They’re both on the other side of 60 and their biggest moment on the ice was 35 years ago.
But Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean have insisted they’re nowhere near ready to hang up their skates.
And as Dancing on Ice reaches its climax tonight, they could keep going for years unless they feel they’d tarnish their astonishing legacy.
“We said years ago we were going to stop and retired a couple of times,” said Chris, 60. “So now I don’t think we have an age or a time set for when we’re going to stop.
“I think it will very much depend and how we feel. Getting on the ice as you get older needs more preparation.
“You need to hit the gym more than you used to and warm up more, but that keeps us on the ice.
“We’re still enjoying it and we still feel the ice hasn’t left us yet.”
And Jayne, who’s 61, insists meeting their incredibly high standards will always be at the forefront of their thoughts. “We don’t ever want people thinking we should have stopped,” said Jayne.
“We will only keep performing if we feel we are doing it to our best. If we can’t do that and we’re not happy with it then that would be the time to call it quits.
“We’d just say, ‘We’ve had a long career and the performing needs to stop now’. But at the moment we’re still keeping ourselves in good shape and we still enjoy doing it.”
The duo achieved iconic status through their gold medal-winning performance at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, watched by 24 million in the UK alone. Since then they’ve gone from former insurance clerk and policeman to having private dinners with the Queen, honoured with OBEs and having their early skating life made into a TV movie shown on Christmas Day.
They’re back on screen in the finale of Dancing On Ice, one of ITV’s biggest hits. When weekend reality shows, Strictly aside, face the axe because of dire viewing figures, the ice extravaganza still pulls in millions every Sunday night. Tonight’s final sees former Strictly star James Jordan the hot favourite after a perfect 40 from the judging panel last week.
And having been with it from the beginning, Jayne and Chris are delighted by its enduring appeal in its second series since returning last year after a three-year break.
“We feel like we gave birth to the show,” said Chris. “It exists because of winning the Olympics in 1984 with Bolero.
“To still be a part of it and for it still to be on air gives us tremendous pride.”
And Jayne says – Bolero and medal glory aside – there are few other things to compere.
“It’s right up there. We had decided to retire and when the idea came up we were asked if we could train celebrities.
“We said no because we’ve spent years doing this. But we talked it through and came up with a format for the show that might work.
“It brought us back together. We were only going to be choreographing until we were asked about performing. It got us back to performing again which we loved, and still love.
“It’s been a huge part of our life for 12 years now. In fact, it’s taken over a lot of our lives.”
While Chris says lavish production values and a big budget has helped make it a major ITV brand, he admits the appeal of the danger and risks shouldn’t be underestimated.
“There is a big jeopardy factor. Sure, there are different characters that people associate with, but at the heart of it is the fact that you really never know what will happen on the night.
“Obviously we don’t want people to get really hurt, but there are tumbles. Ice is pretty unforgiving but we have physios who get people back when others wouldn’t be able to.”
The biggest talking point of this series was the face-first flop on to the ice by TOWIE star Gemma Collins.
Seen by more than six million viewers, it was shared and discussed endlessly on social media, in the press and on other TV shows.
Jayne was right in line for a bird’s eye view of the collapse and subsequent pick up by pro partner Matt Evers.
“When she first went down I didn’t know what part of her was going to hit,” said Jayne, who has two adopted children, Kieran and Jessica, and lives in East Sussex with husband Phil.
“Then she stayed down a second too long and I thought she was seriously hurt and not going to get up. I thought the medics were going to come in any minute.
“But Matt talked her back to her feet and got her to the finish position.
“Actually, up until that point she had been more disciplined with her training and you could see an improvement. It wasn’t ever going to be great but she had improved.”
The reality star regularly caused controversy, with reports of diva-like behaviour and bust-ups with the judges.
The most heated was with Jason Gardiner who called her lazy and lacking elegance, only for Collins to say he was boring and accuse him of selling stories about her.
“The younger generation who use social media tend to have opinions and share them more,” says Chris, who lives in Colorado with former Dancing On Ice judge Karen Barber.
“It’s just part of the nature of people who are on the show. They are more likely to argue back than in our day. They don’t have any diplomatic niceties or the old thing about children should be seen and not heard.”
The pair say they see their role as being to critique, not criticise, and try to give advice to help the celebs get better.
“We’re not about trying to pull them down. I don’t think we’d really have a go back – and if someone did to us I think our qualifications speak for themselves and the viewers could form their own opinion.”
“Wes has youth on his side. He’s very adventurous but hasn’t necessarily got the finesse.”
“James has a beautiful quality of skating but is maybe not quite as dynamic. He’s been surprising because at first he was as awkward as anyone else on the ice.”
“Saara is very determined and tries new things all the time. We’re always excited by the choreography but the finishing could be better.”
Dancing On Ice, tonight, ITV 6pm