Stephen Mulhern floored by Ricky Hatton punch on Dancing on Ice debut

Holly Willoughby was left stunned

Stephen Mulhern was floored during his Dancing on Ice debut after being ‘punched’ by former boxer Ricky Hatton.

Mulhern appeared as the new host of the ITV skating competition alongside Holly Willoughby, who was making her TV return after quitting This Morning in October.

Mulhern has replaced Phillip Schofield on the show after he quit ITV last year after it emerged he had lied about having an affair with a younger colleague during his time on This Morning,.

The opening episode of this year’s series saw six of the 12 celebrity contestants take to the ice, one of which was former welterweight boxer Ricky Hatton.

And he produced one of the more memorable moments of the night after he sent Mulhern to the canvas with a single punch.

In a staged skit following his performance, Mulhern asked the former world champion to hold a boxing announcer-style microphone for him.
After he’d finished his buit to camera, Hatton dropped the microphone, with Mulhern and the boxer squabbling over who should hold it. An unimpressed Hatton then landed a huge blow on Mulhern, knocking him over and prompting gasps from Willoughby.

The skit was a bit more memorable than Hatton’s actual skating, as he scored a lowly 12.5 points from the four judges, leaving him at risk of elimination next week.

Taking ot X after the show, his social media team tweeted: “Ricky even landing knockout blows on @dancingonice!

“Hope you’re okay @StephenMulhern”

In his own response to the clip last night, Mulhern joked that he was “already starting to bruise.”

The skit went down a treat with viewers as well.

One person wrote: “Things like Ricky Hatton hitting Stephen Mulhern is what Dancing On Ice has needed for so long.

“Having some of that silliness gives it a greater sense of fun that has been missing from the more stern-faced presenting style of previous series.”

Another said: “OMG! It looked like Ricky Hatton really walloped Stephen Mulhern then!”

Someone else suggested that although the ‘punch’ was pre-planned, it “may have been heavier than in rehearsal.”

And a fourth commented: “You wouldn’t have got Phillip Schofield doing that funny opening to Ricky Hatton’s routine. Another reason why Stephen Mulhern is such a vast improvement as co-host.”

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