Helen Skelton is the final celebrity contestant confirmed for the brand new series of Strictly Come Dancing.
The TV and radio broadcaster, 39, was widely tipped to be taking part in the BBC ballroom show and her spot on the programme has now been confirmed as she completes the full celebrity line-up.
It was revealed on Saturday morning on BBC Radio 2 during Claudia Winkleman’s breakfast show that Helen – who split from husband Richie Myler earlier this year – would be appearing on the show.
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.’
Confirmed: Helen Skelton is the final celebrity contestant confirmed for the brand new series of Strictly Come Dancing
Helen started her TV career in children’s television, 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.
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.
Keep dancing! The TV and radio broadcaster, 39, was widely tipped to be taking part in the BBC ballroom show and her spot on the programme has now been confirmed as she completes the full celebrity line-up
She has also hosted 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.
On Friday EastEnders actor James Bye, 38, – who has played the role of Martin Fowler in the BBC show since 2014 – was officially announced as the 14th star.
It comes after former X Factor star Fleur East and Countryfile star Hamza Yassin were revealed as the 12th and 13th stars on Thursday – joining earlier announced stars Kym Marsh, Will Mellor and Jayde Adams among others.
The latest: EastEnders actor James Bye, best known for playing Martin Fowler ‘completes the line-up for the 20th series of Strictly Come Dancing’
On Friday soap star James joked he is ready to show off his ‘dad dancing’ when he heads to the ballroom later this year.
As he was announced 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 is best known for portraying the iconic role of Martin in the BBC’s multi-award winning soap EastEnders, which he took over in 2014.
He has been nominated for several British Soap awards, winning one for Best Storyline in 2016.
He 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.
Exciting: It comes after former X Factor star Fleur East and Countryfile star Hamza Yassin were revealed as the 12th and 13th stars on Thursday – joining earlier announced stars Kym Marsh (pictured), Will Mellor and Jayde Adams among others
It comes after Wildlife cameraman and presenter Hamza was announced as the 13th contestant joining the Strictly Come Dancing line-up on Thursday.
Hamza – who is one of the presenters of BBC’s Animal Park and a guest presenter on Countryfile – joined former X Factor star Fleur in being revealed as celebrities set to appear on the dance show on Thursday.
It comes amid claims that BBC bosses fear they are running out of celebrities as Strictly approaches its 20th series.
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!’
He is also 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.
Stars: It comes after Wildlife cameraman and presenter Hamza was announced as the 13th contestant joining the Strictly Come Dancing line-up on Thursday
Shows: Hamza – who is one of the presenters of BBC’s Animal Park and a guest presenter on BBC’s Countryfile – joined former X Factor star Fleur East in being revealed as celebrities set to appear on the dance show on Thursday
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.
It comes after last week The Mail on Sunday revealed that some BBC executives are concerned that there are no longer enough big names available to compete for the glitterball.
As comedian Jayde Adams was the fifth competitor to be unveiled for this year’s series, even Radio 5 DJ and former Strictly star Scott Mills shared his worries – telling his listeners that he now thinks they should start putting on former contestants.
The announcement about Miss Adams came just a day after it was revealed that Radio 2 travel reporter Richie Anderson is in this year’s line-up.
One source at the Corporation said: ‘Taking part on Strictly is a dream for so many celebrities, but so many of them have done it now. They have lived that dream and reaped the massive benefits of it.
STRICTLY COME DANCING 2022: WHO ARE THE CONTESTANTS?
Profession: Coronation Street star and presenter
Kym says: ‘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.’
Profession: Radio presenter
Richie says: ‘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!’
Profession: Former athlete
Ellie says: ‘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.’
Profession: Radio DJ
Tyler says: ‘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.’
Ellie says: ‘Well, cover me in fake tan and roll me in sequins! I’m absolutely over the moon to be a part of Strictly 2022!’
TONY ADAMS MBE
Profession: Retired footballer and manager
Tony says: ‘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’
Profession: EastEnders actor
James says ‘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.’
Profession: TV and radio broadcaster
Helen says: ‘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’
Will says: ‘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!’
Profession: Television presenter
Kaye says: ‘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 says: ‘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.’
