John Barrowman will not return to Dancing on Ice, ITV announces

Actor to leave show several months after he apologised over allegations of flashing on set of Doctor Who

The actor John Barrowman will no longer feature in Dancing on Ice, ITV has announced, several months after he apologised over allegations of flashing on the set of Doctor Who.

ITV did not publicly link Barrowman’s departure from the show to the exposure allegations, but the Sun, which first reported the move, said he was “axed” over the claims. The Guardian has contacted the actor’s representatives for comment.

The Scottish-born American actor has appeared as a judge on the celebrity skating competition since 2019, but his first major role as the recurring guest character Captain Jack Harkness in Doctor Who, and later in the spin-off Torchwood, began in 2005.

The flashing allegations surfaced in May when Barrowman’s Doctor Who co-star Noel Clarke was alleged in a series of reports in the Guardian to have sexually harassed or inappropriately touched women.

Clarke has denied any sexual misconduct. In a statement at the time, he said: “If anyone who has worked with me has ever felt uncomfortable or disrespected, I sincerely apologise. I vehemently deny any sexual misconduct or wrongdoing and intend to defend myself against these false allegations.” After the Guardian’s initial investigation he said that he was “deeply sorry” for some of his behaviour, and that he would be seeking professional help “to educate myself and change for the better”.

Barrowman was accused of repeatedly exposing himself to co-workers on Doctor Who and Torchwood, in which he appeared from 2005 to 2011, and once again in 2020-2021, although numerous witnesses described the incidents as inappropriate pranks rather than anything amounting to sexually predatory behaviour.

In a video that resurfaced in May, filmed at Chicago Tardis, a 2014 American sci-fi convention, Clarke talked about how Barrowman would often expose his penis and “slap” it on colleagues.

In 2008, Barrowman apologised for pulling down his trousers during a BBC Radio 1 interview.

Contacted by the Guardian in May, Barrowman, who was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s 2014 birthday honours for services to light entertainment and charity, admitted to “tomfoolery” that he now understood had upset colleagues, but stressed that it was never intended or interpreted as sexual in nature.

Barrowman said his “high-spirited behaviour” was “only ever intended in good humour to entertain colleagues on set and backstage”.

“With the benefit of hindsight, I understand that upset may have been caused by my exuberant behaviour and I have apologised for this previously,” he added. “Since my apology in November 2008, my understanding and behaviour have also changed.”

Barrowman previously appeared on Dancing on Ice as a contestant in 2006 and was the fourth person eliminated.

He will still appear on upcoming special episodes of the ITV show All Star Musicals.

A spokesperson for ITV said: “We thank John Barrowman for two brilliant years on the Dancing on Ice panel and are pleased to be working with him again as host of the forthcoming All Star Musicals specials.”


Jamie Grierson

The GuardianTramp

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