Autumn may be known as the season of mist and mellow fruitfulness but for so many of us, it’s also all about the glam, glitter, sequins and sparkle of Strictly Come Dancing.
It’s now an unbelievable 17 years since the BBC first had the inspired idea to bring celebrities together with professional ballroom dancers and let the great British public, guided by a panel of expert judges, decide on which couple would go the distance and ultimately lift the coveted glitter ball trophy.
Strictly Come Dancing 2022 line-up so far...
Actor Will Mellor is most famous for his roles in Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Line of Duty and Broadchurch to name a few. On joining Strictly's 2022 line-up, 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!”
You'll no doubt recognise actress and singer Kym from playing Michelle Connor in Coronation Street. Before that, she had a successful music career in the band, Hear’Say, and it sounds like she's been thinking about making her Strictly debut for quite some time.
“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 was the third contestant announced for this year's Strictly. He 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.
He 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.”
Kaye is a broadcaster best known as an anchor on ITV topical discussion show Loose Women as well as for hosting the morning show on BBC Radio Scotland.
She 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!"
Comedian Jayde is an award-winning comedian, actor and presenter. She is currently performing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with her stand-up show Men, I Can Save You.
“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."
Ellie Simmonds OBE is a five-time Paralympic champion and broadcaster. Ellie is best known as a gold medal-winning Paralympic swimmer. At the age of 13 she was the youngest British athlete at the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, and won gold medals in the 100m and 400m freestyle events.
She said: "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."
Tyler West is a TV presenter, radio host and DJ. Tyler is best known for hosting weekday afternoons on KISS.
He said: "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 enjoyed mega success in the 1980s as the front man of music group, BROS.
On joining the line-up of Strictly 2022, he 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 is the ninth celebrity contestant announced for the new series. Ellie 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. She's a co-host on Channel 4’s The Great Pottery Throw Down and also stars in Apple TV’s multi-award-winning comedy series Ted Lasso.
Ellie said: "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!"
You may recognise singer and actress Molly from when she became the youngest ever finalist of Britain’s Got Talent in 2012. Since graduating Sylvia Young Theatre School, Molly is currently starring in the lead role as an intergalactic pop superstar ‘Nova Jones’ in the CBBC show Nova Jones.
On joining the show, 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!"
Tony Adams MBE
Tony Adams MBE is a former English football player and manager. 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.
He 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 came runner-up in series 11 of The X Factor, has released two albums and is the host of the Hits Radio Breakfast show which she hosts every weekday.
She said: "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!”
Hamza is one of the presenters of BBC’s Animal Park and a guest presenter on BBC’s Countryfile where he shares his vast knowledge and camera skills.
The presenter said he was over the moon to be joining the show. "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!”
James Bye is best known for portraying the role of Martin Fowler in BBC’s EastEnders, which he took over in 2014.
He 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.”
Strictly 2022 launch date confirmed
Get it in your calendars, September 7, 2022 is the date when Strictly Come Dancing will be returning to our screens for its 20th series.
It's the first year a studio audience will be invited to watch since the pandemic, so don't forget to apply for your tickets soon. Registration is now open until August 7, 2022 for the first two shows.
Not only is it Strictly's 20th birthday, it's also the BBC's centenary year, so it has been announced that there will be a special group performance taking place August 24, 2022 ahead of the first episode of the new series.
Tess and Claudia will be returning to host along with Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse, Craig Revel Horwood and Anton Du Beke as the Strictly judges. There are also four new professional dancers being added to the line-up this year in the form of European cup winner Vito Coppola, Chinese National Champion Carlos Gu, former Under 21 British National Champion Lauren Oakley and Latin dance champion Michelle Tsiakkas.
Bruno announces he won't be returning to Strictly
After a few uncertain years due to Covid and a series of back and fourth flights to the USA and back, Bruno was forced to pull out of his judging duties in the 2021 competition where he was replaced by Anton. Sadly, Bruno has announced he won't be returning to Strictly, and that he will be leaving for good.
We're sure Anton will do a fabulous job in Bruno's seat, just as he did in 2021, but we won't half miss Bruno's flamboyant verdicts of the dances and his amazing energy each week. Bruno, you will be missed.
Aljaž Škorjanec leaves Strictly Come Dancing
The professional dancer, who has been wowing us with his moves for almost 10 years on the show, is saying a sad farewell to Strictly.
The Slovenian dancer announced the news on his Instagram account saying he is 'forever grateful' to have been a part of the show.
Aljaž had a number of high-profile dancing partners over the years, and even won in 2013 in the first year he was on the show with Abbey Clancy.
The BBC also confirmed the news on Twitter, saying: "We are so sad to be saying goodbye to Aljaž after almost a decade as a professional dancer on Strictly Come Dancing.
"During his time on the series he has provided us with some unforgettable moments... through his incredible choreography, passion for dance and heart of gold.
"He will be missed by his Strictly family both on and off the dance floor and we wish him only the very best as he embarks on his next chapter."
Oti Mabuse leaves Strictly Come Dancing
Oti Mabuse has confirmed that she is set to leave Strictly Come Dancing following seven years on the show as a Professional Dancer.
In a statement released earlier this morning via social media, Oti said:
“I have been part of the most amazing TV show, Strictly Come Dancing for the past seven years and it has been an incredible time. Lifting the Glitterball twice and having the best journey with all my celebrities, but also meeting and working with the best team, crew, producers, celebs and professional dancers! You are my family and I adore you all forever.
I’m honestly so grateful to the BBC and will always remember that Strictly and the BBC brought me to the UK - which I now call home and I have learnt and grown so much. Thank You from the bottom of my heart.
I can’t put in to words how difficult this decision has been, but I have decided not to return for the next series.
Dance will always be my first love and to everyone, my family, friends, Strictly fans who have been my support throughout my Strictly journey, thank you for being incredible! You are irreplaceable in my heart and have made every day unforgettable! I love you.
I will always Keeeep Dancing! and I will never forget my amazing Strictly experience!”