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Strictly Come Dancing is nearly here after the BBC confirmed its celebrity line-up over the last few weeks. BBC Breakfast announced the first two stars on August 4 with many more unveiled with a total of 15 stars participating this year.
This year marks the 20th series of Strictly with a stellar line-up of famous names. The glitzy Strictly launch show will be filmed on September 7 and will see the celebrities paired up with the dancing professionals, while the main programme is expected to be aired later in the month.Helen Skelton is the 15th and final celebrity confirmed
TV and radio broadcaster Helen Skelton is the final name added to this year’s Strictly Come Dancing line-up.
During her five years working on Blue Peter, Helen became known as a bit of a daredevil, taking on challenges like cycling to the South Pole, kayaking over 2018 miles down the Amazon river and completing the Namibia Ultra Marathon.
She has since gone on to present Countryfile, BBC Sport, ITV’s Lorraine, On the Farm and is a regular face on ITV Tonight.
Regarding her radio career, Helen has stood in for Dermot O’Leary and OJ Borg on Radio 2 and hosted various shows on Radio 5 Live.
Helen has also just been announced as the host of the revamped Radio 5 Live Sunday morning show.
She said: “I’m really excited to get stuck into a fun adventure. My family and friends have always loved the show and can’t wait for me to get started.”
James bye is the 14th celebrity contestant confirmed
James spoke with Good Morning Britain presenter Richard Arnold during Friday’s ITV show.
“I’ve known for a long time, which has obviously been really hard to keep that secret,” he told the host.
“So, I’m so pleased that now it’s finally out…I can talk about it, I can tell people that I’ve lied to… so apologies if you’re one of those that I’ve lied to.
“But yeah, it’s been a while so I’ve had quite a lot to get my head around it.”
James went on to admit that he was feeling a bit “nervous” about taking part, as he added: “It’s really happening now.”
Hamza Yassin is the 13th celebrity contestant confirmed
Cameraman and wildlife presenter Hamza Yassin is going to be taking part in the show this year. He was revealed today on BBC Radio Scotland’s The Afternoon Show.
He said: “I am absolutely over the moon to be joining Strictly 2022. Never in a million years did I think I’d be on such a cool show. I’ve been watching it for years and I can’t believe I’ll actually be there dancing live in front of the British public.
“My dance skills are currently at the level of ‘1970s disco vibe’ but I’m ready to work hard and will be shaking it every time I get the chance – shake it ‘til you make it!”
The star presents BBC’s Animal Park and he’s been a guest host on Countryfile. Additionally, he works on CBeebies as Ranger Hamza on Let’s Go For A Walk and the new series Ranger Hamza’s Eco Quest later this month.
Most recently, he fronted the Channel 4 documentary Scotland: My Life in the Wild and Scotland: Escape to the Wilderness and went through the Highlands.Fleur East is the 12th celebrity contestant to be confirmed.
Former X Factor star Fleur East is waltzing her way onto the show this year, saying: “I’m equally nervous and thrilled to be part of this year’s Strictly lineup. I’m excited to learn new skills and I want to soak up every moment of this magical experience.
“It’s such an honour to be on the show after years of watching it with my Father who loved it so much. Unfortunately, my Dad is no longer with us but I know he will be watching over the ballroom in spirit. I’m doing this to make him and my family proud and can’t wait to get my dancing shoes on!”
During her music career, she released two albums and had a hit success with the single Sax, which hit number three on the UK charts.
Fleur is not only a singer but now a radio DJ who hosts the Hits Radio Breakfast Show, which she presents on weekdays. She has previously appeared on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here back in 2018 but Strictly will be a completely new challenge for her.Tony Adams is the 11th celebrity contestant to be confirmed
Strictly Come Dancing has signed up Arsenal legend Tony Adams to strut his stuff on the dance floor this year.
Tony said of signing up: “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.”
The formidable centre-back’s football career spanned over 22 years, playing for both Arsenal and England. Having captained both, he is regarded as one of Arsenal’s greatest ever players and one of the all-time greats of English football.
Tony won 66 caps for England, appeared at four major tournaments and had 10 major trophy wins whilst still the only player in English football history to captain a team to three top-flight titles over three different decades.
