HELMET-wearing Happy Mondays dancer Bez says he is “bruised and battered” from Dancing On Ice, but is still in the competition after Sunday’s latest round despite being at the bottom of the leader board.
Bez swirled around the ice in a tartan kilt surrounded by dancing Loch Ness monsters with his crash helmet hidden by a tartan cap to escape a dance off on Sunday and go straight through to next weekend’s show.
Thankfully viewers were spared Bez wearing the kilt like a “true Scotsman” after show bosses made sure he kept his pants on.
But some fans stormed that the Happy Mondays star had ‘robbed’ pop star Rachel Stevens of a deserved place in the rest of the contest after he was voted straight through.
However, others are backing him, with Bez’s Indiana Jones Skaters of the Lost Ark routine alongside Angela Egan the week before seeing calls for him to be declared “the winner” already.
Bez suffered some major falls in training for the show, hence the protective helmet and guards “protecting my maracas”.
But speaking to Dermot O’Leary and Josie Gibson on This Morning, he said: “First of all it was more like Bambi, then I progressed to Frank Spencer, but now I am doing a lot better.”
“I have been training hard, it has just started to come together for me… I feel like I have improved in the last few days,” he said.
The show also features Coronation Street actress Sally Dynevor, Love Island’s Liberty Poole, Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt, rugby star Ben Foden, professional dancer Brendan Cole and The Vamps’ Connor Ball.
But Bez says despite taking a few tumbles, the skating show is not the scariest thing he has ever done.
“The scariest was on Jack Osbourne when I swung between two cable cars with a 4,000-metre drop below me, anything after that is easy. I am bruised and battered but I am able,” he laughed.
Bez wore a helmet under the famous fedora for the Indiana Jones routine, having decorated the headgear to make him look like “a watermelon” in a previous routine.
While Bez is skating on thin ice with some watchers, others say he’s dancing his way to victory.
One poster said: “You know it makes sense. Bez to win.”
Another added: “What an absolute legend on the ice. He has winner written all over him. Let’s get that guy in the final.”
Bez, who got engaged to partner Firouzeh on top of the Skirrid near Abergavenny last October, made his name as the freaky maraca-shaking dancer with The Happy Mondays, and is currently appearing alongside lead singer Shaun Ryder in Celebrity Gogglebox.
He fell in love with the local area when he recorded at Rockfield Studios in Monmouth with Mondays follow up Black Grape, and has lived here enjoying the ‘good life’ on a permaculture farm for several years.
Renowned for enjoying the hedonistic ‘Madchester’ party days of the 1980s and 90s, he has today fully embraced sustainable rural living on the Monmouthshire border, keeping bees and brewing the likes of honey and hedgerow beer, while also becoming an environmental campaigner.
The Mondays, who even played to 200,000 people in Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Stadium, enjoyed a 30th anniversary tour in 2018, and are touring later this year.
Dancing On Ice airs on ITV on Sundays at 6pm and ITV Hub.