Matt says: ‘I’ve been reclusive, I come and work and then go back to America. I thought, it’s time for me to come home and get out of my own way’
Molly says: ‘I already know it’s gonna be an experience of a lifetime and I can’t wait to meet the rest of the Strictly family I’ll be sharing it with.’
Fleur says: ‘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.’
Profession: Wildlife cameraman and presenter
Hamza says: ‘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.’
‘The success of Strictly is massive, the ratings are still huge so it will keep on going – but so many big names have appeared now that you have to wonder where the rest of them are going to come from now.’
Last year’s series was won by deaf EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis who was watched several times per week by at least two million viewers. And in its first ten years, household names such as John Sergeant, Emma Bunton and Jerry Hall took part.
After Miss Adams, a comedian from Bristol, and Mr Anderson joined Strictly fans took to social media to discuss how they are unfamiliar with some of the stars.
‘Sorry don’t mean to be rude but who’s Jayde Adams?’ one wrote on Twitter, while another said: ‘Jayde Adams… nope never heard of her! #Strictly.’
It comes after Fleur became emotional as she told how she is competing in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing in memory of her late father Malcolm, who adored the BBC show.
The former X Factor star, 34, revealed she was the twelfth contestant on this year’s series on Thursday during her Hits Radio Beakfast show where she said: ‘You’ll see me in the ballroom on Strictly Come Dancing!’
Appearing on Lorraine later that day, Fleur teared up as she told guest host Ranvir Singh that she was heartbroken her dad – who died in 2020 of a heart attack – wasn’t here to watch her dance.
She said: ‘I hope I get to dance to some of my songs… for me it’s quite emotional. My dad who passed away in 2020, Strictly was his favourite show.’
Getting emotional, she added: ‘I’m going to be doing it for him. I’m just gutted he can’t see me do it, but I’m going to keep him in mind during the show… I’m excited, my family, just for that reason, will be buzzing. I wasn’t expecting to get this emotional about it.’
Exciting: Fleur revealed she was the twelfth contestant on this year’s series on Thursday during her Hits Radio Beakfast show where she said: ‘You’ll see me in the ballroom on Strictly Come Dancing!’
After Malcom’s death, Fleur shared a heartfelt tribute to him on Instagram, writing: ‘Cheering me on until the end. You taught me and [sister] Keshia to be confident and to always chase our dreams.
‘I will forever continue to make you proud. I’m so happy you saw us achieve so much. Every note I sing, every song I write and everything I do, will be for you. This album is for you Dad. Love you so much Daddy Darling. Have an amazing time up there! See you soon.’
Elsewhere during her Lorraine interview, Fleur said she feels the pressure to do well on Strictly as she already has dance experience from performing on stage.
She said, ‘There’s too much pressure, I’m so nervous, Ranvir. I can dance in the club and when I’m singing on stage, but I have never done any technical dancing, so I don’t know anything ballroom, how to point a toe or anything like that.’
She added: ‘This is a completely different level. You need to give me some advice, Ranvir!’
After she was announced as a contestant, Fleur 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!’
Strictly: Retired England football player and manager Tony Adams MBE, (left) was the 11th celebrity to join the lineup on Wednesday – just hours after BGT singer and CBBC star Molly Rainford, 21, was announced
After coming runner-up in series 11 of The X Factor, Fleur has been a regular face in the world of music and broadcasting.
As a singer she has released two albums, with her debut 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.
It comes after retired England football player and manager Tony Adams MBE has been announced as the 11th celebrity confirmed to be taking part in Strictly.
The news comes just hours after Britain’s Got Talent singer and CBBC star Molly Rainford joined the line-up.
Tony, 55, 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.’
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 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.
Wins! Tony won 66 caps for England, appeared at four major tournaments and had 10 major trophy wins whilst is still the only player in English football history to captain a team to three top flight titles over three different decades, (pictured in 2002)
Now retired, 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.
Singer Molly, 21, revealed she’s already sought advice from 2020 contestant HRVY, adding that despite her performing background she’s like ‘Ellie the Elephant’ when she takes to the floor.
Molly, who also stars in the CBBC series Nova Jones, was unveiled as the latest star to join the lineup that morning.
Speaking ahead of her dancefloor debut, Molly said: ‘I’ve always loved performing and being on stage, but I’ve never been the most confident dancer.
‘I’m super excited for the challenge to push myself outside of my comfort zone and hopefully add another string to my bow.
