Dancing On Ice's Rebekah Vardy on her hidden fun side and surviving the show amid Wagatha Christie legal battle

AFTER a year from hell, Rebekah Vardy is finally ready to party.

The Dancing On Ice star — currently involved in the Wagatha Christie legal wrangle — recently said she had developed a tough “resting bitch face” over the years to show that no one can hurt her.

But now the 38-year-old is delighted viewers of the skating show will finally get to see the fun side of “the real Becky”.

The mum-of-five said: “The ­perception of me is totally different to who I really am.

"Most people realise that within five or ten minutes of meeting me.”

And Rebekah credits the ITV show with helping to raise her spirits.

She says: “I’ve turned a corner — I’m finally happy in me.

“I don’t just put that down to ­skating. I put that down to letting go of what was and looking to what is.”

Ice Bitz

THE couples will be turning up the heat tonight with romantic Valentine’s Day routines. Corrie’s Faye Brookes, 33, will dance to Bruno Mars hit Marry You with pro Hamish Gaman, 37. While Eighties star Jason Donovan, 52, will be moving to Elvis classic Burning Love. Though Capital Radio’s Sonny Jay, 27, is performing to viral hit sea shanty Wellerman with Angela Egan.

It comes amid the infamous Wagatha Christie legal case, which saw her and Wayne Rooney’s wife Coleen, 34, have a row in 2019 and which looks set to culminate in the High Court later this year.

For now, though, she is focused on performing with her Canadian skating partner, pro Andy Buchanan.

Rebekah said: “Skating has helped me refocus over this past year and look to the future positively.

"It’s an escape from reality.

“It’s something JUST for me, and I’ve not done anything for me for a very long time.

“I feel confident and happy. It’s part of learning to live in the present and look to the future.

‘Flings bound to happen’

ROMANCES between celebs and their skating partners on Dancing On Ice are “bound to happen”, according to star Matt Evers.

The 44-year-old pro skater, who joined the cast in 2006, says pairings “bond” during months of rehearsals, which can develop into a relationship.

Speaking exclusively to The Sun on Sunday, Matt said: “It’s natural for people to hook up on the show.

“There’s a bond between them. You experience some-thing wonderful together. The learning process can be difficult. You spend four to five months together so it’s bound to happen.

“I want to know who the couples will be this year. You read the chemistry on the ice like the viewers.”

It comes after several couples have gone the distance since meeting on the show, including ex-footballer Kevin Kilbane and Brianne Delcourt, who gave birth to their daughter earlier this month, Corrie actress Samia Ghadie and Sylvain Longchambon, and ex-England goalkeeper David Seaman and Frankie Poultney.

Matt, who is out of the competition following partner Denise Van Outen’s shoulder injury, will continue to take part in group routines.

He backs actress Faye Brookes to win the series, adding: “It would be great if a woman won it this year and Faye certainly has the talent to go the distance, she’s amazing.”

“I love not having to look at my phone for a few hours when I’m on the ice and completely switch off. It’s really refreshing.”

Dancing On Ice has left a trail of heartbroken romances in its wake after some contestants grew close to their pro partners.

Love Island couples Maura Higgins and Curtis Pritchard, and Wes Nelson and Megan Barton Hanson, have split up In recent years due to the show’s so-called curse.

But Rebekah is not remotely concerned about her hubby, Leicester City striker Jamie, 34, seeing her in the arms of another man.

She says: “Jamie isn’t worried, our relationship is so strong.

“He doesn’t feel uncomfortable watching us cdance together.

"He’s not like that he’s so supportive.”

Jamie and Rebekah, who married in 2016, have had three children together, Sofia, six, Finlay, three, and one-year-old Olivia.

Rebekah is also mum to Megan, 15, and son Taylor, ten, from a previous relationship — and she has no plans to add to her brood.

She says: “There’s absolutely no way we’ll have more kids. I’m done. I feel panicked at the thought of another Finlay!”

