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Stephen Mulhern says he’s still ‘bruised’ after Ricky Hatton Dancing on Ice ‘punch’

Dancing on Ice host Stephen Mulhern has said that he is still “bruised” from an injury sustained when Ricky Hatton “punched” him during a theatrical moment live on air.

Although Mulhern was punched by the former boxer in a staged skit, he admitted that it actually hurt.

The host appeared on the new series of the ITV skating competition on 15 January alongside his former co-host Holly Willoughby, who returned to screens for the first time since quitting This Morning in October.

In a new interview, Mulhern said he was taken aback by the power of Hatton’s punch.

“I said to Ricky, do us a favour...Holly will say to you ‘just punch him Ricky’, which she said off the cuff initially and I said ‘we should do that live,’” Mulhern told The Sun on Tuesday (23 January).

“Obviously I forgot he’s a three-time world champion boxer.”

Despite wearing protective padding to perform the stunt, Mulhern said he still had a large bruise after Hatton sent him flying to the ground.

Ricky Hatton ‘punches’ Stephen Mulhern on ‘Dancing on Ice’ (ITV)
Ricky Hatton ‘punches’ Stephen Mulhern on ‘Dancing on Ice’ (ITV)

He added: “He nearly knocked me out. If I showed you the bruise, it is massive. It’s on the arm, it’s very painful.”

During the skit, the pair were pretending to have a disagreement when Mulhern asked Hatton to hold a microphone for him in the style of one a boxing announcer would use. After Mulhern had finished his bit to the camera, Hatton dropped the microphone.

Mulhern, who looked unimpressed with the boxer, pulled up Hatton’s arm to put the microphone back to his mouth, but when he did, Hatton landed a blow on his arm.

However, it appeared the blow was a bit harder than expected, as Mulhern fell to the ground, leaving Willoughby gasping in shock.

After the episode aired, Hatton wrote on X/Twitter: “Ricky even landing knockout blows on @dancingonice! Hope you’re okay @StephenMulhern .”

Holly Willoughby reacts to the staged punch (ITV)
Holly Willoughby reacts to the staged punch (ITV)

Mulhern responded to the moment, writing: “I’m already starting to bruise!”

Hatton became the first celebrity to be eliminated form the 2024 edition of the ice dancing competition after he found himself in the skate-off against stand-up comedian and writer Lou Saunders on Sunday (21 January).

Judges Jayne Torvill, Christopher Dean, Oti Mabuse, and Ashley Banjo chose to save the comedian over the boxer after she danced her second performance of the night.

Hatton and his partner Robyn Johnstone landed bottom of the leaderboard after he scored 12.5 points, however, judges praised how much he had improved his routine during the skate-off.

Dancing on Ice continues on Sundays at 6.20pm on ITV1 and ITVX.