Jayne Torvill has said it will be “strange” that she will not be able to hug Christopher Dean during filming for Dancing On Ice.
The former Olympic ice dancing champions will have to social distance during filming for the ITV show, however they have pre-recorded some routines which will be aired during the programme.
The series begins on ITV on Sunday and features celebrities including Graham Bell, Rufus Hound, Myleene Klass, Jason Donovan and Denise Van Outen.
Torvill said: “It will be strange because after we’d done our pre-records just before Christmas, we then went to our separate houses to spend Christmas and so on, so I haven’t actually met up with Chris again.”
She added it will be “strange that I can’t give him a hug”.
Dean said filming would be a “surreal” experience.
“We have to have our two metre separation or at least a screen separating us and we have to talk through masks when we are off camera,” he said.
“So for us, like everybody else, it is completely different, but also surreal that I can’t touch Jayne and dance with her and skate with her.”
He also discussed Van Outen’s preparations for the series.
“Denise has done everything in showbusiness and she’s such an amazing, talented entertainer, but you strap some blades to your feet, put yourself on slippy stuff and it is a whole new ball game,” he said.
Contestants have to “learn those basics of skating”, he said, adding: “Denise found that challenging because she wants to do everything she can do on the stage or on the ballroom and yet bring it to the ice and again, it’s just another challenge.”
The programme’s co-host Holly Willoughby said it had been a huge effort to prepare to broadcast the show this year.
“It’s a massive production and in normal years it’s quite a feat getting this show to air,” she said.
“So you can imagine this year more than ever, it’s come with challenges and one that the team have seen off at every point and they have done it and it is quite remarkable, actually.
“I think we are all always proud of our team, but this year more than ever.”
Former Olympic skier Bell will not be competing in this weekend’s show after his skating partner Yebin Mok was injured in training.
Her leg was lacerated from a stab wound caused by an ice blade which meant she needed immediate medical attention.
Mok will still be recovering this weekend while Bell, 55, will skate alone in a group number.
Dancing On Ice airs at 6pm on Sunday on ITV.