Holly Willoughby sparks concern moments into Dancing on Ice return as fans spot distracting voice feature

Holly Willoughby sparks concern moments into Dancing on Ice return as fans spot distracting voice feature

WATCH NOW: Holly Willoughby and Stephen Mulhern kick off Dancing on Ice

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 14/01/2024

- 19:06

Updated: 15/01/2024

- 10:41

The 2024 series of ITV's skating contest kicked off on Sunday

Holly Willoughby raised the eyebrows of several ITV viewers just moments into Sunday's Dancing on Ice 2024 premiere.

The latest instalment of the ice skating competition was always going to shine the spotlight on Willoughby as it marks the first series she's fronted the show without Phillip Schofield.

This time around, Willoughby is presenting the show with Stephen Mulhern and the pair were all smiles as they welcomed this year's 12 celebrities to the rink for the first time.

"We are off," Willoughby announced as she and Mulhern approached the ice after the pro skaters' opening number. "Welcome to the greatest show on ice and let's hear it for our amazing cast of 2024... they are looking good!

"And also can we say a huge welcome to Stephen Mulhern!" Willoughby yelled as the crowd roared and Mulhern replied: "Thank you! This is it! This is an absolute joy, a dream to be back with you Hol.

"I tell you what... I'm ready, are you ready?!" Mulhern added as the crowd applauded, although it seems many ITV viewers were slightly more distracted by Willoughby's "croaky" sound.

Stephen Mulhern and Holly Willoughby

Stephen Mulhern and Holly Willoughby kick off Dancing on Ice 2024


Taking to X, formerly Twitter, one concerned fan spotted the tone of the former This Morning host's voice as they remarked: "She just needs a Halls Soothers to sort her croaky voice #Dancingonice."

Others were slightly more blunt with their thoughts on Willoughby's voice, including a second who said: "Holly’s haggard voice!? #DancingOnIce."

"#DancingOnIce Holly sounds a bit rough," a third fan added while a fourth concerned viewer asked: "Has Holly got a cold #DancingOnIce."

"HER VOICE #dancingonice," a fifth simply weighed in as they too had become distracted by the sound coming from the Dancing on Ice host.

Holly Willoughby and Stephen Mulhern

Holly Willoughby and Stephen Mulhern were announced as this year's presenters back in December


As the show moved on and Olympian Greg Rutherford kicked off the show, Willoughby seemingly managed to ditch the croakiness that had plagued her opening speech.

And her comeback was welcomed by a number of other viewers who ignored her tones to applaud her for making a return to screens just three months after she quit This Morning following the foiling of a murder and kidnap plot against her.

Praising the 42-year-old, one person penned on X: "Stepping back has certainly done Holly the world of good. She looks absolutely stunning and her hair is beautiful. #DancingOnIce."

And another was similarly full of praise: "Lovely to see #Holly back on TV #DancingOnIce."

Meanwhile, former Dancing on Ice champion Alex Murphy told GB News she fully expected the spotlight to be back on Willoughby rather than the skating celebs prior to Sunday's show.

"She's almost ripping the band-aid off where she's saying, 'I'm going back, this is my spot, I deserve this spot'," Murphy said. "We can't take away the fact that she's a brilliant presenter, we should recognise that for her and just allow her to do her job.

"I do anticipate she's probably going to get people saying whatever they want to say, but Stephen Mulhern is amazing so maybe they could be a lovely duo. I'd love to see that.

"I do think that the really hard part about the show though (is) the focus is actually on Holly and (Stephen) as opposed to the focus being on the show itself.

"So I hope that it doesn't distract too much from the show and I hope that she can just get on with it and live her life and keep the spot that she deserves to keep."

WATCH NOW: Amber Davies reacts to first Dancing on Ice routine 

On the ice, it was Ryan Thomas who emerged as the leaderboard-topping contestant while Ricky Hatton faces the first dreaded skate-off of the series next week.

However, the scoring from the judges sparked a fiery favouritism row among ITV viewers during Sunday's episode with many feeling Amber Davies was overmarked while Rutherford was underscored.

Thomas topped the table with 26.5 while Davies scored 25 and Rutherford finished in third with 24.5.

Shahidi bagged 20 points, Spearritt achieved 19.5 and Hatton propped up the leaderboard with 12.5.

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