Five favorite things with Coomes and Buckland

British ice dancers both enjoyed the show Prison Break; she can't get enough Michael Jackson

Despite their size difference, Penny Coomes says she eats the same amount as her partner.
Despite their size difference, Penny Coomes says she eats the same amount as her partner. (Getty Images)


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(11/23/2011) - On Nov. 27, Penny Coomes and Nicholas Buckland are scheduled to perform their Viva Elvis free dance in Sheffield, England, to vie for their first British ice dancing title.

The two 22-year-olds, who train in Mount Laurel, N.J., under two-time Olympic ice dancing champion Evgeni Platov and in Nottingham under Penny's stepdad, two-time British ice dancing champion Philip Askew, hope to capture the mantle long held by Scottish siblings Sinead Kerr and John Kerr. Skating together since 2005, Coomes and Buckland placed second to Kerr and Kerr at the 2010 British Figure Skating Championships.

Winning the crown over current British champions Louise Walden and Owen Edwards might help make up for the disappointment of last season, when Penny injured her knee in a fall in the short dance, forcing the team to withdraw. The team also narrowly missed winning the bronze medal at Cup of China this fall when both fell at the very end of their free dance.

The program, inspired by Cirque de Soleil's Viva Elvis show, features a medley of the Presley hits "Blue Suede Shoes" and "Can't Help Falling in Love with You" but starts with the well-known strains of Richard Strauss' "Thus Spake Zarathustra," best known as the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

"It was played as an introduction to Elvis' later concerts," Buckland explained.

Any favorite movies?

Nick: Lord of the Rings. I'm a bit geeky.

Penny: I love movies, watch them all the time. I like films with clever endings. Shawshank Redemption is one of my favorites.

How about food?

Penny: Everyone thinks I'm so tiny, I don't eat, but when I cook, I always eat the same portions as Nick. I am a carnivore; I love meat and pasta.

Nick: We go to Nando's [restaurant], and my favorite is a Portuguese chicken dish with a special cooking sauce. We always bring the marinade home.

What do you like on the telly?

Nick: I loved Prison Break on Fox, but that's been over for a while now. It's one of my favorites of all time. I'm still trying to find a substitute for it.

Penny: I liked Prison Break too. I started watching Bones.

Any off-ice hobbies?

Penny: I like playing Michael Jackson: The Experience (a Nintendo Wii video game). You have to copy him and do his moves.

Nick: Tennis

What's on your iPods?

Penny: I quite like Coldplay and, of course, Michael Jackson.

Nick: My favorite band is 30 Seconds to Mars. I listen to them a lot.