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Daniel Whiston Dancing On Ice 2014 final interview

We chat to the professional skater ahead of this weekend’s series finale.

Daniel Whiston

Dancing On Ice comes to an end on Sunday night when the final series of the show announces its all-time winner.

After 9 years on ITV the show is taking its final bow as Ray Quinn, Hayley Tamaddon and Beth Tweddle battle it out to win the show. Of course the celebrities would be nothing without their professional partners and Daniel Whiston is the best there is.

This series he’s been skating once again with Hayley and the couple have wowed audiences and the judges. We last chatted to him at the beginning of the series so we thought it was about time we had another catch-up before this weekend’s final.

In our interview we talk about reaching the final, Hayley’s journey and the shock of Ray being in last weekend’s skate-off.

The Dancing On Ice final is taking place on Sunday and it’s the last show ever. How are you feeling about it?

I’m really happy but I’m really sad at the same time because it’s been 9 years of my life. It’s kind of like the chapter is closing for us and it’s going to be a very emotional day on Sunday.

When we spoke to you at the start of the series you were coy about your chances of reaching the final. How do you feel now you’ve actually made it?

We really are over the moon. It was our one wish that we were going to make the final. We really wanted to make the final but the competition has been so high this year because they brought back all the best skaters and all the champions. For us to make the final…it’s just been brilliant for us. We’re not taking it for granted and we’re loving every second of it. It’s the last week now and the last few days, and we’re enjoying training. We’re just throwing ourselves into it. Obviously there’s been a few injuries along the way. Last week I tore my bicep which was really and at one moment it was touch and go as to whether I could go into the show. We’re just really thankful to be in the competition and that our bodies are holding up. We’re trying new things and we’re going full out now for the final. We’re just going to skate our best.

I’m really proud of Hayley because during the show she started off at a certain position on the leaderboard and she’s worked her way right up to the top. Last week getting four 10s for flying and two 10s in her main routine took her to the top of the leaderboard. She has had an amazing journey, if I dare use that word; that’s the only way you can describe the show really. It really is a journey and what a pleasant one it’s been.

Daniel Whiston

Ray Quinn ending up in the skate-off during the semi-final has proven that this show is really anyone’s to win now hasn’t it?

Yeah that’s right and that’s the interesting thing about the show. I’ve said from day one that it’s going to twist and turn and it really has throughout the whole show. The whole series hasn’t been predictable and every week there’s been a twist to it or there’s been someone else at the top of the leaderboard. It’s been different every week and I think that’s what makes for an exciting show that it’s not the same every week.

Last week was a shocker for Ray to be in the skate-off but obviously there’s no way of calling it – it’s what happens on the night. I think the final will be the same – what happens on the night and who likes what the most. It’s down to the public vote on Sunday and whatever they enjoy most will take the crown.

During the semi-final Hayley finally silenced the judges who have criticised her technical skills throughout the competition. How satisfying was that?

It was very satisfying for me being the pro because I’ve worked Hayley so hard. You have to take on board what the judges say because they are there for a reason. We took on board what they said about the technical ability and I’ve worked her so hard. She’s been game for trying loads of new steps and loads of new things. She’s willing to learn and she wants to get better every week which is what’s made her get better. I’m very proud that she’s bettered her technical ability as well. We both love to perform together but now she’s delivering the technique as well and that’s brilliant. I think she’s got the whole package now.

There’s something about Hayley that the audience at home loves and they are clearly connecting with her. Why do you think people are picking up the phones and supporting her?

I think that people can relate to her. She tries so hard and what we try and do together is put on a show. We try to entertain the public and we always put a story to our routines. We get so much support on Twitter and so much feedback from people saying they love what we’re doing and that spurs us on. It’s the support of the public that’s got us to where we are. Obviously we’ve had to impress the judges week-on-week and take on their comments but it’s been the public that have picked up the phone and enjoyed what we’re doing. I think we owe being in the final to them.

