I WAS the very last skater on the ice at the old ice rink in Nottingham before it closed. This was in 1999 and I was 15. It was during the final gala before it was demolished to make way for the National Ice Centre. It was where I learned to skate.
I grew up in Radcliffe-on-Trent and when I was five my mum’s friend took me skating. Apparently I hated it at first but the second time I went I fell in love with it and gradually worked through the grades having lessons.
I did used to compete quite seriously but when I got to 15 I lost interest. You have to get really serious and dedicate your life to it and I would have had to give up dancing but I didn’t want to. I wanted to do both.
I had been dancing since I was small as well. I used to do the pantomimes; Peter Pan with Russ Abbott at the Theatre Royal, a couple at the Playhouse and some at the ice rink.
When I was at sixth form I had a plan to go to university to study physiotherapy but my boyfriend’s sister had just come back from dancing on cruise ships and I liked the sound of that. So I deferred my uni place and travelled on cruise ships as a dancer for the next five years. It was to the Caribbean mainly but I also got to see Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska, Canada and the Mediterranean. Mum and dad loved it because they’d come out and visit me. They’re both retired now. Dad was in the police and mum worked at West Bridgford library.
After that I fell back into skating. I didn’t know there were that many opportunities in skating as there are. My first skating job was in a little show in Mexico for a month during 2009.
I’ve been with Holiday On Ice for three years. The latest show, Speed, started last September. We rehearsed in Utrecht before opening in Hamburg in November. Since then, we’ve been across Europe.
When you’re in cool cities like Paris, you’ll do the tourist thing but in the next city the weather might be awful or you’ll decide you want to save some money so you stay in the hotel and catch up on episodes of Downton Abbey and TOWIE.
When we were in Montpellier and it was boiling hot, my mum, my Auntie Jill and Auntie Pat came over and we went sight-seeing and to the beach. That was like being on holiday. Although it wasn’t when I had to go to work because the tent we were in was ridiculously hot and we were all dripping with sweat. They had to get us fans for backstage to cool off.
In between tours I do other work. I have taught skating at the National Ice Centre before. And this summer I’m working with Vitamin Water as an event manager in the run-up to the Olympics and at Wimbledon before the tour comes to the UK in November.
It’s a fast-paced show that is based on the theme of speed. Unlike other iceshows, it really focuses on the spectacle and skating ability. There is lots more besides, including circus stunts and motorbikes on ice.
Before that I’ll be getting married. It’s to my childhood sweetheart. We met at school. The wedding was going to be in Nottingham but we had real problems with the venue so we’re now getting married in Hackney where we’ve both lived for the past four years.
He’s currently working at the Olympic Stadium as a project manager. His name’s Alex Kirby and to be honest I’m gutted I’m going to lose the name Brotherhood. Katie Kirby... it doesn’t sound as good.
Holiday On Ice presents Speed at the Capital FM Arena from November 30 to December 2. Tickets go on general sale at 9am on Monday, July 2, priced at £25, £30, £38 and £50. They can be purchased from the venue box office, by 08444 124 624 and online at www.capitalfmarena.com.