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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Katherine Heslop

Inside Dancing On Ice judge Christopher Dean's house, family life and past romances

Since 2006, Christopher Dean has been a fixture on Dancing on Ice, offering his guidance and critiques after dominating the skating world fellow with judge Jayne Torvill.

The skating duo, who won gold at the 1984 Winter Olympics, have often been mistaken as a couple, but in fact have never been together, only sharing a kiss once at the back of a bus as teenagers.

Jayne, 65, has been happily married to husband Phil Christensen for more than 25 years, while Christopher, 64, has been in a relationship with Dancing on Ice coach Karen Barber for more than ten years.

Christopher's romantic life has not been plain sailing.

He married to French-Canadian World ice dance champion Isabelle Duchesnay between 1991 and 1993.

Famously, Isabelle was jealous of skating partner Jayne, calling her the "other women in their marriage."

Christopher married Isabelle Duchesnay in 1991, but they split after two years (Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Jayne Torvill and Christopher after their 1984 Winter Olympics gold (Getty Images)

Then in 1994 he wed American skater Jill Trenary, the mother of his two sons, Sam and Jack, and the family lived in Colorado Springs.

In 2010, it was confirmed that Christopher and Jill had separated, but Christopher spoke of how the ex couple were still on good terms.

The Dancing on Ice judge, who then split his time between the US and UK, said:" That’s the good thing. We’re not at war. We’re actually friends.

"In Colorado, I now live a minute’s walk away from them and go round every day. I pick the boys up for school. Get them ready. Bring them home from school. We are best friends.”

Christopher and Karen Barber have been together since 2011 (Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Torvill and Dean at this year's Dancing on Ice photo call (WireImage)

It was reported in 2021 that his grown up sons, now in their twenties, were still living in America.

That year, Christopher shared a rare photo of himself and his youngest, wishing him happy birthday on Twitter.

The sweet message, which was followed by a smiling emoji, read: "Birthday boy. How did you get to be 21?"

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

News of their romance broke just months after the breakdown of Karen's marriage to skating coach Stephen Pickavance, who is the father of her daughter, after 21 years together.

Karen felt her relationship with Chris should not have been such a major talking point as they were both single

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.

"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."

One of the original Dancing on Ice judges, Karen was on the panel until the 2011 when she became head coach.

Christopher with his two grown-up sons (Twitter)

When the show returned in 2018, Karen, who competed at two Winter Olympics, remained as a skating coach.

Throughout the decades, Christopher's friendship and partnership with Jayne has endured.

The couple's nearly 49 years of partnership has translated into an "unspoken connection" and "sixth sense" on and off the ice, he said recently.

He said: "It's funny that I'll pick up the phone and call Jayne and she'll just say, at that moment, 'I was just going to call you'."

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