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Michael Meets Torvill and Dean

Submitted by Jude T.

There is an autobiography by British ice dancers Jane Torvill and Christopher Dean, entitled "Torvill and Dean" (1996, Carol Publishing Group.) In it, "they talk about their work with Michael Crawford. According to their book, Michael sighted them in the audience at a Palladium performance of Barnum and invited them backstage...he went on the create and record the Barnum "Overture" for them to skate to, and taught them how to act. He took them to meet Andrew Lloyd Webber, who decided he was too busy to help them. Torvill and Dean say that Michael became their mentor in 1981."

By the time Torvill and Dean reached Helsinki for the World Championships, MC was part of the team. On the video, "Torvill and Dean: Path to Perfection," he is interviewed before and after the dance routine is shown, plus he is in the coaches box with Betty Calloway during both rehearsal and actual competition. He yells "You did it!" when the scores are announced: all 6.0's for artistic merit for the first time in competition history. Also through MC, Michael Linnet became their agent as well.

On the down side...the next year, when Torvill and Dean came to MC with the idea of using "Bolero," he told them it was too serious for his taste. Oops! He missed that call.

A Footnote From CW

MC found out they were going to do this Barnum routine and asked if he could be involved. It was during the British Skating Championships Nov. 19th in Nottingham and the World Championships in Helsinki, Finland, March 1983. A quote from MC about Torville & Dean, "I found them to be delightful young people, the kind you want to help if you can." From the London Times, Nov. 1982.

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