Strictly 2021 saw EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice walk away with the glitterball trophy and a new batch of celebrities are about to get their dancing shoes in the hope of impressing the Judges - Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Anton Du Beke, to be top of the leaderboard.
The show, which celebrates its 20th anniversary, has a four new professional dancers making it the biggest casting ever - with 20 dancing pairs, and if that's not enough tickets are on sale for the Strictly live tour 2023 and there's a Strictly Christmas special, as we look at which famous faces have been confirmed so far...
Who is on Strictly Come Dancing 2022?
Former Newsround and Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton is the fifteenth and final celebrity taking part in Strictly Come Dancing.
Whilst presenting on Blue Peter for five years she took on some incredible challenges, including completing the Namibia Ultra Marathon, cycling to the South Pole and kayaking over 2018 miles down the Amazon River, so Strictly will be another exciting exercise to get involved in.
Earlier this year Helen confirmed her split from husband Richie Myler.
Helen 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.”
Since then, she has presented shows across various channels, including Countryfile, several major sporting events for BBC Sport, ITV’s Lorraine, BT Sport’s FA Women’s Super League football matches, Channel 4’s Rugby league Super league coverage and Inside The Superbrands in addition to the highly successful On The Farm series for Channel 5 and being a regular on ITV Tonight.
Meanwhile, as a radio presenter, Helen has stood in for Dermot O’Leary and OJ Borg on BBC Radio 2, hosted various shows across BBC Radio 5 Live and has just been announced as the host of the new-look BBC Radio 5 Live Sunday morning show.
Outside of broadcasting, Helen has also published a novel, Amy Wild: Amazon Summer. And Wild Girl. A guide to adventures.
EastEnders star James Bye is the 14th contestant taking part in Strictly Come Dancing. Best-known for playing Martin Fowler in the BBC One soap since 2014, he won Best Storyline in 2016 at the British Soap Awards.
Speaking about signing up for the show, James said, "I’m not known for my shimmy or my twinkle toes - in fact my kids regularly laugh at my dad dancing but it’s an honour to be asked and I’m going to give it my best shot. There are some huge dance shoes to fill and it’s truly exciting to follow in the footsteps of some amazing EastEnders talent. I’d love to do everyone proud.”
James has previously had roles in the BBC One mini-series The Great Train Robbery and films including Hummingbird, The Hooligan Factory and Cemetery Junction. On stage he has starred in several well-reviewed theatre productions.
Wildlife cameraman and presenter Hamza Yassin is the 13th contestant announced for Strictly Come Dancing. As one of the presenters on BBC's Animal Park and guest presenter on BBC's Countryfile, Hamza will be putting himself under the spotlight.
Speaking about his new venture, 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 ‘1970’s 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!”
He is well known to younger viewers under the guise of Ranger Hamza, presenting CBeebies live-action show Let’s Go For A Walk and new series Ranger Hamza’s Eco Quest later this month. Hamza moved to the Scottish Highlands when he was younger to follow his dream of filming Scottish wildlife and becoming a wildlife cameraman. He has lived there ever since and recently fronted Channel 4 documentary Scotland: My Life in the Wild and Scotland: Escape to the Wilderness, in which he guided celebrity companions on journeys through western and eastern Scotland and the Highlands.
In his spare time, Hamza competes in the Highland Games and enjoys riding the country roads on his motorbike.
Fleur East is the 12th celebrity confirmed for Strictly 2022 after it was announced on Hits Radio Breakfast Show. The X Factor series 11 runner up is no stranger to the stage but she will hope her moves catch the eye of the judges as she learns to dance ballroom.
Speaking about the upcoming contest, the singer-songwriter, TV and radio presenter, said, “I’m equally nervous and thrilled to be part of this year’s Strictly line up. 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!”
As a singer Fleur, who is married to Marcel Badiane-Robin has released two albums, with European chart hit single “Sax” reaching number three in the UK singles chart.
After appearing on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here in 2018 she became host of the Hits Radio Breakfast show which she hosts every weekday. She has also appeared as a presenter on the last three series of Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway and a host of ITV gameshow The Void.
Tony Adams MBE
The 11th contestant competing on Strictly is Tony Adams MBE. The former English footballer and manager will be hoping his old footwork on the football field playing centre-back for both Arsenal and England will put him in good stead on the dancefloor. Having won 66 caps for England, whilst having appeared at four major tournaments and had 10 major trophy wins could be set to add to his trophy cabinet.
Speaking about making his dancing debut, 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.”
Tony, now retired, is 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.
