Torvill and Dean: who are ice skaters, what was Bolero dance, are they married, and when is DNA Journey on TV?

Fans have often wondered if the duo, who have skated together since the 1970s, are a couple

Dancing on Ice judges Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean appear on ITV ancestry show DNA Journey.Dancing on Ice judges Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean appear on ITV ancestry show DNA Journey.
Dancing on Ice judges Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean appear on ITV ancestry show DNA Journey.

Dancing on Ice judges Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean are the latest famous faces to discover where their families come from in ITV ancestry show, DNA Journey.

But, just who are Torvill and Dean, when did they perform their iconic Boléro skating routine and are they married or related?

Here’s what you need to know.

Who are Torvill and Dean?

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean are ice skating dancers and former British, European, Olympic, and World champions.

The pair, who grew up in Nottingham, began ice skating when they were children.

They were paired together in 1975 by their coach Janet Sawbridge, and five years later Torvill gave up her job as an insurance clerk and Dean gave up his job as a police officer so they could skate together full time.

They went on to win the 1984 World Championships together and become professional skaters shortly after.

Ten years later, in 1994, they regained amateur status briefly to compete in the Olympics once again.

The pair retired from competitive skating in 1998.

Since 2006, they have been coaches, choreographers, judges and performers in ITV’s Dancing on Ice and its Australian version Torvill and Dean’s Dancing on Ice.

Why are Torvill and Dean famous?

Torvill and Dean are known for being the highest-scoring figure skaters of all time for a single programme at the Sarajevo 1984 Winter Olympics.

The duo performed to Maurice Ravel’s Boléro and received 12 perfect 6.0s and six 5.9s, which included artistic impression scores of 6.0 from every judge.

The performance was watched by more than 24 million people on British television and was one of the most-watched television events in the UK.

A biopic about their lives and skating careers, called Torvill and Dean, was released on Christmas Day in 2018.

Are Torvill and Dean a couple?

Fans often wonder if Torvill and Dean are married or related in some way, but in fact they are just friends.

Torvill married husband Phil Christensen in 1990, while Dean has been in a long-term relationship with Dancing on Ice head coach and former judge Karen Barber since 2011.

Torvill did, however, admit in a 2018 interview with Radio Times that the pair did once share a kiss.

She said: “We did actually kiss once – before we were a skating couple. We were in the back of the bus going to a league match, and it just happened.

“It was a one-off. We never talked about it afterwards. We laugh about it now.

“People say that we act like an old married couple, so I’m sure we could have ended up together, but during that period when you start dating, we were absorbed in our skating.

“We were married to that rather than to each other. Although people still think we’re a couple.

“They’ll see me and my husband Phil and call him Chris and he’ll answer to Chris so he doesn’t embarrass them.”

How old are Torvill and Dean?

Torvill, born 7 October 1957, is now 64 years old while Dean, born 27 July 1958 is 63 years old.

What is DNA Journey, and what do the pair discover?

DNA Journey is an ITV show which invites famous faces to uncover their family history using DNA and genealogy.

It is now in its second series, and Torvill and Dean’s episode is due to air on ITV on 26 April between 9pm and 10pm.

Viewers will see Torvill find out that on her maternal side she has a relative called Charlie Bicknell.

He was a skipper who led football team West Ham to their first ever major trophy, the War Cup - which was the equivalent of the FA Cup -  in 1940.

Dean also discovers living relatives on his mother’s side that he never knew existed.

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