Kirkby figure skater Mark Hanretty set to star in new series of Dancing on Ice

A WORLD-CLASS figure skater from Kirkby is set to star in the new series of Dancing on Ice, which begins in the New Year.

Last year Mark Hanretty wowed audiences when he danced with fitness guru Rosemary Conley as one of the professional skaters on the hit ITV show.

Now it has been revealed that he will dance with former MP and member of the House of Lords Oona King in the new series, which will return to our screens on 6th January.

Describing how he felt when he found out he had been selected to appear on the show, Mark said: “I had an inkling that I would from last year so it wasn’t a huge surprise.

“I got asked if I was interested in the summer and found out officially late summer.”

And he added: “I’m really looking forward to it. It’s nice to get a couple of weeks off (at Christmas) - it’s going to be pretty hectic.”

Mark met his new dancing partner Oona in October and began training in November.

“She’s exceptionally nice,” said Mark.

“She’s blown away all my preconceived ideas about politicians and I have already made a friendship with her and her family.”

Mark says that this year’s series is going to be better than ever.

“They have gone in all guns blazing,” he added.

Meanwhile, 2012 has been a busy year for Mark. As well as starring in Dancing on Ice, he also won the internationally renowned Young Artists Showcase and Virtual Skate Off.