‘It will introduce me to a whole new way of expressing myself! I’m also pretty competitive and I’m excited meet the Pros and the other contestants.
‘And on top of all that, I absolutely love the glitz and glamour the show brings to the floor every week.’
Rising star: Molly star rose to prominence when she competed on Britain’s Got Talent in 2012 at the age of 11
The singer grew up in Essex and went onto study at the coveted Sylvia Young Theatre School after auditioning for BGT in 2012.
She added: ‘I did Britain’s Got Talent in 2012 when I was 11 years old. That definitely changed my life because after getting to the finals, I was sponsored by Sony Music and Simon Cowell to go to the Sylvia Young theatre school. From those auditions throughout school, I got into the CBBC world.’
The show’s official Twitter account revealed the news, writing: ‘Say hello to Molly Rainford, she’s an intergalactic pop superstar from @CBBC and she’s here to star on #Strictly!’
The announcement was first made on CBBC’s Newsround on Wednesday morning.
Since graduating, Molly has starred as Nova Jones in the CBBC show of the same name.
This autumn, Molly will be seen across CBBC screens as Nova Jones returns for series two, with a third series already filmed for release in the coming months.
Best friends: The star added that she’s already spoken to former contestant HRVY about his time on the show, after he reached the final in 2020
Molly has been shortlisted for Best Newcomer at the 2022 Variety Club Showbusiness Awards and has released two EPs, including single Commitment, which has garnered over two million streams to date.
Asked what she fears the most about being on the show, Molly added: ‘Forgetting the steps because the judges notice everything.
‘If I was singing, I’d know how handle it, but I’m worried It would throw me off when too much when I’m dancing.’
Fearful: Asked what she fears the most about being on the show, Molly (pictured in 2015) added: ‘Forgetting the steps because the judges notice everything’
The star added that she’s already spoken to former contestant HRVY about his time on the show, saying: ‘One of my really good pals HRVY was on in 2020 and he said it was one of the best experiences he’s ever had.’
Molly was the 10th celebrity confirmed for this year’s Strictly lineup, after comedian Ellie Taylor was revealed as the ninth celebrity contestant on Tuesday.
The 38-year-old Ted Lasso star will swap the stage for the dance floor later this year to take part in the BBC Latin and ballroom show, but the star insists she has the dancing ability of a ‘newly born giraffe’.
Former Heart FM presenter Ellie was unveiled on Lorraine – hosted by Ranvir Singh – and 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!
Number nine! Molly was the 10th celebrity confirmed for this year’s Strictly lineup, after comedian Ellie Taylor (pictured) was revealed as the ninth celebrity contestant on Tuesday
‘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!’
Asked by Ranvir who her perfect professional dance partner would be, Ellie admitted: ‘I want someone who’s patient. I need a tall, patient person.’
And preparing for her time on the dance floor, the comedian explained: ‘I’ve got a list of music tracks on my phone – it’s getting longer and longer,’ but confessed: ‘The dancing bit is what is completely out of my comfort zone.’
Nervous! Former Heart FM presenter Ellie was unveiled on Tuesday morning’s instalment of Lorraine – hosted by Ranvir Singh
Actress: The Ted Lasso actress portrays Flo ‘Sassy’ Collins in the Apple TV+ show alongside Jason Sudeikis and Hannah Waddingham
The Ted Lasso actress – who portrays Flo ‘Sassy’ Collins in the Apple TV+ show – has also appeared in the likes of Plebs, as well as panel shows, and is a host on Channel 4’s The Great Pottery Throwdown.
8 Out of 10 Cats, Fake Reaction, and Mock the Week, and she co-hosts Cheat alongside Danny Dyer, which is coming soon to Netflix.
Ellie is married to CNN reporter Phil Black, after tying the knot in London in 2012, and the couple share three-year-old daughter, Valentina.
Exciting! She will swap the stage for the dance floor later this year to take part in the BBC Latin and ballroom show, but the star insists she has the dancing ability of a ‘newly born giraffe’
TV star: Ellie has also appeared in the likes of Plebs, as well as panel shows, and is a host on Channel 4’s The Great Pottery Throwdown (pictured)
It comes after Matt Goss, 53, was unveiled as the eighth celebrity contestant taking part in this year’s Strictly.
