Bonnie Langford is a true legend. A star since the age of six, when she won the talent show Opportunity Knocks, Bonnie went on to star in numerous television shows and theatre. Most recently she has been starring in the West End in Spamalot, and also wowing once again with her skating skills in the final series of Dancing on Ice. Ahead of the Dancing on Ice Live Shows I chatted to Bonnie about all things skating!
FM: You returned to Dancing on Ice after an eight year break, how did it feel second time around?
Bonnie: It was strange and surreal second time around, amazing to feel so much time had gone by, but great to be with the team again, both Chris (Dean), Jayne (Torvill) and all the producers. This time around it was definitely more competitive, there was a different agenda and of course a higher standard, which made it all a little bit cut throat. I did the very first show and that time we didn’t know what to expect – we were happy if we could stand up! Now there’s a much higher level of competition.
FM: Had you done much skating in the interim period?
BL: No, not at all. I did the two live shows and then I had put my skates away. When I was asked to do this I actually laughed. I was in one mind about it – No. I went along to the rink and stood at the side for about 10 minutes wondering whether I could still stand on the ice, I couldn’t decide whether to go onto the ice and find out. I really did need a lot of convincing to do the show.
FM: You partnered Matt Evers in the first series, and then Andrei Lipaniv this time around – how did they differ as partners?
BL: Well my partner for series two should’ve been Mark Hanratty. We trained for 6 weeks, and then during the show and tell, I was on Mark’s shoulders when, mid routine, it dislocated. So, one week before Christmas, Andrei stepped in. They were very different, Mark is a dance skater, whereas Andrei is a paired skater – this involves more lifting. It was difficult as we never had the chance to build up moves, we had to move straight into routines.
FM: You left the show after what Robin Cousins described as the ‘performance of the night’, were you surprised to leave at that point after all the praise?
BL: No, not at all – I just liked to do a good show. I really enjoyed that night – it was great to go out on a high. I thought I’d go much earlier. I loved the routines from the last night so much (Devil Gate Drive and Big Spender – I’m going to be doing them on the live tour.
FM: You have been on two live Dancing on Ice tours before – what persuaded you to do a third?
BL: It is very hard work, but I love the live audience. You’ve done all the hard graft in the studio so it is lovely to take it out on tour. It is a real privilege to be asked, they could’ve asked so many other skaters. And I love performing the dances again.
FM: How does the live tour differ from the television show?
BL: Having a live audience is great. This is a proper show, made for live theatre. The audience is in the room, there is no stopping for commercial breaks. It is daunting too because you can actually see the audience. But it is fun, quite an event.
FM: You wore some pretty amazing costumes in the show – did you have a favourite?
BL: I liked the red cat suit I wore for Devil Gate Drive. I also loved the white leotard I wore for ‘Baby it’s cold outside’. Costume Designer Stephen Adnitt is just a fabulous designer who I’ve known since I was 15.
FM: Did you have a favourite performance from your two series appearances?
BL: I haven’t really thought about that – maybe one where I was safest! I did enjoy Devil Gate Drive, Baby it’s Cold Outside and Big Spender.
FM: Lots of comments have been made about how amazing you look for 49. What is your secret?
BL: I don’t feel 49. I think it’s hilarious that I am 49 – sometimes when people say it I say ‘am I’. But I keep busy. I do some exercise and stretches, but mainly I just keep active in mind and body.
FM: You’ve had such a long and varied career, with so many highlights – from The Hot Shoe Show to Doctor Who- what are you most proud of?
BL: Gosh, what a good question. I’m most proud of my daughter. I’m really enjoying being in Spamalot – it’s such fun and such a happy show. (Bonnie is currently starring as The Lady of the Lake). I guess I’m just proud of keeping going.
FM: After the live tour of Dancing on Ice, what else can we expect from Bonnie Langford?
BL: I do have some projects on the go, but after Dancing on Ice it will be time to spend some time with my daughter. I live in America so I will be going back there too.
Bonnie Langford will be taking part in the Dancing on Ice Live Tour. (Get ticket information here)
Bonnie is also starring in Spamalot at the Playhouse Theatre until 22nd March. (Ticket information here).