Ice skates

Strictly Come Dancing and the “I’m a Celebrity…” may be over for another year, but fans of reality competitions do not have long to wait for a new contest to enjoy. ITV’s Dancing on Ice will begin on the 6th of January and bookmakers are already taking bets on the likely winner.

Though viewers have yet to see the contestants’ skills, Wes Nelson has emerged as the early favourite, being offered at 3/1 by William Hill. Nelson is best known for his appearance on ITV’s Love Island.

Rounding out the favourites are ballroom star James Jordan is at 9/2, Pussycat Doll Melody Thornton and comedian Richard Blackwood at 6/1, and former Westlife singer Brian McFadden at 7/1.

Cricketer a value bet?

As is customary with such programmes, the cast also include former sportsmen. Cricketer Ryan Sidebottom is a potential value bet at 12/1. Cricketers have a good record in celebrity competitions, reflecting perhaps their fitness and competitiveness but lack of superstar ego. Sidebottom told the programme,

Being a sportsman, I love a challenge and when I got told I was going to be on Dancing on Ice, I jumped for joy!

Among the familiar faces from popculture past, Grease star Didi Conn and former Neighbours actor Mark Little are available at 25/1. Towie star Gemma Collins is the early longshot at 33/1.