As captain of England, he famously led the national team to the Euro 96 final. Whilst he was playing he founded Sporting Chance, a charity to help sportspeople with mental health and addiction issues of which he remains Honorary president today.
READ MORE: Tony Adams issues warning to Strictly partner as he signs up to showMolly Rainford has been confirmed as the tenth celebrity contestant
Molly Rainford is “so excited” to be joining the 2022 series of Strictly Come Dancing and was announced on Wednesday, August 10.
The 21-year-old describes herself as an “intergalactic pop superstar” singer and actress.
She first appeared on TV at the age of 11 in 2012 when she was the youngest-ever Britain’s Got Talent contestant.
Choosing to continue her studies after BGT, Simon Cowell and Sony Music honoured Molly with their first drama school scholarship at the internationally renowned Sylvia Young Theatre School.
Since graduating, Molly is currently starring in the lead role as intergalactic pop superstar Nova Jones in the hit CBBC show Nova Jones.
This Autumn, Molly will be seen across CBBC screens as Nova Jones returns for series two. The series has proved so popular that the BBC has already filmed the third series.
Speaking of signing up for Strictly, 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!”Ellie Taylor has been confirmed as the ninth celebrity contestant
Ellie Taylor has been announced as the latest star to be joining Strictly Come Dancing with the news announced on ITV’s Lorraine today (August 9).
Stand-in host Ranvir Singh teased her inclusion, saying they had appeared on both The Great Pottery Throw Down as well as Apple TV’s acclaimed football series Ted Lasso. Her other projects include ITV’s Show Me The Funny, Netflix’s Comedians of the World, BBC’s Mock The Week, The Mash Report and Live at the Apollo, and Late Night Mash on Dave.
She said she knew “for a while” she was taking part in the series after being booked weeks ago. Ellie said she only danced at weddings after a few “vodka and cokes”, saying: “I’ve never been elegant in my life.”
She added: “I’m looking forward to finding that grace and elegance.” The comic said it was a no-brainer signing on the dotted line for Strictly, admitting: “I’ve wanted to do it forever.”
She went on to say: “Well, cover me in fake tan and roll me in sequins! I’m absolutely over the moon to be a part of Strictly 2022! I’ve watched the show for years so to be able to take to the dance floor is a dream come true, for both me and mum who is a Strictly super fan! At the moment I’m focusing on the excitement and glitter and choosing to ignore the fact that I have the dancing ability of a newly born giraffe. Bring it on!”Matt Goss is the eighth celebrity contestant to be confirmed.
Eighties pop star Matt Goss will be appearing on Strictly Come Dancing and is hoping to impress the judges. He was revealed on This Morning on August 8 and said: “I am excited and now I’m nervous.”
Goss went on to say: “I just thought it’s time for me to come home and so something out of my comfort zone. I’m quite shy off-stage.” He does shows in Las Vegas but suggested this was something different from his performances as a singer with the star headlining in America for the past 11 years.
The star said he got the call a month ago, saying: “I have butterflies for the first time in three decades.” He said he was just looking forward to meeting the contestants and learning the dances.
Goss also appeared on BBC Breakfast this morning (August 9) to talk about his big move back to the UK after living for decades in the States with a residency in Las Vegas for 11 years. The pop star revealed how he was selling off most of his belongings as he prepared to relocate back to Britain including all his cars, but his beloved dog would be coming with him.
He told BBC Breakfast host Sally Nugent how he was “happy to be home” after “coming in and out of the UK” for years and living a hermit-like existence but said it was “a big move emotionally”. Explaining the decision, he said: “Almost reclusive, I felt it was a time to be home and live and get out of my way, loosening up a little bit because I get treated so well here.”
Goss went on to explain his fandom in the UK was also part of the decision to come back, saying: “It’s nice to have that familiar with the British public.” He added: “I don’t want a reclusive life in my place. I want to get out and embrace life a lot more than I have.” The star suggested this was also his reason for taking part in Strictly.Tyler West is the seventh celebrity contestant to be confirmed
Television host, DJ and radio presenter Tyler West is joining Strictly after his addition to the cast was announced this morning (August 8) on Kiss Breakfast with Jordan & Perri.
