Dancing On Ice has paid tribute to the late Canadian skater Sean Rice following his death aged 49.
The professional star took part in the annual series in 2011 and 2012 and was partnered with presenter Angela Rippon and former ski racer Chemmy Alcott.
The show’s official Twitter account shared a statement on Monday afternoon, which said: ‘We are all deeply saddened to hear the news of Sean Rice’s passing.
‘Sean was a wonderful skater and friend to many on the Dancing On Ice team. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.’
Fellow skaters Matt Evers and Frankie Poultney also took to social media to share the tragic news.
‘Pro skaters are heartbroken today, we lost a true larger than life great – an epic skater, a husband, father, and my friend of 20 years,’ Frankie tweeted.
This comes after fans slammed the show for not mentioning Rice’s death in Sunday’s highly-anticipated first episode.
‘I expected a mention from @dancingonice@ITV to mark the passing of Sean on tonight’s show,’ one frustrated fan wrote, while another said the lack of a tribute was ‘disrespectful’.
A Twitter user said it was ‘slightly disappointing they couldn’t fit in even a quick nod to former pro Sean who sadly died this week,’ while yet another wrote they were ‘very sad and shocked that there was no tribute or even a mention about the death of Sean’.
Rice had competed in the World Championships with his wife, and fellow professional skater, Jodeyne Higgins, who he shares daughter Signey with.
A GoFundMe fundraiser page was set up on Saturday in the late star’s honour to make sure his wife and daughter are looked after.
His cause of death has not been revealed.
Dancing On Ice returns on Sunday at 6:30pm on ITV
Credit: Original article published here.