Television presenter Michael Underwood has been forced to withdraw from Dancing On Ice after breaking his ankle during training.

An ITV statement confirmed Michael suffered the injury at Elstree studios ice rink when practising his new routine with partner Melanie Lambert ahead of this weekend's show.

Though the injury occurred while performing a simple stopping manoeuvre, initial hopes that the injury was just a sprain were crushed when an X-ray revealed the break.

Speaking afterwards, a "devastated" Michael said: "I would like to be able to tell you it was something amazing, like some triple axle that I tried to do and failed, but all I was doing was trying to stop!

"It's a clean break, there are two bones going down your leg that are attached to your ankle – one of them for me has snapped. The good thing is it hasn't become un-aligned, it's still in alignment and should set fine. Hopefully according to the doctor there won't be any long term damage."

He continued: "I have worked so hard, so hard and I am hoping that the people at home will see that I have improved over the time – from week one to week two and again I would've hopefully improved from week three.

"I think that's the thing that hurt the most, I put in all this effort and time and I just wanted to prove I could do it – I just haven't got the chance now"

Michael added: "I've had a great time being part of the show, it's been brilliant and I've had so much support from everyone and big thanks to everyone who voted."

He pledged to attend the live show on Sunday to support his fellow contestants, regardless of his injury.

An ITV spokesperson added: "The whole team are sad to see Michael leave the competition in this way and wish him a speedy recovery."

Michael's accident will be shown on Dancing On Ice: Make Me a Star on ITV1 at 20:30 on Saturday.

24/01/2008 10:43:12