The Strictly season is almost here, and the full line-up of who is taking to the dance floor this year has now been confirmed.
The entertainment show will return to BBC One and BBC iPlayer for its 20th series this autumn, once again bringing glitter, glamour and glorious dancing to homes across the nation.
So when can you expect your first instalment? Here’s everything you need to know.
When will Strictly be back?
It may seem mad that it is that time of year already, but Strictly has confirmed the launch show will be recorded on Wednesday 7 September.
This means it will probably air on Saturday 10 September.
Presenters Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly will also likely return to welcome this year’s line-up.
A statement read: “Dust off your dancing shoes, Strictly Come Dancing is back!.
‘”The stunning 20th series returns, bringing glamour and show-stopping dancing back to Saturday nights on BBC One – and we’re extremely excited to be able to welcome an audience back to the studio for this year’s shows.”
Who has been confirmed?
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.
He is known for many roles including starring in Hollyoaks, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Line of Duty and Broadchurch. Most recently he appeared in Coronation Street as Harvey Gaskell.
He also reached number 5 in the UK Singles Chart with “When I Need You” in 1998. He recently toured the UK with a live version of the popular podcast he co-hosts with Ralf Little, Two Pints with Will and Ralf.
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 is for her as well. Bring it on!”
The Strictly team has not released the full line-up, but some more announcements have been made.
The second contestant to be confirmed was singer and actress Kym Marsh.
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.
She has also had a successful music career, both in the band Hear’Say – which she won a place in after appearing on the show Popstars – and as a solo artist.
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.
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!”
Radio and TV presenter Richie Anderson was the third name to be confirmed.
He is an 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.
In May he travelled to Turin to cover the Eurovision Song Contest for the station. A regular presenter on The One Show, he is often seen on BBC One and was proud to be part of the channel’s recent Platinum Jubilee coverage.
Anderson 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.”
And the fourth contestant to be revealed was broadcaster and journalist Kaye Adams.
She 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.
Having started her career as a news journalist she 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.
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!”
Jayde Adams is the fifth celebrity contestant and is an award-winning comedian, actor and presenter.
She 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.
Adams 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 and 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!”
Five-time Paralympic champion and broadcaster Ellie Simmonds OBE has also been announced.
Simmonds 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 be 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.”
TV presenter, radio host and DJ Tyler West will compete for the glitterball trophy.
He is best known for hosting weekday afternoons on KISS, for which he was nominated for a prestigious ARIA for Best New Presenter in 2020. Last year he launched his first BBC Three series, co-hosting Flat out Fabulous as well as becoming the host of The MTV Movie Show.
West 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.”
Singer-songwriter, musician and actor Matt Goss will join the group as well.
He has enjoyed mega success as the front man of BROS, with their debut album Push going platinum seven times. It remained on the UK top ten music charts for an astonishing 54 weeks. With continued success as a solo artist, he is about to release his solo album, The Beautiful Unknown.
Goss said: “I’m extremely nervous and excited, but I’m optimistic because I’m very supple from the knees down.”
Comedian, broadcaster, writer and actor Ellie Taylor is also going to compete.
Taylor began her career as a stand-up comedian after appearing 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. 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.
Taylor 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!”
Singer and actress Molly Rainford will join Strictly this year.
After being 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. Se has also has been shortlisted for best newcomer at the 2022 Variety Club Showbusiness Awards and has released two EP’
Rainford 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!”
Former English football player and manager Tony Adams MBE has also been announced.
A centre-back, his football career spanned 22 years, and he played for both Arsenal and England. He is regarded as one of Arsenal’s greatest ever players and one of the all-time greats of English football, and he won 66 caps for England.
Adams MBE 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.”
Singer-songwriter, TV and radio presenter Fleur East is also joining the show.
After coming runner-up in series 11 of The X Factor, Fleur has been a regular face in the world of music and broadcasting, and has released two albums. 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.
Fleur East 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!”
Wildlife cameraman and presenter Hamza Yassin was one of the last contestants to be announced.
He is one of the presenters of Animal Park and a guest presenter on Countryfile where he shares his vast knowledge and camera skills
Hamza Yassin 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!”
EastEnders star James Bye will also be joining the line-up.
The actor, best known for playing Martin Fowler in the soap, was unveiled live on ITV’s Good Morning Britain outside the BBC soap’s fictional Walford East tube station.
The 38-year-old admitted he had known for “quite a long time” but that the news had “still not really sunk in” and he was “really nervous”.
He also reflected on the advice fellow EastEnders actor Jake Wood had offered him, after he appeared on the show in 2014.
“He has been really helpful,” he said. “He has given me some key pointers for when it is really hard, when it kicks in. A lot of eating, keeping relaxed when you can.
“‘Just enjoy it ‘was the main thing. Just go and have the best time you can.”
After the news was announced, Bye said in a statement: “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.
TV and radio broadcaster Helen Skelton is the fifteenth and final contestant to be announced.
She is known for presenting Newsround and Blue Peter on the BBC. Whilst presenting on Blue Peter for 5 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.
Helen Skelton 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.”