DANCING on Ice’s future on air is hanging by a thread after yet another celebrity was forced to pull out of the contest.
Actor and singer Jason Donovan, 52, became the latest casualty of the ITV show, after telling bosses he was in too much pain due a back injury to take part in Sunday’s show.
The Aussie is automatically given a bye into the next round, but will be forced to quit for good if he cannot get fit by next week.
If he quits it will mean that five famous faces have withdrawn this series alone, with no more back-ups available to call upon.
To make matters worse for beleaguered producers on the skating show, at least two other stars are nursing injuries.
Rapper Lady Leshurr, 32, has complained about pain in her leg, while Rebekah Vardy, 38, has a groin strain.
A source said: “It’s already a stretch making a two-hour episode of a TV show in a pandemic with a full cast.
“But if any more pull out they will struggle to fill the slot. They’re already panicking about numbers because the celebrities are dropping like flies.
“If Jason pulls out for good and there’s another injury, they could be forced off air.
“He couldn’t even rehearse on Saturday so he’s not looking good. It’ll take a few days before they know how bad it is.”
In tonight’s show bosses had to rely on a pre-recorded performance by Covid rule-breaker Rita Ora to help fill the gaps left by Neighbours actor Jason’s absence.
Professional Yebin Mok and Mark Hanretty also skated a routine to help pad out the show.
The latest withdrawal comes after show favourite Joe-Warren Plant and partner Vanessa Bauer were forced to quit on Friday after they both tested positive for coronavirus.
Before that, West End star Denise Van Outen had to withdraw due to a broken shoulder, Towie’s Billie Shepherd quit after a heavy fall on the ice, and Rufus Hound was booted after also testing positive for coronavirus for a second time.
Coronation Street actress Faye Brookes, 33, is now the bookies favourite to triumph.
Capital Radio DJ Sonny Jay and latecomer Amy Tinkler, who replaced Denise, are the next most fancied.
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