13:51 05 December 2011
ITV has announced that choreographer and television star Louie Spence will replace Jason Gardiner on the judging panel of Dancing on Ice.
Like many other talent programmes, the judging line-up will be revamped to boost ratings, with the Pineapple Dance Studio star and Olympic figure skating champion Katrina Witt joining the team.
In a press release from ITV, Louie said:
"Im looking forward to being part of such a challenging and spectacular show and cant wait to give my encouragement and critique on the contestants dance and performance on the ice."
Louie, who has earned the title of Primo Ballerino, is the current artistic director of Pineapple studios and has choreographed routines for some of the worlds biggest stars, including Kylie Minogue and Mariah Carey.
The extrovert star hopes to add some vibrancy to the 2012 show and will use his wealth of showbiz experience to offer comment on the celebrities' performances.
Katrina Witt, who ruled the figure skating circle for more than a decade, will replace Emma Bunton, who joined the panel in 2009, whilst Christine Bleakley will take over Holly Willoughbys role as presenter of the show.
Gardiner's controversial comments to both contestants and other judges in last years show reportedly spurred ITV bosses to audition Louie for a place on the panel, causing Gardiner to quit the show, as he felt "stitched up".
The new-look show will return to ITV in January.
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