The singer was announced as the latest addition to the 2022 line-up on Monday’s episode of This Morning.
Joining hosts Josie Gibson and Craig Doyle, Matt said: ‘I am excited, I’m nervous. You have the conversation and then think, ‘I’ve got to dance!’
Number eight! It comes after Matt Goss, 53, was unveiled as the eighth celebrity contestant taking part in this year’s Strictly
Matt, who has been living in America for the last 25 years as a headliner in Las Vegas, said he is happy to be spending an extended period of time at home again.
He said: ‘I’ve been almost reclusive, I come and work and then go back to America. I thought, it’s time for me to come home and get out of my own way in a way.
‘Do something completely out of my comfort zone. I’m quite shy off stage so I’ll have to face all those demons and learn.’
Reveal: The singer was announced as an addition to the 2022 line-up on Monday’s episode of This Morning
Meanwhile, Tyler West was revealed as the seventh celebrity contestant taking part on Strictly.
The KISS FM DJ broke the news on the station’s breakfast show hosted by Jordan Banjo and Perri Kiely on Monday.
He announced in a statement: ‘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.’
New star: Tyler West has been unveiled as the seventh celebrity contestant taking part in this year’s Strictly
He continued: ‘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 is best known for hosting weekday afternoons on KISS, for which he was nominated for a prestigious ARIA for Best New Presenter in 2020.
Having begun his broadcasting career in children’s television, presenting various programming across CBBC, he has hosted MTV News, HQ Trivia and the 2020 EE BAFTA Awards Red Carpet Live Show.
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.
New gig: The KISS FM DJ broke the news on the station’s breakfast show hosted by Jordan Banjo and Perri Kiely on Monday
It comes after Ellie Simmonds was announced as the sixth celebrity contestant on Sunday.
The paralympic swimmer, 27, who has a type of dwarfism called achondroplasia and is a height of 4ft, is the first with the genetic condition to appear on the show.
Ellie will be joining already announced stars Kym Marsh, Will Mellor, Richie Anderson and Jayde Adams on series 20 later this year.
Speaking after the announcement on BBC 5 Live Sunday Breakfast, the athlete said: ‘Oh my gosh!! I’m literally bursting with excitement!!
‘It’s been so 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!
Line-up: Ellie Simmonds has been announced as the sixth celebrity contestant taking part in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing
‘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.’
She added to The Mirror: ‘I’ll be so, so nervous, and I will try not to think of all the people watching,’ said Ellie, who attended the Commonwealth Games yesterday.
‘My family and friends will support me and help me stay grounded.
‘I am the first dwarf doing the show, I will show how positive that is, that to be different is OK. It is a real honour.’
New venture: The paralympic swimmer, 27, will be joining already announced stars Kym Marsh, Will Mellor, Richie Anderson and Jayde Adams on series 20 later this year (pictured at the London 2012 paralympic games)
Ellie is best known as a gold medal-winning Paralympic swimmer. At the age of thirteen she was the youngest British athlete at the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, and won gold medals in the 100m and 400m freestyle events.
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.
In addition, she has also 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.
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.
It comes after Jayde Adams was announced as the fifth contestant to sign up to Strictly Come Dancing 2022.
The comedian and actress, 37 said that keeping the secret hidden had been like ‘torture’, but that she was a ‘massive fan’ of the show, as she joked appearing on the beloved show was her main career goal.
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 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.
She added: ‘Holding this in has been torture for me!’
Big fan: Jayde Adams has been announced as the fifth contestant to sign up to Strictly Come Dancing 2022
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.
The news was revealed on Saturday morning on BBC Radio 5 Live by Scott Mills and Chris Stark.
Kaye Adams was revealed as the fourth contestant on the series, making the exciting announcement live on Friday’s Loose Women on ITV.
Kaye stunned her fellow panelists Denise Welch, Carol McGiffin and Sunetra Sarker – as well as Nadia Sawalha who appeared via video link – with the news towards the end of the show, with the studio welcoming a plethora of dancers.
It’s official! Kaye Adams has been announced as the fourth contestant to sign up to Strictly Come Dancing 2022
While panelists in the studio were thrilled at the announcement, Nadia was left visibly shocked and emotional, telling her friend: ‘Is It actually you?! Oh my God. I could cry!’
