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"Most women, when they grow up, don't immediately say, 'I'm going to adopt a child'.

They're back in their native Nottingham today, working on a secret new project for "sometime next year" - the first since they wrapped up Dancing On Ice after nine series in March - and it's clear their popularity in their home city is as strong as ever.

"We have to make conscious decisions not to go out together, because we get bombarded," says Christopher Dean with a slight transatlantic twang, the result of years touring the globe and finally making America his permanent home.

They admit there was "an attraction in the beginning", and there was a kiss once at the back of a bus, but they didn't discuss it afterwards.

"We're northerners," says Torvill, laughing, "you don't discuss things like that!

It's not like, oh - within a month, you can have a child.

They don't make it easy, so it has to be the right decision.

"There were so many people who had been there 30 years earlier, who had been through so much and were coming out the other side." They turned professional after their 1984 victory, winning the World Professional Championships and touring the globe with lavish shows, but in 1994, they were ready for another challenge.

The International Olympic Committee decided to let professional skaters turn amateur again for one time only, to drum up excitement for the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, and so Torvill and Dean took to the ice again as Olympians.

"It's hard to explain, but I always felt like a different person on the ice, it felt magical.

It gave me a sense of freedom," says the 57-year-old.

In the book, Torvill admits this "uncoupling" was "deeply painful" and says for the first few months without Dean, she felt depressed.