Strictly Come Dancing has returned for it’s 20th series, bringing with it enough glitter and glamour to carry the nation through autumn.
The first episode was pushed back due to coverage of the Queen’s death and funeral, however fans of the show are excited for the imminent return this weekend.
This series sees a fresh batch of celebrities donning their dance shoes, with a range of famous faces set to dazzle – from sports people to TV presenters.
Strictly Come Dancing Line Up
All of the celebrities will take to the dance floor later alongside their partners with the hopes of lifting the Glitterball.
As well as the new “BBC 100” week, this year’s series will include viewer favourites, Movie Week, Halloween Week, Musicals Week – plus a return to Blackpool.
Ellie Simmonds, OBE is a former Paralympian swimmer, who has won many gold medals for Great Britain.
Despite her career in sports, the swimmer says she’s most worried about the dancing, saying: “I did ballet when I was a kid but that’s it, other than dancing with my friends on the dance floor and shimmying in hotel rooms with my teammates!
“Also with my disability, dwarfism, it will be a new challenge for me as I am learning something new and unknown, I’m used to being in water and now I’m on dry land
Comedian Ellie Taylor has appeared on, acted in and written for numerous TV shows, including 8 out of 10 Cats, Fake Reaction and Mock the Week.
The TV star admitted that she is feeling out of her comfort zone for the show, she said: “All of it will be a challenge. I won’t find the wearing beautiful clothes and having lovely hair and makeup done a challenge, that’ll be an absolute pleasure. But everything else is very out of my comfort zone!”
Singer-songwriter Fleur East is used to showbiz, having competed on the X Factor in 2005, and spending mornings presenting BBC One’s breakfast show.
When talking of her reasons for taking part in this year’s Strictly, Fleur said: “For me it’s a personal reason, my dad passed away in 2020 and this was his favourite show. He even used to get annoyed that he had to miss out on Strictly when I was on The X Factor because they were on at the same time.
“When I was deciding whether or not to do it I spoke to my sister and she reminded me of dad watching it all the time and then that was that the deciding factor straightaway, so that’s my motivation for doing it.”
Hamza Yassin is a cameraman known for his work on shows including the super-popular Countryfile and Animal Park, as well as presenting programmes about Scottish-wildlife.
Unlike some of the other contestants, Hamza seems excited at the prospect of dancing: “I love dancing, and I’m going to get the chance to be paired with a professional dancer and to learn some amazing routines.
“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, of course I had to say yes!”
Former Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton is a well-known BBC face.
Talking of her experience on Strictly, she said: “It takes me back my Blue Peter days, it was an all-consuming show where every minute of the day you were doing something for it”
But despite the pressure, she explains she’s on the show for the excitement: “I just wanted to do something fun! It was a good chance for my family to see me smiling and it’s a fun adventure.”
James Bye will be best-known to many for playing the role of Martin Fowler on EastEnders.
Talking of his decision to join Strictly, James said: “I wanted to use this opportunity to show my kids that with a bit of hard work and perseverance you can achieve anything.
“So I guess that’s a sort of a glorified parenting technique, I’m using Strictly to parent my children.”
Jayde Adams is the fifth celebrity contestant, and is an award-winning comedian, actor and presenter.
She said: “Since I watched the first series in 2004, I feel like every step I’ve taken in my career over the last 11 years was to be on Strictly. I cannot begin to express the emotions I am feeling, this means so much to me and my family.
Broadcaster and journalist Kaye Adams is best known as an anchor on ITV topical discussion show Loose Women as well as for hosting the morning show on BBC Radio Scotland.
Kaye said: “I said I wanted to make the last year of my 50s memorable and I can’t think of a better way of doing it than showing the world my two left feet. Pray for me!”
Singer and actress Kym Marsh is well known for her role of Michelle Connor in Coronation Street, for which she won Best Newcomer at both the National Television Awards and British Soap Awards.
Recently she played the notorious Alex in the touring theatre production of Fatal Attraction. Currently a presenter on BBC One’s Morning Live, Kym is soon set to star in the revival of BBC One drama Waterloo Road.
Singer-songwriter, musician and actor Matt Goss will join the group as well. He has enjoyed success as the front man of Bros, with their debut album Push going platinum seven times.
Matt said: “I’m extremely nervous and excited, but I’m optimistic because I’m very supple from the knees down.”
Singer and actress Molly Rainford was first discovered on Britain’s Got Talent in 2012, she is now currently starring in the lead role as intergalactic pop superstar Nova Jones in the hit CBBC show Nova Jones.
Molly said: “I’m so excited to be part of Strictly Come Dancing, I’ve watched it for years and can’t wait to meet the pros and the others taking part! I can’t wait to learn the moves and get dancing!”
Radio and TV presenter Richie Anderson was the third name to be confirmed for the show. He is an Royal Television Society (RTS) award-winning presenter and is best known for his well-established role on BBC Radio 2’s Breakfast Show, presenting the travel bulletins as well as hosting a wide variety of his own shows.
Former English football player and manager Tony Adams MBE has also been announced.
Tony said: “To say I’m excited is an understatement – the lure of the sequins and the call of the salsa has me swapping my battered old football boots for a set of Strictly soft shoes. Am absolutely thrilled to be giving it my all on this year’s 20th anniversary of Strictly Come Dancing. I can’t wait to meet my partner – God help her – and start the dancing.”
TV presenter, radio host and DJ Tyler West will compete for the glitterball trophy.
Tyler said: “I am so gassed to be joining the Strictly family! As I started writing this I already got cramp. It’s going to be one crazy incredible journey which will no doubt be so far outside my comfort zone. It’s a show that means so much to me and my family and I can’t wait to seriously shake a leg on that shiny dance floor… with a side of sequins.”
Will Mellor was the first celebrity contestant confirmed for the brand-new series. Mellor, 46, has been an actor for three decades. He is married to actress Michelle McSween and has two children.
Professional Strictly dancers for 2022
This year, four new world class dancers complete the professional troupe. These include: European cup winner Vito Coppola, Chinese National Champion Carlos Gu, former Under 21 British National Champion Lauren Oakley and Latin dance champion Michelle Tsiakkas.
- Dianne Buswell
- Nadiya Bychkova
- Graziano Di Prima
- Amy Dowden
- Karen Hauer
- Katya Jones
- Neil Jones
- Nikita Kuzmin
- Cameron Lombard
- Gorka Marquez
- Luba Mushtuk
- Giovanni Pernice
- Jowita Przystal
- Johannes Radebe
- Kai Widdrington
- Nancy Xu
When does Strictly Come Dancing start?
Strictly Come Dancing will be back on screens on Friday 23 September at 7pm with a special pre-recorded introductory episode.
Hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman will welcome the new celebrity contestants for their dancing debuts and viewers will discover which professional dancer they have been paired with.
The opening live show will then air at 6.45pm on Saturday 24 September; here we will see the 15 couples take to the dance floor for the first time.
Strictly 2022 starts at 7pm on Friday 23 September 2022 on BBC One