‘It’s amazing you can do it because let’s face it, you can’t dance, but that’s what we like to see on Strictly – somebody learn to dance. You’re going to be incredible, you’re so funny, you’ve got the best legs in the business. I can’t wait to get home and cha cha cha with you!’
Revealing how she felt about taking part, Kaye admitted: ‘It’s me! I’m absolutely terrified because I can’t dance. I could think of a million reasons not to do this’.
The journalist went on: ‘When these gorgeous dancers came on, I nearly exited from both ends of my body, honestly. Sorry about that!
Surprise! The Scottish TV star made the exciting announcement live on Friday’s Loose Women on ITV after keeping it a secret from her co-stars
‘But I thought, ‘Am I going to be thinking at the end of September I wish I’d done this’. I’m 59, 60 at the end of this year and I was like, ‘Well, why not?’
‘I’m a really competitive person and Nadia, you know that’s true but in this I’m not. If I enjoy myself, I’ll be so happy.’
She added her daughters were not too fussed with the new as they simply told her: ‘Okay mum’.
Kaye follows in the footsteps of fellow Loose Women stars Judi Love, Ruth Langsford and Christine Lampard who have all taken part in Strictly.
Number three! Meanwhile, BBC Radio 2 DJ Richie Anderson revealed he will be joining the 2022 series during his radio show on Friday
Meanwhile, BBC Radio 2 DJ Richie Anderson, 34, revealed he will be joining the 2022 series during his radio show on Friday, and joins Coronation Street stars Will Mellor and Kym Marsh in the current line-up.
The former Sunday League footballer – who went viral in 2018 when he came out as gay to his teammates at Coombs Wood F.C in an emotional documentary – said that it’s a ‘massive honour’ to be part of the show’s all-male partnership.
He said in a release: ‘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.’
He added: ‘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.’
Chuffed: The former Sunday League footballer said that it’s a ‘massive honour’ to be part of the show’s all-male partnership
Candid: In 2018, Richie famously came out as gay to his Sunday league football teammates during a feature for The One Show exploring homophobia in the sport
Last year’s series saw Great British Bake Off star John Waite form the show’s first all-male partnership with pro Johannes Radebe – with the couple reaching the final.
The year before saw the show’s first ever same-sex pairing as boxer Nicola Adams was paired up with Katya Jones – however the duo had to withdraw from the competition in week three after Katya caught Covid.
In 2018, Richie famously came out as gay to his Sunday league football teammates during a feature for The One Show exploring homophobia in the sport.
The team knew Richie was filming a piece for the daily BBC One programme, but it wasn’t until he sat them down in the locker room after the match that they discovered he was looking into the issues around being gay in grassroots football.
Talented: Last year’s series saw Great British Bake Off star John Waite form the show’s first all-male partnership with pro Johannes Radebe – with the couple reaching the final
On Thursday, the first two stars for Strictly were announced, with actor Will and soap favourite Kym joining the lineup.
The Coronation Street actress and the Two Pints Of Lager and A Packet Of Crisps star, both 46, were unveiled on Thursday’s BBC Breakfast, with Kym revealing she’s wanted to join the show for ‘a number of years.’
She 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!’
At last! The first two stars for Strictly Come Dancing were announced on Thursday, with actor Will Mellor (right) and soap favourite Kym Marsh (left) joining the lineup
Speaking on Breakfast, Kym admitted she hadn’t told her Morning Live co-host Gethin Jones about taking part in the show, despite him previously taking part in 2007.
She said: ‘I was joking with him and I said ”were you on Strictly because you’ve never mentioned it!” I think he was always asking me if I was going to do it, and he kept going on about it again over the next few months, and of course I’ve not spoken to him and I’ll probably get a message later saying ”you never told me!”
The actress, who rose to fame as a star of the band Hearsay, added she’s open to learning the new dance styles, as they will be a stark contrast to her pop star days.
Here she is! Former Coronation Street star Kym was unveiled as the second contestant on Thursday’s BBC Breakfast
Soap favourite: Kym is best known for playing Michelle Connor on Coronation Street from 2006 to 2019
She continued: ‘I’m just very keen to learn watching it, I’ve done dancing before when I was a little girl, and when I was in Hearsay, my husband is very excited about me being able to teach him, so we can do it when we go to the balls.
