It comes after The Towie star Gemma Collings was axed from the show
She gave this year’s series a huge ratings boost, with a weekly average of more than 6.5million viewers watching her take to the ice with her professional partner Matt Evers.
On the night Gemma was voted off the show by judges Christopher Dean, Jayne Torvill, Jason Gardiner and Ashley Banjo, 6.3million viewers tuned in to watch.
But overall ratings for the next edition, on Sunday, slumped to 3.7million. Even at its peak, the edition managed only 5.1million viewers as Corrie’s Jane Danson and ex-cricketer Ryan Sidebottom were eliminated.
A production source said: “This was always producers’ fears — that when Gemma went, interest would wane.
“They’re hoping for some fresh drama to give them another boost.”
Gemma’s six-week stint on the show saw her hit the headlines for her on-screen bust-ups with Jason.
He branded her a “brat” in an interview with The Sun and said her skating was “lazy” and “mediocre”.
Gemma hit back live on TV and blasted Jason for criticising her, screaming: “Boring, next!” as he looked shocked.
She also threatened to quit the series after hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield discussed the show on This Morning and shamed her decision to nap during rehearsals.
A nasty fall in the fourth week cemented Gemma’s position as a firm fan favourite as she battled on.
When it was her time to leave, she said she felt exhausted and had struggled to train because of the injury she suffered when she face-planted the ice.
She said: “Sometimes you have to admit you’re not the best and let the best move on.
"But I really enjoyed tonight. I’ve had fun. I just want to bow out gracefully.”
Love Islander Wes Nelson is the favourite to win this year’s show after getting the highest score of the series — 38 out of 40 — on Sunday.s — 38 out of 40 — on Sunday.