Dancing on Ice star Joe-Warren Plant is said to be "gutted" after bosses refused to let him skate back into the competition after he withdrew a few weeks ago due to a positive Covid test.
The Emmerdale actor and his pro partner Vanessa Bauer had been at the front of the pack for this year's crown when it was revealed that they'd been forced to quit after Joe contracted coronavirus right before the Valentine's Day Love themed show.
Announcing the sad news on Twitter, this year's youngest contestant wrote: "Despite taking every precaution possible, unfortunately due to contracting and testing positive for Covid-19, me and Vanessa will no longer be competing on @dancingonice.
"I am beyond heartbroken that our journey has been cut short.
"For the past few months we have dedicated our entire lives to the show and I can’t even describe how I feel knowing we won’t be able to showcase what we were capable of and on the road to achieving."
However, after nine stars have now either been voted out or pulled out of Dancing on Ice in little over a month, forcing the final to be brought forward, some fans predicted and hoped Joe, who is now out of isolation, would be given a second chance and thought a shock return was on the cards or Movie Week on February 28.
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But The Sun reports that producers have now poured cold water on any comeback once and for all.
A show source said: "Everyone was expecting them to return.
"When the idea was first mooted everyone thought producers were just being polite. But clearly, they always wanted this to happen."
The insider added: "Joe and Vanessa are absolutely gutted.
"They had no ill-effects of being positive for COVID-19, so have been keeping fit and healthy in the confines of their hotel walls while they were isolating.
"But ultimately the producers have to uphold the integrity of the show and felt inviting them back could really upset the apple cart."