He also hosts the weekday afternoon show on Kiss Radio, with the slot earning him a prestigious ARIA for Best New Presenter in 2020.
The star 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.”
Tyler has also worked across CBBC, MTV, and the EE BAFTA Red Carpet live show in 2020 as well as launching his BBC Three show Flat out Fabulous, which he co-hosts.
Show bosses have announced that “registration is now open to be part of the exciting launch show, which is recording in advance of this year’s live shows on Wednesday, September 7.” The Strictly Come Dancing launch date has not been confirmed by the BBC yet but based on previous years it is expected to air later in September.
But what date will it start? Click HERE for the latest insight on when Strictly will be back on our screens.Ellie Simmonds is the sixth celebrity contestant confirmed
Ellie Simmonds first came to fame after winning two gold medals at the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing when she was just 13 years old.
She was the youngest athlete at the games and she took home the top medal for the 100m and 400m freestyle events. Since then, she has become a presenter for the sports coverage on the BBC and has fronted several documentaries on various channels.
Speaking of singing up, she said: “Oh my gosh! I’m literally bursting with excitement!! It’s been soooo hard keeping this secret as I’ve wanted to tell everyone. I’m going on Strictly Come Dancing!!
“I’m a tad nervous too, well more than a tad… I’m absolutely petrified! To be asked to be part of the Strictly family is just so exciting and I cannot wait, it’s going to so much fun.
“I’m counting down the minutes until it starts; learning to dance, meeting my partner and everyone else involved in the show. Plus wearing the sequins and all that, It’s going to be a blast.
“I’ve been watching Strictly from as far back as I can remember; it’s a traditional lead-up to Christmas with my family and it’s a genuine privilege to be part of it.”
READ MORE: Ellie Simmonds ‘petrified’ to join Strictly Come DancingJayde Adams is the fifth celebrity contestant confirmed
Jayde is an award-winning comedian and actress who was revealed to be taking part in this year’s edition of Strictly on BBC Radio 5 Live with Scott Mills and Chris Stark.
Viewers will know Jayde best for her roles in the BBC comedy Alma’s Not Normal, Amazon Prime’s Good Omens and BBC’s The Outlaws.
Speaking of taking part, 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. I’ve always watched it, apart from a brief hiatus in 2011 as I was relentlessly gigging every weekend (to try to get on Strictly).
“I’ve been a massive fan of the show for years. I feel like I’m watching myself in a dream and I can’t believe I’ve manifested this. Holding this in has been torture for me!”Kaye Adams is the fourth celebrity contestant confirmed.
Kaye Adams has been confirmed as the latest star to be joining Strictly Come Dancing after they were revealed on ITV‘s Loose Women today (August 5). The talkshow built up the suspense before revealing all with red herrings and double bluffs along the way.
The Scottish broadcaster is not only a member of the Loose Women panel but also hosts on BBC Radio Scotland as well as serving as a journalist for Channel 5 and STV.
Kaye admitted: “I can’t dance” and appeared nervous about taking part in the series. She also added: “I’m absolutely terrified.”
She said: “I could think of a million reasons not to do this and when these gorgeous young dancers came on, I nearly exited from both ends of my body.
“Am I going to sit here at the end of September thinking, ‘Why didn’t I give this a go?’ I’m 60 at the end of this year and I thought, why not?'” Kay reflected: “If I’m enjoying myself, I’ll be happy.”
She added: “I said I wanted to make the last year of my fifties memorable and I can’t think of a better way of doing it than showing the world my two left feet. Pray for me!”
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Radio and TV presenter Richie Anderson has been revealed to be the third person waltzing their way onto Strictly Come Dancing this year. His addition was confirmed on the Radio 2 Breakfast Show today (August 5).
Richie is an award-winning presenter and has been a firm part of Radio 2’s Breakfast Show, hosting the travel bulletins as well as his own shows. Earlier this year, he went to cover the Eurovision Song Contest in Turin for Radio 2.
He said about joining: “This is a dream come true! I cannot wait to get in those sparkles and sequins and shimmy across the most famous dance floor in the world! Strictly is the ultimate feel-good show, as soon as I hear that iconic theme tune it’s just pure escapism.
