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Chloe Madeley pays tribute to 'kind and funny' Dancing On Ice star Sean Rice


Chloe Madeley has paid tribute to Canadian ice skater Sean Rice following his death at the age of 49. 

The former Dancing On Ice professional, who appeared on the show in 2011 and 2012, passed away on January 14, leaving behind widow Jodeyne Higgins and their eight-year old daughter Signey. 

Chloe, who featured as a Dancing On Ice contestant in 2011 but was not paired with Rice, has since paid tribute to the ‘kind and funny skater,’ who was mourned during the show’s series fourteen launch on Sunday evening. 

Tragic: Chloe Madeley has paid tribute to Canadian ice skater Sean Rice following his death at the age of 49

Tragic: Chloe Madeley has paid tribute to Canadian ice skater Sean Rice following his death at the age of 49

She wrote: ‘My heart goes out to the skating world and the DOI family for the loss of Sean Rice. He was a strong, honest, kind and incredibly funny man who did things on the ice that made my jaw drop. 

‘Sean and Jodeyne were the only couple I went to watch rehearse on tour, because every lift was something spectacular. My thoughts are with Sean’s wife Jodeyne and their daughter Signey.’ 

She also shared a brief video of Rice and Jodeyne – a professional skater in her own right – performing together on the ice.   

Former Dancing On Ice star Frankie Poultney took to Twitter on Sunday to share the sad news, while a GoFundMe page has already raised thousands of pounds to help the skater’s loved ones. 

His cause of death is not known. 

Looking back: Chloe featured as a Dancing On Ice contestant in 2011 but was not paired with Rice

Looking back: Chloe featured as a Dancing On Ice contestant in 2011 but was not paired with Rice

Perfect chemistry: She also shared a brief video of Rice and Jodeyne - a professional skater in her own right - performing together on the ice

Perfect chemistry: She also shared a brief video of Rice and Jodeyne - a professional skater in her own right - performing together on the ice

Perfect chemistry: She also shared a brief video of Rice and Jodeyne – a professional skater in her own right – performing together on the ice

Sad: Rice has died at the age of 49. The Dancing On Ice star, who appeared on the show in 2011 and 2012, passed away on January 14, friends have said; pictured in 2012

Sad: Rice has died at the age of 49. The Dancing On Ice star, who appeared on the show in 2011 and 2012, passed away on January 14, friends have said; pictured in 2012 

Dancing On Ice pro Frankie wrote: ‘Pro skaters are heartbroken today, we lost a true larger than life great – an epic skater, a husband, father, and my friend of 20yrs. 

‘Sean Rice, 20/07/72 – 14/01/22 gone too soon but we will Love You For A Thousand Years – all our thoughts are with Signey & Jodeyne.’ 

Matt Evers, who is partnered with Sally Dyvenor in this year’s series, also took to Twitter to share a tribute. 

Family: Sean had a daughter Signey with his wife Jodeyne Higgins, also a professional skater and coach who he competed professionally with in the 1990s

Family: Sean had a daughter Signey with his wife Jodeyne Higgins, also a professional skater and coach who he competed professionally with in the 1990s

Upsetting: Frankie Poultney, a fellow professional skater, took to Twitter on Sunday to share the sad news; pictured on the show with Chemmy Alcott in 2012

Upsetting: Frankie Poultney, a fellow professional skater, took to Twitter on Sunday to share the sad news; pictured on the show with Chemmy Alcott in 2012 

He wrote: ‘One of the best… thank you Sean for your gift. This routine from The Professionals on Ice was incredible. It was a pleasure to know and work with you…’ 

Sean was partnered with Angela Rippon in 2011 and ski racer Chemmy Alcott in 2012. 

Chemmy wrote on Twitter: ‘Have just heard the tragic news that Sean Rice, my partner from DOI has passed away. 

‘The world will miss your amazing energy and you healing hands. All my love to J and S. x’ 

Tribute: Frankie Poultney, a fellow professional skater, took to Twitter on Sunday to share the sad news

Tribute: Frankie Poultney, a fellow professional skater, took to Twitter on Sunday to share the sad news

Devastating: Matt Evers, who is partnered with Sally Dyvenor in this year's series, also took to Twitter to share a tribute

Devastating: Matt Evers, who is partnered with Sally Dyvenor in this year’s series, also took to Twitter to share a tribute

Sad: Sean was partnered with Angela Rippon in 2011 and ski racer Chemmy Alcott in 2012. Chemmy took to Twitter to express her sadness

Sad: Sean was partnered with Angela Rippon in 2011 and ski racer Chemmy Alcott in 2012. Chemmy took to Twitter to express her sadness 

Sean had a daughter Signey with his wife Jodeyne Higgins, also a professional skater and DOI pro. Frankie shared a link to a GoFundMe page set up by the family’s friends in Florida. By Monday morning the page had raised $16,000 out of its $25,000 target.

A message on the page paid tribute to ‘poppa bear Sean.’   

‘The world has lost a great man – a coach, son, friend, husband and poppa bear. It’s with immense sadness to say that Sean Rice has passed away’.

Support: Sean had a daughter Signey with his wife Jodeyne Higgins, also a professional skater and coach. Frankie shared a link to a GoFundMe page set up by the family's friends

Support: Sean had a daughter Signey with his wife Jodeyne Higgins, also a professional skater and coach. Frankie shared a link to a GoFundMe page set up by the family’s friends

‘Sean was a passionate, larger than life man who would stop and give to anyone who needed him. It’s with that same spirit, we are reaching out to everyone to pour prayers and love over Jodeyne and Signey during this very difficult time.’

‘So many people have reached out asking how they can help and so we have set up this go fund account to support Jodeyne and Signey at this time. Let’s take care of them the same way Sean always took care of others.’

A spokesperson for Dancing On Ice has said: ‘We are all deeply saddened to hear this news. Sean was a wonderful skater and friend to many on the Dancing On Ice team. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.’  

Talent: Sean was also partnered with Angela Rippon back in 2011 (pictured)

Talent: Sean was also partnered with Angela Rippon back in 2011 (pictured) 

Rice competed as a pair skater alongside wife and professional partner Higgins in the early nineties. He was a two-time (1993, 1995) Canadian pairs bronze medallist and four-time (1993–1996) Canadian fours champion.

The couple took home bronze at the Nebelhorn Trophy in 1992, and again at the Canadian Nationals the following year.

Following their competition success, the pair began touring on cruise ships, before they both joined the Dancing On Ice line-up in 2011. Rice was paired with newsreader Angela Rippon for his first series while his wife was with Johnson Beharry.

The husband and wife team returned to the ITV show the following year with Rice partnering Chemmy Alcott, the pair were eliminated shortly before the final. Higgins was with Chico Slimani, reaching the final.

Wife: Rice competed as a pair skater alongside wife and professional partner Higgins in the early nineties. Following their competition success, the pair began touring on cruise ships, before they both  joined the Dancing On Ice line-up in 2011 (pictured, 2012)

Wife: Rice competed as a pair skater alongside wife and professional partner Higgins in the early nineties. Following their competition success, the pair began touring on cruise ships, before they both  joined the Dancing On Ice line-up in 2011 (pictured, 2012) 

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