Pop Idol star Gareth Gates has been named as one of the 12 celebrities competing in this year's series of ITV1's Dancing On Ice.

Gates will be joined by former tennis great Greg Rusedski as well as Emmerdale actress Linda Lusardi.

Former Olympic champions Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean will again be coaching the stars on the show, which was won last year by ex-England rugby player Kyran Bracken.

Emmerdale actress Linda Lusardi has also signed up for the show along with television presenters Tim Vincent, Michael Underwood, Natalie Pinkham and Sarah Greene.

Gates is not the only reality TV star to be taking part, with former Hear'say singer Suzanne Shaw involved. Irish pop star Samantha Mumba is also part of the lineup.

The roster is completed by two stars of the Channel 4 schedules - Aggie Mackenzie from How Clean Is Your House? and Hollyoaks actor Chris Fountain.

Coach Jayne Torvill said: "It's fantastic to be back after the success of the first series and we are looking forward to joining a new batch of celebrities on the ice."

And her one-time partner Dean added: "We have a great mix of stars from the worlds of sport, radio and TV who have the potential to match some of the outstanding talent we saw on the first series."

Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield return for hosting duties for the third time with the show kicking off at 17:50 GMT on Sunday.

Gates has already staked his claim, saying partner Maria Filippov is "by far… the best skater", while 47-year-old Greene said she's dreading the barbed comments of judge Jason Gardner who returns to the panel along with Robin Cousins, Karen Barber, Nicky Slater and West End actress Ruthie Henshall.

08/01/2008 12:26:18