ITV has commissioned a two-hour film chronicling Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean’s journey to “ice dancing royalty”
Written by William Ivory (Made in Dagenham, Burton and Taylor, Common as Muck), Torvill and Dean (1 x 120) stars Will Tudor (Humans, Shadowhunters, Mr Selfridge) as Dean and Poppy Lee Friar (Ackley Bridge, Eve, In the Club) as Torvill.
Anita Dobson will play Miss Perry, Jayne’s first coach at the Nottingham Ice Stadium, with Stephen Tompkinson (The Split, Trollied, DCI Banks) as Jayne’s father, George, whilst Jo Hartley (Bliss, Access All Areas, This Is England ’90) plays her mum Betty.
Dean Andrews and Christine Bottomley (Fearless, In the Club, Cucumber) will play Chris’s parents, Colin and Mavis, and Jaime Winstone (Babs, Ellen, After Hours) is Janet Sawbridge, the ice dancing instructor who pairs Chris and Jayne together for the first time.
Susan Earl (So Awkward, I Want My Wife Back, Reggie Perrin) takes the role of Betty Dean.
The drama will reveal their beginnings and family life in Nottingham; how Chris, following the breakup of his parents’ marriage, channelled his anger into skating and how Jayne, was outwardly reserved, and determined to explore her inwardly passionate nature.
Viewers will also see how the duo clashed as they separately and together tried to establish a new language for ice dance – one which won gold medals but also spoke to their private, intense relationship.
The drama will be produced by leading television production company, Darlow Smithson, who have achieved widespread recognition for producing landmark real life scripted dramas such as Dave Allen at Peace, We’re Doomed! The Dad’s Army Story and The Mill.
Both Jayne and Chris have spent many hours being interviewed by screenwriter, William Ivory, who was also born and bred in Nottingham and is a passionate advocate of the region.
Commented Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean: “We feel very honoured that ITV have commissioned this film based on what was a very significant period in each of our lives.
“We have thoroughly enjoyed the time we have spent with William Ivory and the team at Darlow Smithson sharing experiences of our passion for skating, the life long friendship that came through our sport and everything that it took to achieve our eventual goal of becoming Olympic champions.”
Writer William Ivory said: “It’s been such a privilege to work on this piece. Chris and Jayne are such fascinating characters: sports people and athletes with all the grit and determination that entails, but real artists, too, engaging in deeply felt creative and emotional battles.”
Polly Hill, ITV’s Head of Drama, said: “Torvill and Dean captures the emotional intensity of Jayne and Chris’s relationship from those early years as they endeavoured to create a world renowned ice dancing partnership.
“Their story to success is inspirational and I’m delighted we’re telling it on ITV. It’s a joy to be working with William Ivory, who is bringing this wonderful story to screen.”