‘Any of them really, just to learn how to dance properly would be brilliant.’
Asked whether she’ll fear the harsh critiques of Craig Revel Horwood and the rest of the judging panel, Kym added: ‘I was judged by Nasty Nigel in Popstars don’t forget that, he was the villain back in the day!
‘These are the people I truly respect, this is what they do, I’m just going to have to suck it up I guess, you’ve just to take it on the chin.’
Kym is best known for playing Michelle Connor in Coronation Street from 2006 to 2019, and since October 2020 has co-hosted BBC’s Morning Live.
Determined: Asked whether she’ll fear the harsh critiques of Craig Revel Horwood and the rest of the judging panel, Kym added: ‘I was judged by Nasty Nigel in Popstars don’t forget that’
Kym’s unveiling came after fellow Corrie star Will was unveiled as the first contestant earlier in the show, with the actor saying he’s signed up to bring some joy to his mother after a ‘tough time’ for his family.
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!’
Following a series of clues alluding to his previous acting roles, Will was unveiled as the first Strictly star during the Breakfast show, and said he agreed to join the show after vowing to ‘grab life’ following his father’s death in 2020.
First big star! Kym’s unveiling came after fellow Corrie star Will was unveiled as the first contestant earlier in the show
Tragic: He said he signed up for the show to bring some joy for his mum, after his beloved father Bill passed away from cancer in 2020
He told Naga Munchetty and Charlie Stayt: ‘Excited is one word for it, terrified is another, that’s one of the reasons I’m doing it, it’s stepping out of my comfort zone.
‘When I said yes to doing it, it was a long way away, but it’s going a bit closer it starts settling in and it gets a bit frightening now.’
Will also revealed that he decided to join the show after vowing to ‘grab life and create new memories,’ and said he wanted to bring some positivity for his mother following his dad’s death in 2020, two weeks after being diagnosed with cancer.
He said: ‘I lost my dad in 2020, and from then I thought I’ve just got to grab life and do things and create new memories, and that’sone of the reasons I said yes.
‘Because she’s had such a tough time of it I wanted to give her something to look forward to, she lost my dad and her brother and brother-in-law and sister in a year and it was a really tough time for the family. I think mentally it will be good for me as well.’
Return: It comes after the launch date for this year’s Strictly was revealed as Wednesday September 7 (Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly pictured)
While he is best known for playing Gaz Wilkinson on the BBC comedy Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps, Will has also had roles in Holby City, Broadchurch and more recently, drug lord boss Harvey Gaskell in 2021.
It comes after the launch date for this year’s Strictly was revealed as Wednesday September 7, when the series will film a pre-recorded launch show which sees this year’s celebrity contestants paired up with their professional partners.
To mark the BBC’s 100th anniversary, the professional dancers will be putting on a special group routine like they have never done before.
Show: The series will film a pre-recorded launch show on this date, meaning viewers will likely see the celebrity contestants paired up with their partners the weekend of September 10 (L-R Shirley Ballas, Anton Du Beke, Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse)
In another statement, Strictly bosses said fans can enter a draw to watch a recording of the special performance take place on August 24.
They said: ‘Strictly Come Dancing is celebrating 100 years of the BBC! The professional dancers will be throwing a party like only they know how, with a group number full of all the usual sparkle and glamour.
‘There may well be a surprise or two as well, with special guests and fun tributes to some of your favourite BBC shows.’
Judges Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Anton Du Beke have all been confirmed to return.
Show: To mark the BBC’s 100th anniversary, the professional dancers will be putting on a special group routine like they have never done before
Meanwhile, four new pro dancers have joined the line-up, which means that 20 professionals in total are ready to bring their skills to the BBC show’s dancefloor later this year – the show’s biggest dancer line-up in history.
The four new world class dancers completing this year’s professional troupe are European cup winner Vito Coppola, Chinese National Champion Carlos Gu, former Under 21 British National Champion Lauren Oakley and Latin dance champion Michelle Tsiakkas.
They join the professional dancers already revealed for the upcoming series: 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.
Show favourites Alijaz Skorjanec and Oti Mabuse both quit Strictly Come Dancing earlier this year.
New faces: Strictly Come Dancing will have its biggest professional dancer line-up in history when it returns this autumn for its 20th series with four new pros joining the show