OLYMPIC gymnast and former Chester schoolgirl Beth Tweddle has been crowned Dancing on Ice champion.
Beth, who went to the Queen’s School, beat actor Matt Lapinskas to win the eighth series of the ITV show.
Along with her partner Dan Whiston, the 27-year-old danced to victory with an original performance of Bolero – made famous by Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean at the 1984 Winter Olympics.
In matching purple outfits – a nod to Torvill and Dean’s gold-medal winning performance 29 years ago – Beth said she was “speechless” and described her win as amazing. The Bunbury gymnast impressed the panel with head judge Robin Cousins describing her dance as electric.
Former Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts said: “That was sexy. That was sultry. There was attack. There was softness.”
Judge Jason Gardiner, who had criticised Beth for lacking personality, told EastEnders’ actor Matt he wanted him to win the competition.
Britain’s most successful gymnast won bronze at the London 2012 Olympics for her stunning display on the uneven bars.
Before the series began Beth and ex-Crusaders star Gareth Thomas both spent time training with coach Penny Hebden-Jacks at Deeside Ice Rink to gear up for the show.
After Beth triumphed in the final on Sunday night, Penny said she received a text from Beth thanking her for her support.
“It was very nice of her to do that,” she said.
“She has texted me lots of times and thanked me for her help.
“I am absolutely delighted for her at what she achieved.
“Both her and Gareth have deserved to be successful because of how hard they work.”
Penny believes Beth has the potential to prove herself as an ice dancer on a permanent basis.
“I would be delighted if she did decide to pursue it,” she said.
“People may think because she is a gymnast this would come easily to her but it is a totally different skill and she has worked so hard to achieve this.
“You would hope what she has achieved can inspire other people.”