Tv & Show

Dancing On Ice gets political as Rufus Hound SLAMS the Government over free school meals scandal


Dancing On Ice kicked off with a bang on Sunday night as six of the twelve hopeful celebrity contestants showcased their talents on the rink.

But the ITV skating contest got political during the action-packed launch show as Rufus Hound slammed the Government over the recent free school meals scandal.

The comedian, 41, received the first Golden Ticket of the series, giving him and his professional partner Robin Johnston a free pass into musicals week.

Criticism: Dancing On Ice got political during the action-packed launch show as Rufus Hound slammed the Government over the recent free meals scandal

Criticism: Dancing On Ice got political during the action-packed launch show as Rufus Hound slammed the Government over the recent free meals scandal

And speaking about how he felt to have secured the ticket, Rufus said it was the ‘least mad thing’ to have happened as he referenced the free meals controversy.

He continued: ‘We live in a world where people we elect don’t want to feed hungry children, this is the least mad thing that’s happened to me in a long time.’

His comment caused a stir on Twitter as viewers of the family show were quick to praise Rufus for his political comment.

One impressed viewer penned: ‘Legend! Thanks for calling this despicable government out’

Free meals scandal: After being given the first Golden Ticket, Rufus said it was the 'least mad thing' to have happened as he said that political leaders 'don't want to feed hungry children'

Free meals scandal: After being given the first Golden Ticket, Rufus said it was the ‘least mad thing’ to have happened as he said that political leaders ‘don’t want to feed hungry children’

'Legend': His comment caused a stir on Twitter as viewers of the family show were quick to praise Rufus for his political comment

‘Legend’: His comment caused a stir on Twitter as viewers of the family show were quick to praise Rufus for his political comment

While another wrote: ‘@RufusHound has just become my favourite celebrity’

And a third tweeted: ‘Love @RufusHound for calling out the government for school meals fiasco’

A fourth added: ‘Rufus Hound rinsing the govt over free school meals on Dancing On Ice makes me proud to have watched him on CBBC in the prime years’ 

His comments come after one school meals provider’s fare was branded as ‘appalling’ after the contents of one of its food hampers went viral.

Catering firm Chartwells announced it will start including breakfast in free school meal deliveries in response to the fierce criticism of its meagre parcels.

The breakfast will include bloomer, bagel, butter, yoghurts, juice, milk, oats and fruit.

Controversy: His comments come after school meals provider Chartwells's fare was branded as 'appalling' after the contents of one of its food hampers went viral

Controversy: His comments come after school meals provider Chartwells’s fare was branded as ‘appalling’ after the contents of one of its food hampers went viral

The catering firm has been scrabbling to reassure parents since photos began emerging of lunches lacking basic components of a rounded diet.

Boris Johnson had branded the boxes of seven-day supplies ‘disgraceful’ and told senior MPs the firm had been ‘hauled over the coals’.  

Chartwells is part of a £24.8billion parent company whose links to the Tory party were revealed earlier this week.

Until December, millionaire Conservative donor Paul Walsh was the chairman of Compass and gave £10,000 to the party in 2010, Electoral Commission records show. 

Ministers have also bowed to a public clamour and are reintroducing the option of food vouchers for parents next week.

Response: Boris Johnson had branded the boxes of seven-day supplies 'disgraceful' and told senior MPs the firm had been 'hauled over the coals'

Response: Boris Johnson had branded the boxes of seven-day supplies ‘disgraceful’ and told senior MPs the firm had been ‘hauled over the coals’

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced that he would be reintroducing the £15 vouchers from January 18 amid the third Covid-19 lockdown.  

But new guidance on the free lockdown packages has said they will stop in February half-term and families will need to use the DWP-administered Covid Winter Grant Scheme through their local council.

It has sparked fears from Unions that the process could be mired in red tape and run the risk of children going hungry. 

Footballer and campaigner Marcus Rashford has also called for an urgent review of the government’s policy.

