Adele Roberts says Dancing On Ice has helped heal her feet, which are “very damaged” by chemotherapy.
The former BBC Radio 1 presenter, 44, who is partnered with Scottish ice dancer Mark Hanretty for the ITV skating show, has had treatment for bowel cancer.
Roberts, who announced she was declared free of cancer in June 2022, said the prize is taking part on the celebrity series as “there was no guarantees I would ever make the start line of the show”.
She added: “I didn’t know if they’d be able to operate so I’ve just taken each day, day by day, ever since I’ve been diagnosed.
“I’ve not banked on anything. I’ve just hoped that things can get better and this is all part of that process, and I think one of the main reasons I want to do it is not only to help celebrate and represent ostomates (people who have stoma bags), but also just reclaim my body from cancer, and Dancing On Ice has helped with that.
“So my feet have been very damaged by the chemo, and because you’re on ice, and there’s not much friction, my feet have started to heal, which is amazing.
“And we’ve been speaking a lot today on these sessions as well about how much of a good workout it is for your body, and I just feel like I’m getting stronger every day, so even though I’m also falling over, it’s helping me have more confidence.
“I’ve been learning off the brilliant people that I get to be on the show with, you know, especially Lou (Sanders) and Claire (Sweeney), they’ve been helping me come up of my shell. I feel like I’m really learning what a woman should look like.”
Roberts said in October 2021 that she was undergoing treatment for bowel cancer and later had surgery to remove a tumour and began using a stoma bag.
She said she would “love” it if she could visibly show her bag while competing on the series.
“I want anybody who feels any awkwardness or shame about their stoma to know that it’s OK and you can celebrate your body,” she added.
She said she was injured when she fell and sat on her wrist, when judges and Olympic skaters Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean were watching her.
Roberts said: “So unfortunately, I fractured my wrist but luckily, I think it should be about healed now, so this is just precautionary really, and also I’ve managed to pop a few ribs along the way, as my partner Mark is very strong.”
She said Hanretty has to be “very mindful when he picks me up not to go on to the stoma” as she is “very vulnerable” there.
Roberts added: “I think that people who have been the most like, sort of, I wouldn’t say negative about it, but questioning it, is my family, who are like, ‘you can’t dance or skate why you doing it?’.”
On Sunday, Roberts, EastEnders star Ricky Norwood, actress Sweeney, TV personality Miles Nazaire, comedian and writer Sanders and former ski jumper Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards compete for the first time.
Sweeney said it will be nice to get dressed up for Dancing On Ice as her character on Coronation Street, Cassie Plummer, is a “skank”.
“Cassie is so different and so far removed from anything I do on Dancing On Ice,” she added.
Whoever comes last in the public vote and judges’ scores at the weekend will face former world champion boxer Ricky Hatton in the skate-off.
Dancing On Ice returns on Sunday at 6.30pm on ITV1 and ITVX.