A PROFESSIONAL ice-skater from Kirkby is set to appear alongside fitness guru Rosemary Conley on ITV’s hit show Dancing on Ice.
Mark Hanretty (26) and Rosemary will appear on the popular TV show on Sunday when they are hoping to wow judges Robin Cousins, Katarina Witt and Louie Spence.
He took part on the show last year when he danced with actress Nadia Sawalha - but the pair only lasted one show.
So when he was asked to come back this year, Mark jumped at the chance to take part and he has enjoyed working alongside Rosemary.
He says: “We have got on really well - she’s been ever so kind to me.
“I am teaching her to skate but I can learn so much from her. She is so successful and she has a massive franchise business.”
After Rosemary received her initial training, she began working with Mark in November.
Mark said: “She was a big fan and she’s been keen to go on for a long time.”
Dancing on Ice is filmed at Elstree Studios in London and on the day of the show, competitors face a gruelling day of rehearsals before they perform in front of a studio audience and millions of viewers at home.
Mark said: “You are there for about 12 to 14 hours - it’s a real emotional roller coaster.”
He admits that he has no idea yet how the audience will respond to his and Rosemary’s routine - but he is hoping the people of Ashfield will support the area’s home-grown talent.
“It will be interesting to see after the first couple of shows,” he says.
“It is hard to gauge because there is an element of popularity - it’s not just the skating. We have no idea how she (Rosemary) will do.”
Mark grew up in Glasgow but moved to the Nottingham area when he was 19-years-old.
As well as being a coach in Nottingham and Sheffield, he has represented Great Britain, alongside dancing partner Christina Chitwood, at the European and World Championships.
And in 2010, he scooped first place at The International Figure Skating Festival in North Korea.
Mark began skating after seeing champion figure skaters Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, who are from Nottingham, compete at the 1994 Olympics.
“I was relatively old when I started skating - I was nine,” he says.
Injury is a fact of life for professional figure skaters - but Mark is hoping that won’t scupper his and Rosemary’s chances.
He said: “It’s an occupational hazard to have an injury every year.”
Rosemary is part of a line-up of celebrities which also includes singer Chico, Jorgie Porter (who plays Theresa in Hollyoaks) and Laila Morse (Big Mo in East-enders).
On Sunday’s show - which attracted more than nine million viewers - Jorgie Porter and Matt Evers received a top score of 18.5 while Blue Peter presenter Andy Akinwolere and dance partner Maria Filippov were voted off.
Dancing on Ice is on ITV1 on Sunday at 6.30pm For more details on Mark, visit http://chitwood-hanretty.ice-dance.com or follow him on Twitter: @Mark_Hanretty.