A drama about British ice skating legends Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean has revealed their early years “love story” in which they kissed.
Torvill And Dean coveris their early years when they started skating together in Nottingham in the 1970s.
It explains that the kiss happened in 1975, when Dead was aged 16 and Torvil was 17 – but it never blossomed into a relationship.
It is informed by the duo’s real live experiences; screenwriter William Ivory (who also wrote Made in Dagenham and Common as Muck), interviewed them for hours, to help him create the show.
It stars Game of Thrones actor Will Tudor as Christopher Dean, and Poppy Lee Friar, known for playing Missy Booth in Ackley Bridge as Jayne Torvill.
Torvill and Dean rose to international fame when they won gold at the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo in 1984. Their famous Bolero routine earned them a never-before-seen perfect score for artistic impression.
Will Tudor and Poppy Lee Friar star as a the skating couple
How did the pair meet?
Torvill and Dean started skating together as teenagers. They were introduced after Torvill had been skating for nine years and Dean for six. Both had won British junior pairs championships before, but were in need of a new partner.
As luck would have it, they both came from the Nottinghamshire.
Jaime Winstone, who appeared in Made in Dagenham, plays Janet Sawbridge in the new film, the ice dancing instructor who paired the future champions together for the first time.
Torvill & Dean’s winning ‘Bolero’ routine at the Sarajevo Winter Olympics
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Were Torvill and Dean a couple?
The sensuality of the famous Bolero routine led many to speculate about the pair’s off-rink relationship. However, they have said their relationship was always strictly professional.
In a 2013 interview on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, they finally revealed that they did “dabble” in romance when they were teenagers.
Their kiss happened in 1975, when aged 16 (Dean) and 17 (Torvill), but they never had a relationship.
There have long been rumours of romance between the pair but they have denied it
“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,” Torvill told the Radio Times.
The new film will reflect this intense but platonic relationship.
“Jayne and Chris fell in love many years ago,” said Ivory. “But they never became an ‘item’.”
The duo made an effort to keep their relationship professional.
“I remember somebody saying to me, ‘If you’re dating your skating partner and the relationship breaks down, you won’t have your skating partner,’” Torvill said.
Despite this, they have always been very close throughout their 40-year career together. Even after retiring in 1998, they stayed in touch with regular phone calls, and have worked together on Dancing on Ice since 2006.
“Quite simply Chris knows me better than anyone else.” Torvill has said of their relationship.
This picture in 1986 shows the couple at the height of their powers
Torvill and Dean’s other relationships
Both skaters have their own families and separate lives.
Torvill was married to a sound engineer from the US for over 25 years. The couple have two adopted children together, Kieran, 16, and Jessica, 12.
Dean has been married twice, first to French-Canadian skater Isabel Duchesnay between 1991 and 1993, and then to American skater Jill Trenary.
Jayne Torvill and husband Phil Christensen
(Image: Victor Crawshaw/Daily Mirror)
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He and Trenary have two sons, Jack, 20, and Sam, 18, but their 16-year marriage ended in 2010. He now lives in Colorado Springs with Dancing on Ice judge Karen Barber.
Dean has admitted that his relationship with Torvill affected his romantic life, revealing that Duchesnay used to say “there were three people in our marriage.”
Meanwhile, Torvill told the Mirror that her husband “has been called Chris quite a few times. He looks nothing like Chris. He often just goes with it rather than correct them.”
Christopher Dean and partner Karen Barber
(Image: Manchester Evening News)
What will we see in ITV’s Torvill and Dean?
The two-hour special focuses on the pair’s humble beginnings and family life in Nottingham, which is also the hometown of screenwriter, Ivory.
Audiences have been promised that it will show how Chris channelled his anger into skating following his parents’ break-up, and how Jayne used the sport to explore her passionate nature, despite being outwardly reserved.
Dean Andrews, known for playing DS Ray Carling in the BBC’s Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes, plays Chris’s dad, Colin Dean. Christine Bottomley, from TV shows Fearless and In The Club, plays his mother, Mavis.
Susan Earl, from Reggie Perrin, plays his step-mother, Betty.
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DCI Banks star Stephen Tompkinson and Jo Hartley will play Jayne’s parents, George and Betty.
According to ITV, the show will also explore the pair’s clashes, as they worked towards breaking boundaries in ice dance, and their “private, intense relationship”.
Anita Dobson is set to make an appearance, as Miss Perry, Jayne’s first skating coach at the Nottingham Ice Stadium.
Where are Torvill and Dean now?
After a four-year hiatus, Dancing on Ice returned in 2017, and a new series is anticipated early next year, with confirmed celebs including TOWIE’s Gemma Collins, EastEnders star Richard Blackwood and Westlife singer Brian McFadden.
However, Torvill and Dean now take on the role of judges, rather than mentors.
Though the pair don’t perform on the live shows any more, it doesn’t mean they have permanently hung up their skates.
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Chris, 60, told the Mirror: “I can still skate, paracetamol helps. I’m pretty reckless – I’ll deal with it later.”
Jayne, 61, said: “I don’t think I have arthritis yet but we have skated well into our 50s, which is unusual for any athlete.”
Torvill and Dean airs on ITV at 9.15pm on Christmas Day.
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