The father-of-six and husband to wife Poppy went into coaching and management before recently launching his new venture, SIX MHS, which delivers Mental Health and Addictions services to non-sportspeople and non-sport’s organisations. He remains a patron of four other additional charities, NACOA, Forward Trust, Saving Faces, School Home Support and has started the charity, 6 Addiction, for people that can’t afford private mental health services.
Molly Rainford is the tenth celebrity confirmed for Strictly. The Britain's Got Talent star became the show's youngest ever finalist in 2012 but she's swapping scripts for the salsa. Best-known for her role as pop superstar Nova Jones in the hit CBBC show.
Speaking about joining the show, she 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!” she added.
Molly was given a drama school scholarship at Sylvia Young Theatre School by Simon Cowell and Sony.
Comedian Ellie Taylor is the ninth celebrity taking part in Strictly after the news was announced on Lorraine on Tuesday, 9th August. The comedian, broadcaster, writer and actor shot to fame after starring on ITV's Show Me The Funny and has gone on to write and perform five stand-up comedy shows - one of which, Cravings, streamed on Netflix as part of Comedians of the World.
Speaking about her new venture, Ellie said, "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!" she added.
Ellie is known as a regular on the BBC’s Mock The Week, The Mash Report and Live at the Apollo, Late Night Mash on Dave and, most recently, as a co-host on Channel 4’s The Great Pottery Throw Down.
She also stars in Apple TV’s multi-award winning comedy series Ted Lasso. Ellie’s debut book, My Child and Other Mistakes, became a Sunday Times bestseller in 2021.
Her forthcoming projects include two brand-new formats as she presents You Won’t Believe This (w/t) for Channel 4 and co-hosts Cheat alongside Danny Dyer, which is coming soon to Netflix.
Matt Goss, star of BROS, is the eighth confirmed contestant for Strictly Come Dancing. The news was revealed on Monday 8th August on ITV’s This Morning. The singer-songwriter, musician and actor who formed half of pop duo Bros, has moved back to the UK to take part in the show.
Matt Goss said, “I’m extremely nervous and excited, but I’m optimistic because I’m very supple from the knees down.”
He has enjoyed mega success as the front man of BROS, with their debut album Push going platinum seven times and it remained on the UK top ten music charts for an astonishing 54 weeks.
Over the last decade, Matt has had a record breaking residency on the Las Vegas strip but will move back to the UK to compete after living in the States for 25 years.
The When Will I Be Famous hitmaker said, "I thought it's time for me to come home and just do something completely out of my comfort zone. i'm quite shy off stage so I'm going to have to just face all those demons and just learn."
Speaking about returning to the UK after living in the US, he said, "I'm excited to be home and to crack on with it and meet new people.
'When you're playing four shows a week in Vegas...someone is going to have to teach me...I move obviously but you don't really know what you're doing.
"I've got butterflies for the first time in three decades, I am genuinely quite nervous and it's a nice feeling to be that nervous."
Despite being on stage singe the age of 17, he joked that "at the very least people will have a good laugh at my expense!"
In 2013 Matt took part in the Strictly Christmas special, he added, "My bum was very sore because of my glutes, you discover muscles that you never knew you had before."
With continued success as a solo artist, Matt is about to release his solo album, The Beautiful Unknown.
Matt received the revered “Icon Award” and has even been given his own “Matt Goss Day” on 8th August, which amazingly is his late mother’s birthday. The cult classic documentary: After the Screaming Stops, was nominated for three BAFTA’s which resulted in a win. It also won the BBC “Moment of the Year” and a National Television Award, to name a few.
Matt is a best-selling author with new books in the works. He is also set to play the lead role in upcoming psychological thriller movie, Cobbler Killer Stranger.
Tyler West is the seventh celebrity confirmed for Strictly 2022. The TV presenter, radio host and DJ is best known for hosting weekday afternoons on KISS.
But his face might also look familiar as he began his broadcasting career in children's television - including CBBC - while also filming for MTV news, HQ Trivia and the 2020 EE BAFTA Awards red carpet live show.
Tyler, who was nominated for a prestigious ARIA for Best New Presenter in 2020, said he "can't wait" to be joining Strictly. “I am SO gassed to be joining the Strictly family!" he said.
"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.”
Last year Tyler launched his first BBC Three series, co-hosting Flat out Fabulous as well as becoming the host of The MTV Movie Show.
The news was revealed on 8th August on KISS Breakfast with Jordan & Perri.
Ellie Simmonds OBE
Ellie Simmonds OBE is the sixth star taking part in Strictly Come Dancing. The five-time Paralympic champion and broadcaster couldn't wait for the news to be out.
