Dancing On Ice’s Jayne Torvill’s ‘traumatic’ IVF struggle and adoption journey

February 27, 2022 – 16:53 GMT

Sophie Hamilton

Dancing on Ice judge Jayne Torvill is known for her professional skating career with Christopher Dean, with whom she won gold at the Sarajevo 1984 Winter Olympics.

MORE: Torvill and Dean: six facts about the Dancing on Ice judge duo

Despite being world-famous and a national treasure, it wasn’t until 2013 that Jayne, 64, opened up about her home life on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories and revealed her IVF ordeal for the first time.

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Jayne is happily married to American sound engineer Phil Christensen and the couple are proud parents to their adopted children, Kieran and Jessica. But she revealed that on her journey to motherhood, she first suffered an ectopic pregnancy before enduring 12 months of IVF treatment.

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


Jayne (pictured at the Sarajevo 1984 Winter Olympics) opened up about her IVF struggle and adoption

She continued: “I got pregnant quite quickly and I thought, ‘Oh this is fine’. And when I went to have a scan they said I had an ectopic pregnancy, and I didn’t know what that meant. They said, ‘The embryo’s growing in one of the tubes’. And I said, ‘Oh, ok, so how do you get it out then?’. And they said, ‘We don’t. We can’t’. That’s when it hit me.

READ: Jayne Torvill’s family: who is her husband Phil, her children and parents?

“So I went through the surgery and then it was obvious it was going to be more difficult. So we tried IVF for about a year. That, as a lot of women know, is traumatic in itself.”

As Jayne fought back the tears, her proud skating partner Christopher said, “She’s never talked about it in public before.” The brave Olympian, who was 55 at the time, was also open about her decision to adopt, revealing it was a friend who convinced her to take that path to parenthood.


The Olympic skater and her husband Phil Christensen share adopted children, Kieran and Jessica

“A friend of mine had adopted a little boy. She said, ‘Come and see him.’ At that point I wasn’t ready to look into adoption, I was still thinking it was going to happen. And you’ve got to be ready for it, if you want to adopt. I said to my husband, ‘I don’t know if I can do this’. And I went to see this little boy, and I wanted to bring him home.”

SEE: 17 couples who found love on Dancing on Ice, Strictly and other reality TV shows

That show was also an opportunity for Christopher, Jayne’s skating partner of over 40 years, to speak candidly about his failed marriages and the painful moment his mother walked out of the family home for good when he was just six.


The pair admitted to sharing a kiss when they were teenagers

The interview did include lighthearted moments, particularly when Piers Morgan quizzed the duo on the nature of their relationship. Following decades of speculation, the legendary skating pair admitted that for a short time their partnership was not entirely platonic.

“When I first saw Chris, I fell in love with him,” Jayne began by saying. “But then we started skating together and that was it, it was done.” But when Piers piled on the pressure, Christopher did admit they had shared one kiss on a coach trip to a skating event.


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