Olympic Ice-skater Jayne Torvill

150 150 Rob McGibbon

subject photo

Published: 19 November 2011

Olympic ice-skater Jayne Torvill:

The prized possession you value above all others...The Olympic gold medal I won (with Christopher Dean) in 1984 at Sarajevo. It’s a square shape instead of the normal round one and it’s attached to a bright orange ribbon.

The unqualified regret you wish you could amend...I don’t have any because I sincerely believe that things happen for a reason.

The way you would spend your fantasy 24 hours, with no travel restrictions...I love escaping to Australia, so I’d spend the morning on the beach at Noosa on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast with my husband, Phil, and our children Kieran, who is nine, and Jessica, five.

We’d have lunch at Bilson’s in Sydney, then I’d head off – alone! – to Dubai for some serious shopping. I’d have a Sundowner cocktail with a dear friend who lives in the South of France, then end the day in Hertfordshire at the Grove Hotel’s spa.

The temptation you wish you could resist...I love Jimmy Choo and Louboutin shoes and I have 50 pairs. Thankfully, I get lots free from my stylist working on Dancing On Ice.

The book that holds an everlasting resonance...Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt. I’m not an avid reader, but I couldn’t put it down. It managed to both move me and make me laugh.

The priority activity if you were the Invisible Woman for a day...I support Liverpool FC so I’d pop into the changing rooms after a match to see what happens, so to speak!

The life of another with whom you would gladly trade places...My daughter Jessica because it would be wonderful to have no cares in the world again, or any sense of time.

The film you can watch time and time again...The Sound Of Music. I watched it seven times at the cinema when it came out in 1965 when I was eight. I still love it.

The person who has influenced you most...Our skating coach Betty Callaway. She worked with Chris and I for about eight years and was like a surrogate mum. She guided us through everything and made us wise. She died this year and we were so sad.

The figure from history for whom you’d most like to buy a pie and a pint...I’d have a dance with Fred Astaire and a chat over a bottle of fine wine. What a phenomenal talent!

The piece of wisdom you would pass on to a child...Forget your worries and enjoy every moment of childhood.

The unlikely interest that engages your curiosity...I’m fascinated by boxing. I’m intrigued by the technique and have started sparring with my trainer in the gym.

The treasured item you lost and wish you could have again...I lost one of a pair of gold earrings shaped as iceskates while I was asleep on a coach. They were my lucky earrings – I even wore them at the Olympics. I had it replaced, but it never felt the same.

The unending quest that drives you on...My love for life keeps me going.

The poem that touches your soul...William Wordsworth’s I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud always touches me. I like its sense of freedom and heartfelt appreciation of nature.

The misapprehension about yourself you wish you could erase...That I’m married to Christopher Dean! There’s a whole world out there convinced we are husband and wife. Nothing I say seems to change that perception.

The event that altered the course of your life and character...Winning the Olympics in 1984 when I was 26 changed everything.

The crime you would commit knowing you could get away with it...I’d get away with speeding. I’ve been caught by cameras a few times recently and have six points on my licence so I’m doing a speed awareness course.

The song that means most to you...Imagine by John Lennon. When Chris and I did a routine to it on TV we got a letter from Yoko Ono saying she loved our interpretation. That felt special.

The happiest moment you will cherish forever...Winning my first skating medal – a silver – when I was ten. Standing on the podium was amazing. I still have that medal.

The saddest time that shook your world...When Chris’s father, Colin, died suddenly from a heart attack in 1984, just after our triumph at the Olympics. It was such a shock, and awful to see Chris so upset.

The unfulfilled ambition that continues to haunt you...I’d like to be good at tennis but, no matter how often I play, I don’t seem to get any better.

The philosophy that underpins your life... Get something positive out of every day – especially the bad ones.

The order of service at your funeral...I’d have a church service and be brought in to Ravel’s Boléro. They’d also sing All Things Bright And Beautiful and I’d be taken out to Imagine. Chris could tell a few funny stories about me and I’d like a big party.

The way you want to be remembered...As a nice person, a good mother and friend. I’d also love people to remember me for my skating.

The Plug...Jayne appears in the DVD of Dancing On Ice – The Live Tour, £19.99. For more information, visit www.torvillanddean.com