She said, “Oh my gosh!! I’m literally bursting with excitement!!"
Ellie is best known as a gold medal-winning Paralympic swimmer.
She explained, "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."
In addition to her sporting achievements including becoming the youngest British athlete at the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, and won gold medals in the 100m and 400m freestyle events, aged 13, Ellie is a huge Strictly fan.
"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,” she added.
In 2012 she achieved gold in the 400m freestyle and the 200m Individual Medley at the Summer Paralympics in London and won a further gold in the 200m Individual Medley at Rio 2016. She has won ten gold World Championship titles. At the age of 13 she won BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year and a year later, at just 14 years old, she became the youngest person ever receive an MBE. She was elevated to OBE in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to Paralympic sport.
And she will be hoping to add the Glitterball to her trophy cabinet.
After retiring from competitive swimming in 2020, Ellie has gone on to present for BBC Sport, most recently for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, as well as making documentaries such as Ellie Simmonds: A World Without Dwarfism? for BBC One and BBC iPlayer. She is set to explore disability and adoption in a recently announced ITV film.
The news was revealed on Sunday 7th August on BBC 5 Live Sunday Breakfast.
Jayde Adams is an award-winning comedian, actor and presenter and the fifth celebrity taking part in the dance contest. Speaking about it now being her time, Jayde explained, “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 and get on Strictly).
Best known as a comedian, Jayde has won several comedy awards and was nominated for the coveted Best Newcomer with her Edinburgh Fringe debut stand-up hour. Her Amazon Prime special, Serious Black Jumper, received global critical acclaim, was released worldwide and was longlisted for an Emmy.
As an actor, Jayde has starred in BBC Two BAFTA winning comedy Alma’s Not Normal, the upcoming Take That movie Greatest Days, Amazon Prime’s Good Omens, and BBC One’s The Outlaws, while she is co-creator and star of ITV2’s upcoming brand new series Ruby Speaking.
And that's not all, Jayde hosted Netflix’s Crazy Delicious, co-hosted Channel 4’s BAFTA nominated Snackmasters and has a weekly BBC Radio 4 podcast, Welcome to the Neighbourhood. She is currently performing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with her stand-up show Men, I Can Save You.
Jayde added, "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!”
The news was revealed on Saturday 6th August on BBC Radio 5 Live – Scott Mills and Chris Stark. Jayde is partnered with Karen Hauer.
Kaye Adams said, “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!”
Having started her career as a news journalist Kaye has presented programming for various TV channels including STV, the BBC and Channel 5. She started her popular podcast, How To Be 60 with Kaye Adams, in 2022.
The third celebrity set to cha-cha-cha into the competition is radio and TV presenter Richie Anderson. The RTS award winning presenter is best known for presenting the travel bulletins on BBC Radio 2's Breakfast Show which is hosted by Zoe Ball, and presenting on The One Show. He's covered high profile events for the station including Eurovision Song Contest and the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.
Speaking about signing up for Strictly where he reveals he will be part of the all-male dance partnership, Richie said, “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.”
Richie is taking time out of rehearsals to perform at BBC Radio 2 Live in Leeds.
The second contestant to be confirmed is Kym Marsh. The 46 year-old actor, television presenter and singer will be swapping her Morning Live! scripts for some dancing tips as she prepares to take to the dance floor.
Speaking about why she entered the show, Kym Marsh 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!”
Kym, who tied the knot to Scott Ratcliff, has won awards for her acting - after scooping Best Newcomer at both the National Television Awards and British Soap Awards for her role as Michelle Connor in Coronation Street, so she will have her eye on the glitterball.
And as formerly one-fifth of Popstars Hear'Say, Kym is no stranger to dance routines - recently she's taken to the stage as Alex in Fatal Attraction and is preparing to star in the revival of BBC One drama Waterloo Road.
But she recently opened up about suffering from anxiety and panic attacks. Let's hope her nerves don't get the better of her.
The first celebrity contestant announced for Strictly is actor Will Mellor. The news was revealed to viewers on BBC Breakfast on BBC One. For anyone who missed the live announcement, Will took to his Instagram to share the news to his followers.
He said, "I'm going to be on Strictly. I know...proper out of my comfort zone. I'm terrified, frightened and a few other words I could say, but if you know me, I don't take myself that seriously but I am going to give it a right good go.
"Life is about stepping out of your comfort zone and doing things that scare you and creating memories and you've just got to grab life sometimes so I'm doing it, I'm getting involved. Get behind me cause I'm in for a ride!"