S Club 7 star takes a break from panto to open ice rink

WORTHING’S ice rink has returned for a second year and it promises to be a ‘bigger and better’ experience, according to businessman Phil Duckett.

WH 281114 Jon Lee with Richard Bradley (left) and Phil Duckett (right) at the rink opening
WH 281114 Jon Lee with Richard Bradley (left) and Phil Duckett (right) at the rink opening

The rink, located in Steyne Gardens, was officially opened by S Club 7 star Jon Lee, on Friday.

In addition to the skating, a Christmas market full of festive treats is open each weekend in the run-up 
to Christmas.

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Mr Duckett and Richard Bradley, of Worthing Pier Southern Pavilion, are the men behind the venture.

WH 281114 Jon Lee with Richard Bradley (left) and Phil Duckett (right) at the rink opening

“We are expecting it to be bigger and better,” said Mr Duckett. “We want everyone to come here and have fun. We want everyone to have a good time.” Lee, the star of Aladdin – this year’s pantomime at the Connaught Theatre, said he would have liked to have stepped on the ice but was under strict orders from his director not to in case of injury.

Speaking at the opening, 
he said: “I have only ever done ice skating once and it was terrifying.

“I’m down here now for the next six weeks. Once we get rehearsals out of the way I’m looking forward to getting out and about exploring (in Worthing).

“Panto makes you feel Christmassy. I didn’t do it last year and it felt like something was missing. We have got a full-on flying carpet this year and you will see me flying across the stage at 
some point.

“We have got a fantastic cast and some great songs. We will be doing Reach for the Stars at the end.”

Pop group S Club 7 have recently reunited and performed a medley of hits on Children in Need.

“We have been talking about it for a couple of years,” said Lee. “Getting back on stage after 12 years is such a rush. We are looking forward to the tour, which starts in May.”

The Après Skate kiosk and restaurant are new additions to this year’s rink. Skaters can enjoy hearty dishes after a session on the ice.

Sharon Clarke, manager of the Town Centre Initiative, said: “It’s great to have a winter event in the town. This is going to link all the events in the town beautifully.”

n For more information on the ice rink or to book a session, visit www.worthingicerink.com

To win free tickets – see page 18 of this week’s Worthing Herald.