'I meant it to be complimentary': Dancing On Ice judge Katarina Witt apologises to Chemmy Alcott for 'big woman' remark
She stunned viewers and fans alike when she called the professional skier a 'big woman' live on TV.
But today, Dancing On Ice judge Katarina Witt apologised to Chemmy Alcott and said she meant her comment to be complimentary.
During Sunday night's live show, the former figure skater told Chemmy after she told her that she should not be doing lifts as she is a 'big woman'.
'You're a big woman': Chemmy Alcott stands with partner Sean Rice as she receives, what many considered to be a harsh verdict from Katarina Witt
To gasps from the audience which also prompted a flurry of comments on Twitter, Witt, 46, said: 'Chemmy I am begging you to not do those lifts. I really don't want to see you up there – you are a pretty big woman.'
although Chemmy looked shocked, she held it together for the cameras,
but sources told the Sun newspaper that she was seen crying backstage.
But last night, German-born Katarina apologised for her comment but said she meant it as a compliment.
'I meant it to be complimentary': Dancing On Ice judge Katarina Witt had to apologise to Chemmy Alcott for her remark
She said: 'I feel sorry about a comment I made about Chemmy and I think I upset her a bit. I said she's a big girl and she misunderstood.
'I meant it in a complimentary way, that she is a tall girl. As a skater I was a big girl, I was tall, I was big.
'I must say I am sorry. I think it was really a language thing so sorry, sorry Great Britain.'
Chemmy, 29, appeared on Sunday night's
live show with partner Sean Rice performing a Sister Act-inspired
routine as part of the movie-themed show.
Low score: Chemmy looked shocked at receiving a 10.5 – but worse was to come for the skier
She came on the ice in a nun's habit which Rice then ripped off to reveal her sparkly outfit before they launched into their routine to Aretha Franklin's Rescue Me.
The pair were given a score of 10.5 as the judges gave their verdicts, but Katarina's shocked not just Chemmy and Sean, but the viewers and fans too.
It prompted them to take to their
Twitter pages and slam the Olympian with one saying: 'Why did you
mention Chemmy's size last night shes not big, shes athletic!'
The professionals: Katarina and her fellow judges Louie Spence and Robin Cousins, who also didn't rate Chemmy's performance
Amy Brown added: 'Cannot believe what Katarina just said to Chemmy! The poor girl. I could see the tears in her eyes!'
And another fan wrote: 'Still can't believe Katarina called Chemmy a big woman. Disrespectful.'
But some came out in her defence with one fan posting: 'Katarina Witt spot on remarks – She takes no prisoners does she Great assets to the show.'
Another user, calling herself
Hollowbabes added: 'Idiots in the audience shouldn't boo @Katarina_Witt
she was making a valid point.'
In the act: Chemmy started her routine in a nun's habit as she and Sean performed a Sister Act inspired routine
Upset: With Sean by her side, Chemmy's face said it all after Katarina's remarks
And StrictySid, as he calls himself, said: 'Enjoyed movie week but agree with @Katarina_Witt – more skating on the ice & less emphasis on lifts please!'
Sunday's show saw the remaining 13 contestants hit the ice but despite Chemmy's low score, she was saved from the skate-off which saw children's TV presenter Mark Rhodes and former Dallas star Charlene Tilton go head-to-head.
But it wasn't to be Rhodes's night after he danced with Frankie Poultney to
Everybody Needs Somebody To Love from The Blue Brothers, but was kicked off by the judges.
He said: 'Charlene
skated brilliantly and I messed up. I'm absolutely fine with it.'
The end of the line: TV presenter Mark Rhodes was voted off Sunday's show but admitted that he had messed up