Call for action: Footballer and campaigner Marcus Rashford (pictured with his mother Melanie at a food bank last year) has also called for an urgent review of the government's policy

Call for action: Footballer and campaigner Marcus Rashford (pictured with his mother Melanie at a food bank last year) has also called for an urgent review of the government’s policy

Manchester United star Rashford said in an open letter to No 10 signed by 40 NGOs, charities, education bodies and celebrity chefs, the system needed looking at again. 

In the letter to the Prime Minister, Rashford welcomed the ‘robustness’ of his response to the ‘inadequate’ meal parcels being provided by some private companies.

But the letter said that after a series of problems – including over vouchers and the holiday provision of meals – had arisen during the pandemic, it was the right time to ‘step back and review the policy in more depth’.

The note added: ‘It is only by working together that we will end child food poverty.’ 

Golden Ticket: Rufus' political comment on Dancing On Ice came as he was awarded the first Golden Ticket of the series during the launch show

Golden Ticket: Rufus’ political comment on Dancing On Ice came as he was awarded the first Golden Ticket of the series during the launch show

It was signed by Rashford as well as actress Emma Thompson and chefs Tom Kerridge, Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Rufus’ political comment on Dancing On Ice came as he was awarded the first Golden Ticket of the series during the launch show.

The presenter and pro skater Robin were awarded a free pass into musicals week in a fortnight’s time after their video game-inspired skate wowed the judges. 

His debut performance was moved forwards following pro Yebin Mok and Graham Bell’s accident in rehearsals on Monday. 

Covid safe: The actor was clearly overcome with emotion as he was handed the pre-sanitised Golden Ticket by host Phillip Schofield

Covid safe: The actor was clearly overcome with emotion as he was handed the pre-sanitised Golden Ticket by host Phillip Schofield 

The comedian managed to nab a 23.5 points out of 40, with Ashley Banjo declaring that the routine may have been ‘his favourite’ of the night after being impressed by the theme.

Jayne Torvill was also ‘so impressed’ with Rufus’ performance on the ice, but insisted on marking him with a mere 5.5, as she was looking closely at his moves. 

Giving his verdict, judge John Barrowman said: ‘Just because it was solely a lot of fun and showed a lot of personality, I’ve decided to go for Rufus and Robin.’ 

As all three judges chose Rufus and Robin for the ticket, Christopher Dean didn’t need to vote but insisted that if he had, he also would have sent Rufus through. 

And Rufus was clearly overcome with emotion as he was handed the pre-sanitised Golden Ticket by host Phillip Schofield.

Praise: Rufus and Robin Johnston nabbed a 23.5 points out of 40, with Ashley Banjo declaring that the routine may have been 'his favourite' of the night after being impressed by the theme

Praise: Rufus and Robin Johnston nabbed a 23.5 points out of 40, with Ashley Banjo declaring that the routine may have been ‘his favourite’ of the night after being impressed by the theme

Asked how he felt, he told Philip and Holly Willoughby: ‘Thank you. I’ve spent most of this year not being terribly emotionally stable because the world stopped making sense. 

‘And this does not make more sense of it. But thank you. I don’t know what is happening.’ 

Rufus performed alongside five other couples during the much-anticipated launch show, including Jason Donovan and Alexandra Shauman, Joe-Warren Plant and Vanessa Baeur, Lady Leshurr and Brendyn, and Rebekah Vardy and Andy Buchanan.

While Denise Van Outen, who danced with a dislocated shoulder, and Matt Evers were bottom of the leaderboard with 19.5 points. 

The remaining six contestants – Myleene Klass, Faye Brookes, Sonny Jay, Billie Shepherd, Graham Bell and Colin Jackson – also performed a group dance to ‘9 To 5’ ahead of their performance next week.

Launch show: Rufus performed alongside five other couples during the much-anticipated show, including Jason Donovan and Alexandra Shauman and Lady Leshurr and Brendyn

Launch show: Rufus performed alongside five other couples during the much-anticipated show, including Jason Donovan and Alexandra Shauman and Lady Leshurr and Brendyn

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