Torvill and Dean’s off-ice relationship, secret kiss and rules to staying just friends

Torvill and Dean’s off-ice relationship, secret kiss and rules to staying just friends

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean may be close partners on the ice – but they are not actually a couple in real-life.

Over the years, manyDancing on Ice viewers have wrongly assumed that the pair, who won gold at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, are in a romantic relationship.

The sensuality of their famous Bolero routine led many to speculate about the pair’s off-rink relationship, but it has always remained strictly professional

Except for a “one-off” secret kiss when they were both teenagers shortly after they teamed up for the first time back in 1975.

“We were in the back of the bus going to a league match, and it just happened. It was a one-off. We never talked about it afterwards. We laugh about it now,” explained Jayne.

While the skating couple have undeniable chemistry on the ice, the pair have insisted that nothing more happened beyond that one off smooch.

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean are incredibly close pals

They have amazing chemistry on the ice
Getty Images)

Get the news you want straight to your inbox. Sign up for a Mirror newsletter here .

In the same interview with the Radio Times, Chris explained that competing was the only thing that he and Jayne were focused on together.

“We were 14-years-old, and teenagers in the most naive sense,” he explained. “We didn’t talk about it much after.”

He also stated that remaining platonic was a professional move to increase the duo’s chances of victory on the ice – and it clearly worked as they went home with gold.

“We got close but at some point realised that we weren’t going to make a relationship off the ice in terms of a romantic one.

“We had seen a lot of partnerships fail. It was a conscious decision,” he added. “The skating was everything and having a relationship just didn’t occur to us.”

Jayne said she believes the Bolero got tongues wagging because it is a very romantic dance, so many were convinced they were a real-life couple.

She explained: “One journalist said, ‘So, Chris, when are you getting married?’ and he said, ‘Not yet!’ And that was it – there were reports that we were going to get married. I thought, ‘Oh no! Why did you say that?'”

The pair shared a kiss when they were teenagers but never took things further
Popperfoto/Getty Images)

They are incredibly close friends and speak on the phone almost every or every other day.

In an interview with The Mirror in 2018, Chris explained: “Constantly… like we pick up the phone and have no introduction. It might be about the kids [or] what are you buying me for Christmas?”

While Jayne added: “We still have a great spark and chemistry and we enjoy each other’s company but we have other partners as well.”

Aside from their “dabble” in romance when Chris was 16 and Jayne was 17, the skating duo have never dated and got married to different people.

Jayne has been married sound engineer Phil Christensen back in 1990 and they adopted two children after struggling to conceive naturally.

The skating legend explained that starting a family was harder for her than Chris because she would have been forced to stop skating for a long period of time.

“As a couple skating together it’s easy for the guy to go off and start a family, it wouldn’t affect his skating, whereas for me it would have stopped what we were doing,” she told The Sun. “So I left it quite late. And I was into my forties by then.”

Jayne Torvill and husband Phil Christensen
Victor Crawshaw/Daily Mirror)

Jayne once revealed that people think her husband is called Chris when they are out together, laughing: “My husband Phil has been called Chris quite a few times. He looks nothing like Chris. He often just goes with it rather than correct them.”

While Jayne has been happily married for over 30 years, it’s a different story for Chris who has been married twice.

His first marriage was to French-Canadian World ice dance champion Isabelle Duchesnay, who he met while helping her and her brother with their choreography, between 1991 and 1993.

Dean has admitted that his relationship with Torvill did impact his romantic life, revealing that Duchesnay used to say “there were three people in our marriage”.

Following their divorce after just two years of wedlock, he fell for American skater Jill Trenary and they tied the knot in October 1994.

The couple lived in Colarado Springs and had two sons together, Jack Robert and Sam Colin, but announced they were separating in March 2010.

Chris started a relationship with judge Karen

Jayne Torvill with Christopher Dean and his partner, Karen Barber
Manchester Evening News)

A year later came the surprise announcement that Chris was in a relationship with former Dancing on Ice judge Karen Barber, who had been his friend for three decades.

News of their romance broke just months after the breakdown of her marriage to skating coach Stephen Pickavance, who is the father of her daughters Emma and Laura, after 21 years together.

After being snapped kissing outside a London restaurant in January 2011, the couple released a joint statement to confirm their relationship status.

It read: “We have been great friends for more than 30 years. Following recent media speculation, we feel the necessity to confirm that this year has seen a change in our relationship, but we are taking things very slowly, as it is early days.

“We’d very much like to thank our dear friends, who have been so incredibly supportive to us. We both have families with children, so we ask the media to please respect their privacy.”

While many saw it as big news, Karen felt her relationship with Chris should not have been such a major talking point as they were both single when they got together.

In 2013, she told The Mirror: “It was hardly a scandal, was it? We were both separated and middle-aged, and got together after knowing each other for 30 years.

Karen Barber and Christopher Dean are still together

“But let’s face it, it’s difficult for anyone going through a separation when new relationships start up.

“So when everyone seems to be talking about it, it’s even trickier. All anyone wants is to protect their families.”

Karen admitted that it was actually speculation about their relationship status in the media that opened up a conversation between them which they had never had before.

She explained: “Then as we talked it was ‘Well is this crazy or is there something we are ignoring?’.

“That summer we kept in touch by text and email as we always had but then when we were apart I started wondering ‘Is it possible’ and realised my feelings were different.

“Then, when we were back together for the new series and both single, we could start talking and address those feelings.”

Do you have a story to share?

Read More

Read More