What did Dancing on Ice stars do before finding fame? From John Barrowman to Pamela Anderson

You won't believe what Gemma Collins used to do...

We’ve seen their spins, lifts, turns and even their terrible tumbles but what did the stars of Dancing On Ice past and present do before they found fame and hit the ice rink? From solicitors and air stewardesses to lap dancers and civil servants, the show’s contestants over the years have had some pretty interesting careers. Here’s what they did before showbusiness and how things could have worked out very differently…. 


John Barrowman 

Current Dancing on Ice judge and former series one contestant, actor John Barrowman started off life in a very different profession. In order to teach him the importance of education, his father arranged a job for him shovelling coal at a local power company. The star revealed he said: "If you want to do manual labour for the rest of your life you'll know that when you do it; it's a choice. But if you don't like it, you'll understand the importance of educating yourself and – if you decide what you want to do – being good at your craft or your skill." The actor knuckled down to his acting and the rest is history!


Pamela Anderson

Baywatch star Pamela Anderson appeared in Series 8 of Dancing On Ice, and was the first celebrity to be eliminated. It could have all been a very different story though; before finding fame thanks to a certain red swimsuit, the actress worked as a fitness instructor in Vancouver and was a volleyball enthusiast.  


Gemma Collins 

Gemma rose to fame on The Only Way Is Essex but did you know that this Series 11 contestant was a used car salesperson before she was famous? No wonder she’s renowned for having the gift of the gab. 


Kerry Katona

As well as being a contestant on Series 6 of Dancing On Ice, Kerry Katona was famously a member of Atomic Kitten. But, as a teen, she had a different set of moves and worked as a lap dancer after leaving school, aged 16. “I only did it for three weeks - I quit when the Kittens took off - but I could make up to £500 a night,” she revealed.  


Kyran Bracken 

Series 2’s Dancing On Ice champion Kyran Bracken made a career out of winning on the rugby pitch – but it could so easily have been in the court room. The sportsman read Law at Bristol and qualified as a solicitor before turning to rugby full-time.  

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Joe Pasquale 

Joe Pasquale: comedian, actor, Series 8 Dancing On Ice contestant and civil servant?! Yes, it’s true. The star worked for the Civil Service in the Department of Transport before getting jobs in a meat market, on a building site and as a welder at the Ford car factory in Dagenham. None of those suited him so he turned to showbusiness instead.


Kelly Holmes 

Despite showing early athletic promise, series 1 contestant Kelly Holmes turned her back on sport to join the Army, aged 18. Her ability was obvious though and she became the British Army Judo champion and competed in the men's 1500 metres at the Army Championships, because it was thought that if she ran in the women's event would be embarrassing for the other competitors. After watching the 1992 Olympics, Kelly changed her mind and started training to compete herself. 


Ulrika Jonsson

Series 2 star Ulrika Jonsson didn’t last long on the show but her career has certainly had longevity. The TV presenter started off as a secretary before finding fame as a TV weather girl on Good Morning Britain. 


Linda Lusardi

Linda Lusardi showed off her spins and jumps in Series 3 of Dancing On Ice but that was nothing compared to what she’d showed off previously. The TV presenter first came to our attention as a Page 3 model at the age of 18. In fact, in 2005, she was voted the Best Page 3 Girl Ever by The Sun.  


Jeremy Edwards

Hollyoaks star and Series 4 contestant Jeremy Edwards started off life on a very different trajectory. The actor has a degree in politics and public administration and got a job as a merchant banker. “I walked out within a month. I couldn't stand the snobbery, the wine bars, the suits and the Tube in the morning,” he told The Independent. 

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Melinda Messenger 

Melinda Messenger was famous as a glamour model before she took part in Series 4 of Dancing On Ice. But, way back before then, she spent six months working as a flight attendant for Britannia Airways and managed a staff of 50 at a marketing company. 


Tana Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay’s wife and Series 5 contestant Tana Ramsay started life far away from the ice rink and even the kitchen. She trained as a Montessori teacher until she met the chef, aged 18. 



Lemar has many strings to his bow; as well as being a singer and having a decent run on Series 10, he also turned down the opportunity to study pharmacy at Cardiff University in his teens because he wanted to focus on his music. 


Trisha Goddard

TV presenter and Series 12’s first casualty, Trisha Goddard, worked as an air stewardess for Gulf Air in her mid-20s. The star even revealed her one cardinal rule for the airways: never date a passenger. 


Zoe Salmon

Dancing On Ice Series 4 star Zoe Salmon had a very exciting (and busy) early life. As well as being 1999’s Miss Northern Ireland, the former Blue Peter presenter managed to squeeze in a degree in Law from the University of Belfast and qualify as a solicitor.   

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