Katarina Witt apologises for 'big woman' comment
Katarina Witt has apologised for calling Chemmy Alcott a "big woman" on Sunday's (22.01.12) 'Dancing On Ice'
Katarina Witt has apologised for calling Chemmy Alcott a "big woman".
The 'Dancing On Ice' judge - whose comment was met by boos from the audience of the ITV1 show - claims she meant it in a "complimentary way" because she was talking about the skier's height rather than her size.
Following her movie-themed routine with professional skater Sean Rice, Katarina told Chemmy: "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."
However, the German skating legend - who is joined on the 'Dancing On Ice' judging panel by Louie Spence and Robin Cousins - maintains her controversial comments were lost in translation.
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."
Meanwhile, children's TV presenter Mark Rhodes - who was voted of the celebrity skating show on Sunday (22.01.12) - has leapt to Katarina's defence, saying she meant Chemmy was a "powerful" woman.
He told The Sun newspaper: "She meant powerful. Katarina has not got a bad word to say about anyone, she's a sportswoman saying it to another sportswoman.
"Sean is a massive unit. Chemmy is built for skiing, she is built for power and that is all she was trying to get across. She apologised to her - it just got lost in translation."
This week's episode of 'Dancing On Ice' will see the celebrities go head-to-head as part of a new twist, which will require them to face another couple in an ice battle based on their position on Sunday's leaderboard.
Robin, Katarina and Louie will then decide which couples they thought skated best, automatically guaranteeing them a place in week four of the competition, leaving six couples facing the public vote.