ian h watkins

Dancing On Ice star Ian 'H' Watkins cried when he found out his skating partner was Matt Evers

The partnership is the show's first same-sex couple

Francesca Shillcock

There'll be no January blues for us as the greatest show on ice is back for its twelfth series! Dancing On Ice, which returns on 5 January, will see 12 new celebrity couples take to the rink to impress viewers and judges alike with their newly enhanced skating skills. And taking them through the challenging competition is their professional partners, with whom they will train and perform each week. The partnering of the couples is crucial to ensure that the celebrities can make the most out of their time in the competition, and one for one contestant in particular, it was an emotional experience.

Ian Watkins (AKA H from nineties pop-group Steps) is one half of the ITV show's first ever same-sex partnership along with professional skater and former Dancing On Ice champion, Matt Evers. And the partnership clearly meant a lot to the singer, as he revealed that he cried the moment he found out Matt was his partner.

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matt evers and ian watkins

Ian Watkins with his Dancing On Ice partner Matt Evers during the Christmas special

Speaking to HELLO! and other reporters at the Dancing On Ice launch event, the Steps singer explained: "It's really important to me because it's such a personal thing." He continued: "When I suggested this back in the summer in the number of conversations that were had, I [then] got the green light and I cried because it's so important to me."

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The partnership proved even more special, as the singer, who shares twin sons with his ex-partner Craig Ryder, revealed that he had previously asked the BBC to be put into a same-sex partnership but according to H, they refused. "I did a show seven years ago called Tumble, and I asked the BBC for a same sex partner then and they said 'no, this is not BBC, we don't do this.'"

dancing on ice lineup

Series 12 of Dancing On Ice starts in January 2020

Despite his first request for a same-sex partner being turned down, H from Steps is positive in what the partnership means now. "It shows how far we've come as people in the world," he said. "So do you know what, let's change it up. Let's change the world. And if we are the ones to make a noise about it, let's do it. And then the next time it won't be an issue." Joining H from Steps on the ITV skating competition is former Love Island contestant Maura Higgins, chat-show legend Trisha Goddard and American model and actress Caprice.

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