Unlike fellow contestants Billie Faiers and Denise Van Outen, who have both had to quit after horror falls, Rebekah has avoided serious injury.

She says: “Jamie’s been so ­supportive, but he begs me, ‘Please don’t hurt yourself’.

"The amount of contestant injuries is a harsh reminder of how ­dangerous the show is. You have to stay focused and ­listen to the instructions properly.

“The minute you switch off is when accidents happen, especially when you’re balancing on a blade the size as a kitchen knife.

“I’ve already sliced Andy’s face open. I didn’t even want to skate the next day.”

In tonight’s show Rebekah will take on the daunting “headbanger” move, which involves Andy spinning her round by her ankles.

While ­contestants including Jorgie Porter and Beth Tweddle have completed it in the past, pro skater Pam O’Connor needed stitches in her chin after being dropped by ex-England ­goalkeeper David Seaman.

Rebekah, who survived the jungle on I’m A Celebrity in 2017, admits: “It’s petrifying, but I’m an adrenaline junkie and I trust Andy completely.

“I know he would never let ­anything bad happen to me. It’s given me a vote of confidence to be able to do those things.

Ice Bitz

FAYE Brookes’ chances of winning were bolstered after Emmerdale’s Joe-Warren Plant, 18, was forced to quit the competition after testing positive for Covid-19. Faye is now the favourite with odds of 4/7.

Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: “Joe-Warren’s exit has only strengthened Faye’s odds of going all the way this year. It’ll take something pretty spectacular at this point to stop her winning.”

“I have to practise with a helmet, everything we’re doing on the show is dangerous. I was buzzing after practising. It’s just so much fun.

After pirouetting and spinning for three months, Becky has noticed the weight drop off.

She said: “My body has changed. Andy says I need to stop losing weight, but I’m not doing it on purpose. He’s like a big brother looking out for me.

“I’ve never weighed myself. All I know is that I feel really good. I’m in the best shape of my life.

“The costume department tell me off because I keep losing weight and they have to take in my outfits.

“They’d say I was the most easy-going person to work with. I’m not demanding and I’ll go with whatever they think is best.”

Ice Bitz

SHOW bosses have ramped up hygiene practices after two celebrities were forced to pull out due to Covid-19.

Cast and crew have been asked to wash hands more frequently and wear masks even when in outdoor parts of the set in Bovingdon, Herts.

A source said: “Any more cases of the virus could spell disaster. Everyone has been given a stern talking to and reminded how to control the virus.”

Andy, who has previously been partnered with Anthea Turner on the show, has noticed a big change in Rebekah’s demeanour.

He said: “She’s been the hardest- working partner I’ve had on the show. Becky treats people with a lot of respect.

"Her confidence has been built up. She’s just open to everybody now, whereas she was guarded and careful when we started.”

Comedian Rufus Hound, 41, and Joe Warren-Plant, 18, have both had to leave the show after testing positive for coronavirus.

Because of the Covid-safe set, it has been difficult for Rebekah to spend time with the other contestants, but she says there is still a spirit of camaraderie.

She reveals: “On the first show day I got good luck cards sent round to dressing rooms. It’s nice to wish everyone good luck.

“At the end of the day we’re all in a competition, but it’s a very friendly one.”

Takin on terror headbanger

REBEKAH is spun round in circles by her leg practising the headbanger.

The terrifying move, where the skater is lowered and raised until their head is perilously close to the ice, caused Myleene Klass to black out this series.

In the picture Rebekah is wearing a crash helmet but on tonight’s show she will go without. To manoeuvre into the headbanger, pro skater Andy Buchanan, 43, said: “Becky stands on one foot and has to keep her balance. She’s fearless.”

For Love Week tonight the pair will skate to I’ll Be There For You, by The Rembrandts, in homage to Ross and Rachel from TV’s Friends. A source said: “Rebekah’s never watched it, she had to swot up.”

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