Dancing On Ice audiences have praised Stephen Mulhern for his debut as Phillip Schofield’s successor.
The TV personality will co-host this season with Holly Willoughby, 42, as she returns to the spotlight after a months-long absence.
Stephen, 46, was already a big fave among television viewers and didn’t have to work much to win them over.
However, his debut show was a huge success, with Dancing On Ice viewers calling him a ‘great improvement’.
The In For A Penny presenter has also received appreciation for the ‘energy’ he adds to the skating competition.
Taking to X to praise Stephen’s presenting abilities, user CoreyEES stated that Holly seemed to be ‘thriving’ alongside her new companion.
‘I feel like she’s able to have fun with Stephen and they just work together,’ they added.
Stephen is ‘a great improvement’, according to WhoPotterVian, while AhmetGocer2 hails him as ‘a natural’.
BeardyCrafts stated, “In the first few minutes, Stephen Mulhern brought much better energy than Schofield ever did.”
MattZeeMiller said, “Actually finding Stephen far better on #DancingOnIce than Schofield was!” Mulhern handles entertaining hosting better!
Stephen cracked quips throughout his inaugural programme, leaving co-presenter Holly in stitches.
Keeping the tone light, the former children’s TV personality pretended to be injured as boxing champion and 2023 competitor Ricky Hatton ‘punched’ him, causing him to collapse to the floor.
He also made jokes about the ‘S’ in S Club (referring to Hannah Spearritt’s casting) standing for his own name, and pretended to sip a gloomy smoothie when Josie Gibson from I’m A Celeb emerged to introduce the competition.
Stephen had previously been on Dancing On Ice, filling in for Phillip, 61, when the former This Morning host became ill with Covid-19 and had to isolate.
He is now a permanent fixture, however, following Phillip’s departure from ITV this spring, when he acknowledged to lying about a romance with a much younger male runner on the daytime programme that occurred while he was married and before to coming out as homosexual.
Phillip has kept a quiet profile since leaving the spotlight, recently declaring that he does not plan to work on television again.
Meanwhile, Holly has had a tumultuous few months.
Until this weekend, the beloved actor had not been on television since leaving This Morning in October after 14 years on the show.
When Holly returned to Dancing On Ice, she dismissed the reasons for her absence.
Holly introduced her new co-host to the crowd and urged DOI supporters to give him a ‘big welcome.’
She said: ‘To the greatest show on ice, and let’s hear it for the amazing cast of 2024. Let me just say a huge welcome to Stephen Mulhern.’
Ready to go, Stephen declared: ‘I’m ready, are you ready?’
The inaugural episode featured Coronation Street’s Ryan Thomas and Love Island‘s Amber Davies on the ice with experienced partners.
Unfortunately, while Ryan topped the list, ex-boxer Ricky finished last and will compete in the skate-off next weekend following the second round of celebrity performances.
Dancing On Ice continues Sunday on ITV1 and ITVX.