Dancing on Ice’s Colin Grafton excited to make ‘skating history’ with ‘incredible’ partner The Vivienne

Dancing on Ice professional Colin Grafton (left) with season 15 partner The Vivienne (centre)

The Vivienne will make Dancing on Ice history on Sunday (15 January) when she takes to the ice alongside professional partner Colin Grafton as the ITV show’s first drag queen contestant.

The drag superstar is aiming for a second major reality competition win after snatching the crown on RuPaul’s Drag Race season one in 2019, and partner Colin, 31, will have high hopes for the series after being paired with a celebrity for the first time.

Dancing on Ice returns to British TV screens at 6.30pm on ITV on Sunday 15 January. Here’s everything you need to know about The Vivienne’s professional partner Colin Grafton…

Who is Dancing on Ice professional skater Colin Grafton?

Grafton is an American professional figure skater who previously represented Team USA in pair skating.

Born in 1991 in Providence, Rhode Island, Grafton began skating in childhood. He won bronze at the 2012 US Figure Skating Championships and finished eighth at the 2012 Junior World Championship with his skating partner Kylie Duarte. The pair amicably ended their professional partnership in October 2012.

Grafton spent several years touring the world dancing in professional ice-skating shows, before joining Dancing on Ice for season 14 in 2022 as part of a trio of new pro dancers that included Morgan Swales and Tippy Packard.

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Grafton didn’t receive a celebrity partner during his first season on the show, instead dancing alongside his fellow pro dancers in the group numbers.

The skater has been full of praise for The Vivienne since the celebrity pairing was announced last year, writing on Instagram ahead of the show’s premiere that she was “excited to be making some skating history” with an “incredible partner”.

The Vivienne is the first drag queen to compete on Dancing on Ice

The Vivienne, who wed her partner David Ludford at gay nightclub Heaven in 2019, recognised the importance of her casting as an LGBTQ person after her participation was confirmed last November, writing on Twitter that joining Dancing on Ice was “a dream come true”.

The performer added: “To be the first drag artist to take part in one of the big UK reality competition shows is truly an honour. I think it’s a big step forward for queer representation on TV.”

The Vivienne has also described skating partner Grafton as “such a great guy and amazing skater”, adding in an Instagram post last year that the duo “can’t wait to start training and together and make you all proud!”

Dancing on Ice has helped make progress for LGBTQ+ representation on primetime TV in recent years, pairing Steps star Ian ‘H’ Watkins with pro skater Matt Evers in 2020 to create the show’s first-ever same-sex skating couple.

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