The fifteen stars taking to the dance floor on this year's Strictly Come Dancing have been announced, plus the BBC have announced the schedule for this year's series, and how it will mitigate disruption from the World Cup.
The multi-award-winning entertainment show, produced by BBC Studios, 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.
The launch show - which will see the fifteen celebrities paired with their professional partners for the first time - will record on Wednesday 7th September and broadcast on BBC One on either Saturday 10th or Saturday 17th September.
The first live show of the series will be on Saturday 24th September on BBC One, the series will then continue weekly as normal through to mid-December with the live final. Strictly will return to Blackpool's Tower Ballroom on Saturday 19th November.
Due to the world cup, there will likely be some disruption to the schedule during December. Schedules for the quarter-final and semi-final are yet to be officially confirmed, however it's possible that at least one show will move to Sunday night to accommodate the football.
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This year's Strictly stars are: actor Will Mellor; actress and presenter Kym Marsh; radio presenter Richie Anderson; Loose Women star Kaye Adams; comedian Jayde Adams; Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds OBE; radio DJ Tyler West; singer-songwriter Matt Goss...
They are joined by actress and comedian Ellie Taylor; singer and actress Molly Rainford; football legend Tony Adams MBE; singer-songwriter and presenter Fleur East; wildlife cameraman Hamza Yassin; EastEnder James Bye and presenter Helen Skelton.
Will Mellor 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!”
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!”
Richie 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! 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 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 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 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!”
Ellie 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! 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.”
Tyler 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
Matt Goss said: “I’m extremely nervous and excited, but I’m optimistic because I’m very supple from the knees down.”
Ellie 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!"
Molly 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!”
Tony 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.”
Fleur East 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 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.”
James Bye 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.”
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.”
Strictly Come Dancing returns this Autumn on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.