Eliot Pollak takes a look at the runners and riders for this year's Dancing On Ice, and our man believes a couple of soap stars are worth a wager at this very early stage...
"All of which makes Anthony Moon (Matt Lapinskas) and Maria Connor (Samia Ghadie) interesting punts at [4.7] and [6.4] respectively. Lapinskas is partnered by Brianne Delcourt, who teamed up with Sam Attwater to win back in 2011. Right now he is the clever bet."
In a rare act of television production sincerity, ITV have acknowledged that the majority of Dancing on Ice viewers will be tuning in solely to see what Holly Willoughby will (or more likely will not) be wearing. Cashing in on this leering but significant percentage of the audience, the marquee signing of the 2013 season is none other than Pamela Anderson. Yup, she has fallen that low.
Those familiar with much of Anderson's work (particularly that posted on the internet,) will note her previous form writhing around on a slippery object.
Enough about the perverted few. We hardcore Dancing on Ice fanatics don't watch the programme for either Willoughboobies or Pamela's. We watch it to win money. So here is the best lowdown on all the runners and ahem, riders, on what will be the eighth series of Dancing on Ice. How the years have flown by...
As Louis Smith proved on Strictly just a few short weeks ago, the public right now will eat up anything Olympic related. Put Wenlock in a glitzy outfit, and he would probably waltz this competition. Even Clare Balding might stand a chance in sequins.
London 2012 are represented in this one by bronze-medal winning gymnast Beth Tweddle, and gold-medal lifting boxer Luke Campbell. Tweddle will obviously be fantastic on ice, her skills swinging around bars for the past decade making her compellingly agile and energetic. Campbell one suspects less so.
The gymnast ([3.6]) is favourite for all the above reasons, but the public do like their Olympians ever so humble - in the Mo Farah or Smith mould. Tweddle is a more calculating lass, who has been around the block more times than, well Pamela Anderson. She may not fit in with what the public lap up - so it is a lay from us on that one. And the boxer ([17.0]) just won't be good enough. After all, there aren't many transferable skills between ice-skating and punching people.
Former soap stars have always performed well in DonI, with the past four seasons containing a combined seven soap stars in their top twos. All of which makes Anthony Moon (Matt Lapinskas) and Maria Connor (Samia Ghadie) interesting punts at [4.7] and [6.4] respectively. Lapinskas is partnered by Brianne Delcourt, who teamed up with Sam Attwater to win back in 2011. Right now he is the clever bet.
Former TOWIE shop-owner Lauren Goodger ([34.0]) probably shouldn't be ruled out as an each-way choice. She is partnered by Michael Zenezini, who steered another harridan, Chloe Madeley, to third place a couple of years ago.
Of the fellas, Shayne Ward ([6.0]) will do well, but is possibly a bit dull to go all the way, whilst another reality star veteran Gareth Thomas ([15.5]), will parade his gay hard-man shtick until we all get tired of it. Fellow egg-chaser Kyran Bracken may have won Series 2, but sports-people have struggled since.
And as for Pammy ([13.0]), we suspect she will look great for a couple of weeks, pick up an injury in 'training', and disappear back to Hollywood pretty fast with a nice, big fee in her pocket.
Oona King ([150.0]) has no chance, and is the token serious person so that the programme gets in the Guardian on a Monday. Anthea Turner ([100.0]) is more 1990s than Liam Gallagher. Likewise Keith Chegwin ([55.0]), although you can replace the second 9 with a 7. And Joe Pasquale ([75.0]) may have won the jungle but that goes on for about 10 days. This is 10 weeks. He is irritating.