“I’m going to have to cancel my legendary Strictly launch night kitchen party that I throw every year, I’m sure my friends and family will understand. It’s also a massive honour to be part of an all-male dance partnership, it’s so important we have that inclusion on such a huge show.”Kym Marsh is the 2nd contestant to be announced on BBC Breakfast
Actress, singer and TV presenter Kym Marsh is also going to be joining the fray this year. Kym was known as a singer on Hear’Say after appearing on the ITV talent show Popstars and went on to appear as Michelle McDonald on Coronation Street for many years.
She is now a broadcaster on Morning Live as well as filming on the BBC series Waterloo Road.
When asked whether her pop star roots would be helping her, she said: “It definitely does not. I haven’t done any kind of live dancing performing.” Admitting: “It’s been a long time since I’ve been on stage.”
She said: “It’s going to be tricky” and explained she had done dancing previously as a little girl. Much like Will Mellor, her music career could help but Kym wasn’t convinced, suggesting dancing had come second to singing.
Kym also said: “I’ve considered doing Strictly for years but the timings never worked out. I’m so delighted that this year they have! I’m a huge fan of the show and can’t believe I’m going to go from watching at home in my pyjamas to actually dancing in front of the judges in a glittery dress, it’s unreal!”Will Mellor is the 1st contestant to be announced on BBC Breakfast.
Will is an actor and singer and is well known to fans for his roles in Hollyoaks, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Line of Duty and Broadchurch. The star has also been in Coronation Street in the role of Harvey Gaskell.
In terms of his music career, Will reached number five on the UK charts with the song When I Need You back in 1998.
He said: “I’m honestly so chuffed to be taking part in Strictly Come Dancing this year! Not going to lie, it’s totally out of my comfort zone and I know it will be a huge challenge but that’s what life is all about. This is also my Mum’s favourite show and she’s had a really tough few years so I’m doing this for her as well. Bring it on!”
On BBC Breakfast, Will said: “I have a dance like everyone does” and added: “I’m way out of my comfort zone.”
Historically, pop stars generally do well thanks to their dance practice but this is no guarantee of success.
READ MORE: Will Mellor details heart-breaking reason he signed up to StrictlyStrictly Come Dancing has announced the first two contestants taking part in this year’s series.
But will you be watching Strictly Come Dancing this year? Vote in Express.co.uk’s poll HERE.
The BBC has already shared information about the new professionals joining the show Vito Coppola, Carlos Gu,Lauren Oakley, and Michelle Tsiakkas.
They will be joining existing professionals 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 and Nancy Xu.
In 2021, actress Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni lifted the Glitterball Trophy after winning over the judges and the nation with their footwork. This was Giovanni’s first win and fourth time in the Strictly final.
Speaking about the professionals coming back, Strictly producer Sarah James said: “We could not be more proud of the Strictly professional dancers and we are so happy to have so many returning for 2022.
“The world-class skill and extraordinary care they bring to everything they do, from working with their celebrity partners to choreographing and performing remarkable and unforgettable routines, never ceases to amaze us.”
She added: “They really are the best in the business and we can’t wait to see what they bring to the Strictly ballroom for our twentieth fabulous series.”
Back in May, the BBC confirmed the judging panel for 2022 with Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Head Judge Shirley Ballas will be making a comeback with veteran pro-Anton Du Beke continuing his residency after debuting in 2021.
Craig said: “I am beyond thrilled to be returning to Strictly, I can’t believe it will be my 20th series! It’s going to be Fab-u-lous!”
While Motsi said: “Last year’s series of Strictly was one of the highlights of my career, it has had such a real impact which has been incredible to witness. I am so proud to be a part of this show and I am so looking forward to returning for my fourth series!”
Finally, head of the panel Shirley Ballas said: “Being a judge on Strictly is such a joy and honour for me, and I can’t wait to be back at the studio waving my paddle. Every year the wonderful production team surpass themselves and I know they have some brilliant plans in store for 2022. I’m so excited to get started.”
Adding his continued residency on the panel, Anton said: “Woohooo! This is BRILLIANT news. Everyone knows how much I absolutely love the show and I’m utterly delighted to be continuing as a regular judge. And I get to make the final again – now I know how Giovanni feels!”
Strictly’s hosting duo Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly are going to be heading back to the show as well.
Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One later this year.
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