Hayley Tamaddon

Credit: ITV

You mentioned earlier about the full marks you received for the flying performance last week. The judges were all in tears. What was it like getting such a strong reaction from them?

It’s very rewarding for us. We put a story to that routine and the song was beautiful by Ellie Goulding. Hayley and I play out a story really well together. We’ve known each other for a long, long time since we were 12. There are no boundaries. There’s no ‘we can’t get too close otherwise it’ll look like we’re kissing’. We wanted to make it look like that because that’s the piece. We very much act the piece and I think that’s what the show is all about.

What can you tell us about the final this weekend?

It’s going to be a very exciting show. Everyone has chosen their favourite routine from any series that they are going to perform again. Then we have a showcase where you’re on the ice with other pros as well and you do a big show number. We’ve been rehearsing both of those a lot this week obviously. Everyone has also got to learn a Bolero. Out of the three couples in the final there’s only two that will get to perform their Bolero. It’s going to be disappointing for one of them not having the chance to skate it, however they have made the final. Everyone is a champion but we’re all hoping to skate the Bolero.

With so many routines to learn and only days away from the final, is it fair to say that this is the most gruelling week for you and Hayley?

Yeah without a doubt. There’s no room for any kind of injuries, niggles, bruises or cuts. If you do have an injury you’ve got to put them to one side and keep going. That’s what me and Hayley are doing now. You can’t be held back by any injuries or aches and pains. This past week the schedule and the training has been the toughest because you’ve got a lot to learn. There’s a big opening too and they’re bringing back every single contestant from this year. There’s a big group number as well which is a lot to learn for the celebrities because there’s so much going on, especially if you’re in the final as well. There are going to be some other surprises happening on Sunday which I can’t tell you about but there’ll be some really cool things happening.

How is Hayley feeling about everything at this stage? Is she just focused on lifting that trophy and winning the series?

She’s just 100% focused on giving her best performance. We’ve not gone near those thoughts because we’re just grateful to be in the final. All we want to do is go out and have a fantastic time on Sunday. It’s over to the public so whatever they enjoy the most, it’ll be their decision.

What’s been your favourite moment of dancing with Hayley again during this final series?

That’s a really difficult question. Being back together after 4 years we’ve had a really good time. For me the reaction we got from last week was brilliant. Our flying routine, every was talking about it and close to tears, then we went on to perform our Bugle Boy which was our pair number and to get two 10s in that was brilliant. That kind of reaction from the judges and the people at home was very special to me and Hayley. I think that probably the semi-final was our best week. That really sticks in my head.

What message do you have to the viewers that have been supporting you throughout the series?

Basically just a big thank you because without those people supporting us and picking up the phone and voting for us, we wouldn’t be where we are. It’s really down to them. The finalists were their choice and it’s their choice who is crowned the champion. Those moments where there are injuries, when I tore my bicep, where Hayley’s had injuries…the Twitter has always been mental. Twitter goes crazy with messages of support and people lifting your spirits. That kind of support means a lot to me and Hayley so we’re very grateful for it.

You said before you’re not really thinking about winning at this stage but surely there must be a thought in the back of your mind that if you win this, you’ll be the ultimate Dancing On Ice professional?

That’s really, really lovely and it would be very special for us. I just don’t want to go near it in our heads because we’ve got so much work to do and the competition is so high. It’s really up to the public and whatever they choose we will be humble, enjoy the night and give the best skate we can. The three celebrities in the final are all amazing. Obviously I skated with Beth last year and she won the show with me. I’ve won with two of the finalists and it’s really nice and rewarding feeling for me that I’ve taken two girls to the crown already. This last one could go any way but I’ll certainly enjoy the night because it’s my last one.

The Dancing On Ice 2014 final is at 7pm on Sunday on ITV. Tune in to find out who will lift the crown. Watch Daniel and Hayley’s flying routine from last weekend:

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