6 JANUARY 2009 Smiles and sequins at the ready, Melinda Messenger is preparing to do battle for this year's Dancing On Ice title against a field of soap beauties and former EastEnder actor Todd Carty.
Despite the bravura, there was a hint of nerves too among the celebrity line-up. Famously curvaceous presenter Melinda admitted the thought of being flung about in a low-cut outfit was "slightly daunting".
Meanwhile Todd, best known as Mark from Albert Square, admitted: "I'm not a good dancer. I'm a dad dancer".
Among those against whom he'll test his moves are Emmerdale's Roxanne Pallet, Gemma Bissix, who plays gold-digger Clare in EastEnders, and Loose Woman host Coleen Nolan.
The day-time favourite, who lost five stone recently, spoke of how practising had helped tone her up.
"When I started watching Dancing On Ice, I was a size 20, thinking 'God, I could never do that'," she marvelled. "And now here I am, being lifted as a size ten, and it's just amazing."