might sound optimistic, but so far Greg has held his own on the TV rink.

He has been up against early favourites Eddie “the Eagle” Edwards, Love Islander Amber Davies, and former Corrie actor Ryan Thomas and got third place on the leaderboard for every skate.

Greg said: “Vanessa is considered one of the best female pair skaters in the world.

“When it got announced she was my partner, I was watching all of her Olympic routines, when she became European champion, everything, just to get my head around what she does.

“I panic about hurting her. I’m a tall guy, there’s a long way for her to fall.”

Greg is 6ft 2in, which made him a natural for the long jump and later a candidate for bobsleigh.

T058KH Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres from France during victory ceremony, 2019 European championships

Greg’s pro partner Vanessa James with Morgan Cipre at the Euro Championships, skating for France

He won Olympic gold in 2012 and bronze at Rio in 2016, then more golds in the World Championships and Commonwealth Games.

Injury spelled the end of his athletics career in 2017.

Four years later he joined the bobsleigh set-up vying for Beijing 2022, having started training during lockdown.

But his crew were unsuccessful in qualifying and it left Greg with an injury.

Dancing On Ice is the first time Greg has trained seriously since, and he is reaping the rewards.

He said: “When I had my neck injury doing the bobsleigh, I effectively couldn’t train any more, and then I spent a year or so not really training very much.

“I’ve been a bit lazy, if you like.

“Now I’ve got a great reason to train, I’m cracking on and I’m loving it again.

“I’ve lost about seven kilos so far.

“I would say I’m now closer to the athlete side of things.

“It’s nice to have muscle definition back.”

There could be another upside to the returning six-pack beyond just fitness — impressing his fiancée Susie Verrill, an ex-dancer.

Dad-of-three Greg, who was on Strictly in 2016, said with a laugh: “I hope Susie fancies me more.

“I feel and look pretty good at the moment.

“If you looked at a picture of me at my last Olympics in Rio, I would be eight kilos less than I am now.”

For now, Greg will continue to juggle his dad duties with the demands of Dancing On Ice.

He said: “One of the moves that we’ve got in this next routine coming up is a really big, big one.

“At times I’m sort of looking around like, ‘Somebody, help’.”

  • Dancing On Ice continues Sunday at 6.20pm.


DAVINA McCall is a cougar – and she’s not afraid to admit it.

The Masked Singer panellist, 55, has found love again with hairstylist Michael Douglas, who is seven years younger than her.

Davina McCall jokes about being a "cougar" on Masked Singer as the group head into the semi-final.

The Masked Singer’s Davina McCall, second from left, has joked about being a ‘cougar’ as she’s found love again with hairstylist Michael Douglas

Davina even leans into the sexy older woman image on Saturday’s episode of the ITV guessing game by dressing head to toe in leopard print.

Host Joel Dommett says: “Davina, can I just say you need to show off the whole outfit because it’s absolutely fantastic.

“It’s a whole-body catsuit.

“Oh Lord! You’re dressed like a ThunderCat.”

Davina says: “I’m a cougar.”

The contest has reached the semi-finals and five contestants will be whittled down to three, while Lorraine Kelly joins the panel as a special guest.

Elsewhere, fellow guesser Rita Ora has a make-up malfunction after a song from Piranha makes her cry.

An artist had to rush on to the stage and save her.

Rita says: “I can’t believe I’m crying.

“It was so beautiful, that was outrageously perfect.

“I got lost and then remembered I was on TV.”

A NEW special will celebrate classic 90s sitcom Bottom that starred Ade Edmonson and the late Rik Mayall.

Bottom: Exposed – on Gold later this year – delves into the story behind the comedy, which ran from 1991 to 1995.

Ade will appear, as well as guests including Stephen Fry.


ALAN Carr and Amanda Holden have become an unstoppable TV duo since they dreamt up their Italian Job series.

I recently revealed that series three of the BBC makeover show has been greenlit after viewers loved the do-ups in Sicily and Tuscany.

But there’s one job the pair really fancy – hosting The Brits.

Amanda told HOAR’s TV Mag, free in Saturday’s paper: “We thrive on live telly!

“The Baftas might be good, but I feel it would be a tough audience.”

Laughing, Alan added: “The Brits would be lovely, but by God I’m too old now!

“There’s a band called Wet Leg and I’m like, ‘Why would you call yourself Wet Leg, love?’.”

UKTV auto auctioneers the Mathewsons will take their Bangers & Cash experience on the road for a live event in August.

Tickets go on sale today for the weekend at Malton, North Yorks.

As well as a live sale, there will be a Q&A with the show’s stars.

See bangersandcashlive.co.uk.