Joey Essex’s family reveal him taking Dancing On Ice seriously made them cry

The family of TV personality Joey Essex said they were “crying” watching him skate in the opening episode of Dancing On Ice as he was “so serious”.

he former The Only Way Is Essex reality star, 32, received the second highest score from the judges after former Olympian gymnast Nile Wilson and his partner Olivia Smart got 29.5 points on ITV’s celebrity dancing show on Sunday.

Essex received 27 points and widespread praise for his and professional skating partner Vanessa Bauer’s sophisticated ice dance – which featured a lunge and a lift.

His cousin Jenny, who was in the audience, told host Holly Willoughby: “I was so emotional, I started crying and I was like, wow, because I’m used to seeing Joey being silly.

“And then when I saw him, like serious, and actually doing something amazing, I just got emotional. I felt so proud.”

In a video after the show, Essex: “Thank you so much for voting for us, It was the best thing I’ve ever done, super proud of me and Vanessa.”

Also in the audience was Ekin-Su Culculoglu’s boyfriend Davide Sanclimenti, who said: “She was wonderful, very beautiful and yeah, I was proud of her.”

Culculoglu landed bottom of the leaderboard this week, based on a public vote and the judges’ score, and will face the celebrity from the second cohort to score the fewest points next week.

Last year’s I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here winner Jill Scott, who was seated nearby, said it was a “real honour” to be there as she loves the programme.

Willoughby, who hosts the show with her This Morning co-presenter Phillip Schofield, said Scott’s “got a lot of trophies” and asked her if she would like to add another.

“I don’t know if I’d be as good as these guys,” Scott said.

As the audience clapped for the former Lioness, who led England to victory in the Women’s Euros over the summer, Willoughby said: “We’ll see you this time next year.”

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Elsewhere in the episode, Essex talked about “enjoying the partnership” with Bauer as she is “easy on the eye”.

He said before the performance: “I’m single, Vanessa’s single, there is going to be a little bit of flirting going on.”

– Dancing On Ice airs on ITV and ITVX on Sundays.

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