She’s popped two bones, pulled a muscle in her bottom and is plastered in bruises…yet Heidi Range (above right) says she’s having the time of her life on Dancing on Ice. She also says the show has helped her through her painful split from fiance, TV presenter Dave Berry.
“The end of last year was awful – it really was,” says the tearful singer. “We’re still great friends and I saw him last week – but it’s hard.
“Dancing on Ice has got me through it. It’s given me a new lease of life and I’m having the best time and getting myself back on track.”
Talking for the first time since the shock break-up with Capital FM DJ Dave six weeks ago she says it’s been the hardest emotional time in her life.
But she says: “What’s nice now is that I don’t know what I want to do, how I want to do it or what the future holds.
“My life’s been turned upside down and I don’t know what is going to happen. I’m thinking about a solo album, I’m thinking about TV presenting and I’m thinking the world is my oyster right now.
“For ten years every part of my life has been planned. It’s been in the diary. It’s exciting to be making a fresh start. This show has been brilliant. It’s given me confidence and I’ve got my groove back.”
For the past ten years Heidi’s known her destiny. She was part of the multi-platinum girl band Sugababes and continually recording and promoting music – her diary was booked three years in advance at one point.
Heidi’s life couldn’t be anymore different right now.
The girl band that made her name are now on hiatus and have no plans to record new music, she’s newly single and she’s got to think about her career as a solo artist.
She’s lost over a stone since training begun and is back in size six jeans thanks to the gruelling four-hour a day training sessions.
“The weight loss has been brilliant,” she laughs. “I’ve lost about a stone now. I was just over 8 ½ stone before I started and I’ve always had to work really hard on my figure.
“I wasn’t one of those girls blessed from birth. Now I’m just over 7½. I’m 5ft 2ins so I’m small and I’ve still been in the gym lots. I guess I’ve been stressed over the past few months with everything that’s happened too – lots of things have added to the weight loss.
“Overall I’m more toned than ever before. I’ve been doing personal training sessions three times a week with my trainer on top of the skate training. I go into my trainer with the moves I’m going to be doing and we work purely on core strength so I can manage the lifts and the moves.”
It’s not been an easy challenge preparing to compete in the show. She was only just about able to stand up on the ice at the start, was forced to change partners just four days before her first performance of the show when first partner Sylvian Longchambon became injured and she’s a nervous skater.
Heidi, 28, who was in the skate off during the first week of the series two weeks ago, explains: “I was so scared going onto this show. Your legs go to jelly and you have nerves that completely overcome you. It’s really tough. I obviously had to start afresh when my new partner Andrei Lipanov came in and that was hard.
“I learnt everything from scratch with Sylv and it was different with Andrei. They hold me differently and you need to get used to it. But we’re fine now and are getting stronger and stronger.
“I couldn’t skate at all to start with. I could stay upright and that’s about it. Now I can go backwards and do crossovers. I hate crossovers – they’re the bane of my life. The lifts are terrifying but once you get it they’re fine. I feel dead proud when I’m able to do a lift right. I trust Sylvian – the person I don’t trust is me.
“The girls need balls in this competition and I haven’t got any at all.”
The star has also had to deal with numerous small injuries throughout the training for the competition.
“I had a bone pop on my wrist, a bone pop out in my ribs and I’ve pulled a muscle in my bum this week,” she said. “They’ve had to pop the bones back in which was uncomfortable and I’m covered in bruises but I’m loving every minute.
“I don’t want the experience on the show to end. I honestly don’t. I hope I can do the tour and in all honesty I wish it could continue for a year. I’m loving the experience.
“I always said I’d never do Dancing on Ice. I never wanted to do it. And then it just came at the right time. I had time off from the band and things had changed in my life and I just thought I ought to try and get into it something to keep me going.”
Although the Sugababes haven’t officially split up the threesome, including Amelle Berrabah and Jade Ewen, remain firm friends.
Squabbles and line-up changes of the past are clearly far from their minds. But they have no plans to record music together or perform in the future.
“It has been fun being on my own for the first time in ten years,” she admits. “I love the girls. They’re coming down at the weekend and Amelle’s pratically moved into mine at the minute. She’s round all the time. Comes in makes a cup of team, a sandwich and feeds the dog. She’s great.
“But the Sugababes have got no plans for anything at the moment. Nothing. It’s a break. There’s no plans at all for the future. We’ve just wanted to try our own things out. If I’m honest, I’ve loved having some time out from the band.
“I love the band – I really do – but I was ready to try other things out.”
You get the feeling Heidi’s still coming to terms with the split from Dave (below with the star in better times) and how much freedom she has in her life. She’s realistic about her plans – I ask what her dream for the future and she replies: “To stay skinny. I bought a pair of size six jeans the other day – I don’t want to be putting my Size 10 jeans on again. I think they were a big six though, if I’m honest.”
Dancing on Ice, Tonight, 6.10pm, ITV1