Jason Gardiner CONFIRMS he's quitting the Dancing On Ice judging panel

Controversial choreographer bows out amid rumours he was facing the axe

Jason Gardiner (Dancing On Ice 2019)

Jason Gardiner has CONFIRMED that he's leaving Dancing On Ice following speculation over his future as a judge.

Jason has appeared on all but one series of the ITV skating contest, with Louie Spence replacing him in 2012.

He was the only original judge invited back when the show was revived last year after a lengthy break.

However, if the next batch of contestants were fearing criticism from the acid-tongued Aussie, it seems they can breathe a sigh of relief.

Speaking in a video posted on Instagram yesterday, Jason confirmed he is not remaining on the Ice Panel for series twelve.

"I know there’s been a lot of speculation about me and the upcoming series of Dancing On Ice, and I wanted to set the record straight," he explained.

"After all these years, I feel it’s time for me to say goodbye to my judging role. Instead, I’d like to return to things that I’ve kind of put on the back burner for a while.

"To all of my DOI fans, I really thank you for all your support and encouragement over the years. I really am so grateful that you got my unique judging style and honesty."

Jason said he "absolutely loved" sitting alongside fellow judges Jayne Torvill, Christopher Dean and Ashley Banjo.

He also praised hosts Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield, and the professional dancers and coaches - "including Karen Barber", with whom he once had a bitter feud.

The 47-year-old added that he will now debut his one-man show at London's Zedel venue in January and February.

Jason's announcement came amid claims that he was facing the axe from Dancing On Ice over his infamously controversial criticisms.

According to The Sun, ITV feared celebs would complain about him being too harsh in the wake of the reality TV duty of care scandal.

Gemma Collins, who clashed with the choreographer live on air during this year's run, welcomed the story.

"Would we miss him this year? Hell no," she exclaimed. "You can criticise someone, but you don’t have to get personal."

It is currently unclear whether bosses are seeking a new judge to fill Jason's spot.

Dancing On Ice will return to ITV in early 2020.

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