ITV has brought the final of this year's series of Dancing On Ice forward by a week after a string of celebrities pulled out through illness and injury.

The final will now take place on March 14, instead of March 21 as planned. The decision comes after producers scrapped last week's live programme because of the disruption.

Jason Donovan became the latest star to pull out, following Denise van Outen, Billie Shepherd, Rufus Hound and Joe-Warren Plant. The Australian singer and actor has been suffering from back pain, while actress van Outen and reality TV star Shepherd both sustained injuries during training.

Meanwhile, comedian Hound and Emmerdale actor Plant tested positive for Covid-19. On top of the celebrity withdrawals, professional skater Hamish Gaman, who partnered soap actress Faye Brookes, dropped out last week after injuring a finger while putting on a sock.

He was replaced by Matt Evers. Brookes said that training with a new partner was a "whole new world", adding: "We've had 11 hours together to get ready for Sunday." Evers said: "We are still standing, the morale here is still high.

"We know we're up against a lot this year and it's just a matter of making the best out of a weird situation that 2020 and 2021 have brought, so it's a matter of continuing to move forward, keeping that smile on our faces and hopefully entertaining people on Sunday night."

The contest is due to resume this weekend with five remaining celebrities - Brookes, Rebekah Vardy, Lady Leshurr, Colin Jackson and Sonny Jay. An ITV spokesperson said: "Our production team and cast have delivered a fantastic show during incredibly challenging times. Continuing to make the best TV for our viewers is our top priority and we look forward to the rest of the series."

Dancing On Ice is not alone in having to deal with disruption to its schedule in recent months.