Dancing on Ice

Moving on up: the rise of TV dance shows

The Greatest Dancer presenter Jordan Banjo (Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames/David Ellis)

When the BBC spiced up one of TV’s oldest formats to create Strictly Come Dancing, few thought it would create the holy grail of TV – a genuine pop-culture phenomenon that glued all ages to the box.

That was almost 15 years ago. Come Dancing, the show that inspired Strictly, first appeared in 1950, surviving in all its flouncy glory until 1998. It remains to be seen if even Strictly can last that long.

Making Shows Great Again | Highlights

It is one of the greatest dilemmas in popular telly – when to persist with a popular franchise, give it a lick of paint and some new talent, and when to mothball it, only to drag it out of the store cupboard, to enchant a whole new generation of TV viewers. 

In recent years, we have seen such enduring favourites as Blind Date, Top Gear, Dancing on Ice and Robot Wars revamped and returned, with the aim of recapturing loyal audiences and attracting new ones.

Should there be more TV revivals?

From left: Sean Doyle, Ella Umansky, Caroline Frost, Camilla Lewis and Richard McKerrow (Credit: RTS/Paul Hampartsoumian)
These are robust TV formats, which, over many years, bring audiences to broadcasters and profits to production companies. But they are the exception, not the rule in television.
 
At an RTS early evening event in early June, a panel of top TV execs discussed what gives formats legs.
 
The central London event took place a day after the triumphant return of ITV2’s Love Island, which attracted a peak audience of 3.4 million. The series opener averaged 2.95 million viewers, more than double last year’s first episode.
 

Dancing On Ice makes a cool comeback on ITV

Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby are returning to host the skating extravaganza, with Olympic champions Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean taking seats on the judging panel alongside two more judges who are yet to be announced.

Celebrity skaters will take to the ice in a bid to twirl their way to victory, with a new line-up of skating professionals, and more ambitious routines than ever before.