Karen Barber set to return to Dancing On Ice alongside Jason Gardiner

Karen Barber and Jason Gardiner

Karen Barber is set to return to Dancing On Ice in 2019 in the role of Head Coach.

The Olympic skater was a judge on the show during its original run between 2006 and 2011. Karen then moved to a coaching position before returning to the judging panel for the then final series in 2014.

Karen wasn't a part of the original Dancing On Ice revival earlier this year but is reportedly set to join the team again in 2019.

For the new 2018 series, former coaches Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean were promoted from choreographers to head judges, appearing alongside returning favourite judge Jason Gardiner.

They were joined by new Dancing On Ice judge Ashley Banjo, the frontman of Britain’s Got Talent-winning dance troupe Diversity.

Karen told The Sun newspaper: "It’s a joy to return."

It means Karen will be back on TV alongside 'rival' Jason. The pair clashed repeatedly during previous series, with one heated row in 2011 prompting 3,000 complaints to TV watchdog Ofcom.

A source said: "There is no love lost between the two of them, and there’s bound to be fireworks."

Meanwhile, Ashley Banjo has said he hopes to be back on the panel.

He told the Daily Star earlier this year: “The producers unofficially said ‘the team will remain the same for next year’s series.

“But one thing I’ve learned in this business is that you should never take anything for granted unless you are there doing it. I’ve realised how fragile things are.

“I’m hoping to be back. I’ve got my fingers crossed.

“The thing is, I wasn’t sure how I’d fit in, but I ended up loving it and then 10 weeks flew by.”

Dancing On Ice airs in January on ITV.

The last series was won by singer and reality star Jake Quickenden, who beat soap actress Brooke Vincent in the final.

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