Looking through my old cuttings, it was strange to see that nearly 20 years ago I was interviewing Jayne Torvill about her ‘retirement’ from ice skating.
Funny how things have turned out – she and her partner are still very much in demand and are just ending a nine-series run of Dancing on Ice. We’ll never let them retire.
In 1995, she was on a ‘farewell’ tour with Christopher Dean and was looking forward to swapping a glittering career on the ice for ‘putting her feet up and defrosting the fridge just like everyone else’.
The national treasures are best known for their sensuous skating to Ravel’s Bolero, which earned a gold medal and nine perfect sixes for artistic impression at the Sarajevo Winter Olympics in 1984.
A decade later, their gruelling tour, called Face the Music, was going everywhere from Belfast to Birmingham, and Bolero was always a must on the programme.
The other routines which were equally loved by fans were Mack and Mabel and Let’s Face the Music, the latter only getting them a bronze at their third games in Lillehammer.
Audiences were still cross about that, and on the tour showed their loyalty by holding up cards with ‘6’ on them or shouting out: “You were robbed”. This more than compensated, said Jayne, but admitted she was puzzled as they skated really well and couldn’t have done any better.
The pair had just featured in a documentary which attracted the biggest audience for the BBC’s Omnibus series at the time. Jayne wasn’t happy that so much emphasis was placed on a scene where she was in tears at her partner’s taunts during a difficult rehearsal. It was only one day, but it looked like it happened all the time, she said. They had a lot of work to do, were tense and having the cameras there made it worse.
These days, she probably wouldn’t bat an eyelid to what she described as a ‘false interpretation’ as we are saturated with slanted reality TV, where the cameras always seek out the down side, particularly confrontation.
Wouldn’t it be nice if Baroosh’s retirement from Uxbridge was also temporary? Maybe the popular wine bar is on a farewell tour right now, like Torvill and Dean, and will soon skate back into our lives bearing a chilled Pino and a smoked salmon wrap.
I’d give ’em a six .