Strictly Come Dancing 2022: who is in BBC line up? Final dancing contestant announced as Helen Skelton
The 15 contestants for the cast of this year’s best-loved dancing reality show have been confirmed
Helen Skelton has has been named as the 15th and final celebrity dancing contestant who will take part in this year’s edition of Strictly Come Dancing.
The TV and radio broadcaster joins, actors Kym Marsh, Will Mellor, Jayde Adams and James Bye, as well as TV presenters Richie Anderson, Kaye Adams and Tyler West, Paralympian swimmer Ellie Simmonds, singers Matt Goss, Molly Rainford, Fleur East and comedian Ellie Taylor, football legend Tony Adams MBE and wildlife cameraman Hamza Yassin.
Skelton started her TV career in children’s television with the BBC - presenting Newsround and Blue Peter.
The show, which sees professional dancers teach famous faces how to perform a variety of Latin and ballroom dances, is set to return to BBC One in September, and this year’s series will be the 20th.
So, who are each of the contestants - and what have they said about appearing on the show?
Who is Helen Skelton?
Helen Skelton is a TV and radio broadcaster.
Skelton 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, 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.
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.
What has Helen Skelton said about being on Strictly?
Skelton said she can’t wait to get started.
“I’m really excited to get stuck into a fun adventure,” she explained.
“My family and friends have always loved the show and can’t wait for me to get started.”
Who is James Bye?
James Bye is a stage and screen actor.
Bye is best known for portraying the iconic role of Martin Fowler 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.
What has James Bye said about being on Strictly?
Bye said it was an honour to be involved in this year’s show.
“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.”
Who is Hamza Yassin?
Hamza Yassin is a wildlife cameraman and presenter.
Yassin 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.
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.
What has Hamza Yassin said about being on Strictly?
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.”
Who is Fleur East?
Fleur East is a singer-songwriter, TV and radio presenter.
After coming runner-up in series 11 of The X Factor in 2014, she has become a well-known face in the world of music and broadcasting.
As a singer she 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.
What has Fleur East said about being on Strictly?
East said it was an “honour” to be part of this year’s show, and added that she would be dancing in tribute to her late dad.
“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.”
Who is Tony Adams?
Tony Adams MBE is a football legend, and is both a former English football player and manager.
The 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 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.
What has Tony Adams said about being on Strictly?
Adams said he was “thrilled” to join this year’s Strictly line-up.
“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.
“I 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.”
Who is Molly Rainford?
Molly Rainford is a 21-year-old singer and actress.
In 2012, at the age of 11, she became the youngest ever finalist of ITV talent contest Britain’s Got Talent.
After her Britain’s Got Talent success, Simon Cowell and Sony Music honoured Molly with their first ever drama school scholarship at internationally renowned Sylvia Young Theatre School.
Since graduating, Molly landed the lead role as intergalactic pop superstar Nova Jones in the hit CBBC show Nova Jones. This autumn, Molly will reprise her role as Nova Jones returns for series two.
What has Molly Rainford said about being on Strictly?
Rainford said she couldn’t wait to get dancing.
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.”
Who is Ellie Taylor?
Ellie Taylor, aged 38, is a comedian, broadcaster, writer and actor.
After appearing on Show Me the Funny in 2011, Taylor has appeared on numerous television shows, including 8 Out of 10 Cats, Fake Reaction, Mock the Week, The Lodge, Stand-Up Central, The Mash Report, and Plebs.
She also stars in Apple TV’s multi-award winning comedy series Ted Lasso and her 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 for Channel 4 and co-hosts Cheat alongside Danny Dyer, which is coming soon to Netflix.
What has Ellie Taylor said about being on Strictly?
Taylor said she is “over the moon” to be joining the 2022 Strictly cast.
“Well, cover me in fake tan and roll me in sequins! I’m absolutely over the moon to be a part of Strictly 202.
“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.”
Who is Matt Goss?
Matt Goss is an iconic singer-songwriter, musician and actor.
He enjoyed huge success as the front man of BROS, which originally consisted of Matt and his twin brother Luke and their friend Craig Logan.
The band’s debut album Push went platinum seven times and it remained on the UK top ten music charts for 54 weeks.
With continued success as a solo artist, Matt is about to release his solo album, The Beautiful Unknown.
Goss is also a best-selling author, and has new books in the works. In additon, he is set to play the lead role in upcoming psychological thriller movie, Cobbler Killer Stranger.
What has Matt Goss said about being on Strictly?
Goss announced the news that he would be taking part in this year’s show on Monday’s edition of ITV’s This Morning.
He said he was “nervous” but excited”.
“I’m extremely nervous and excited, but I’m optimistic because I’m very supple from the knees down.”
Who is Tyler West?
Tyler West is a TV presenter, radio host and DJ.
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.
He began 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.
In 2021, he launched his first BBC Three series, co-hosting Flat out Fabulous as well as becoming the host of The MTV Movie Show.
What has Tyler West said about being on Strictly?
West said he couldn’t wait to get on the famous dance floor.
“I am SO gassed to be joining the Strictly family!
“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.”
Who is Ellie Simmonds?
Ellie Simmonds, 27, is a Team GB para swimming legend.
A five-time champion at the Paralympics who shot to fame as a 13-year-old at the Beijing Games in 2008, Simmonds has become a pundit for the BBC since her retirement after the Tokyo Paralympics in 2021.
She has been seen most recently analysing the swimming at the Commonwealth Games 2022.
Simmonds became the youngest ever MBE at the age of just 14 after her Beijing triumph and has since been made an OBE.
She has also presented non-sport documentaries for the broadcaster, including ‘Ellie Simmonds: A World Without Dwarfism?’.
What has Ellie Simmonds said about being on Strictly?
After being revealed as the latest contestant on social media, Ellie Simmonds took to Twitter to give her reaction.
“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!” she wrote.
“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.”
Who is Jayde Adams?
Jayde Adams, who is unrelated to Kaye Adams, is a comedian.
The 37-year-old Bristolian has appeared on several comedy panel shows, including 8 Out of 10 Cats, and has also acted in several TV roles, such as the recent adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett novel Good Omens.
Adams also fronted Netflix and Channel 4 cooking show Crazy Delicious with Heston Blumenthal in 2020.
She has previously been an Adele impersonator and was part of the famous prank set up by Graham Norton, in which Adele performed alongside several impersonators.
At the moment, Jayde Adams is performing at the Edinburgh Fringe comedy festival, where she has previously won several awards.
What has Jayde Adams said about being on Strictly?
In a statement, the Jayde Adams said: "I cannot begin to express the emotions I am feeling. This means so much to me and my family."
Describing herself as a "massive fan" of the show, she added: "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 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!"
Who is Kaye Adams?
Kaye Adams is a Scottish TV presenter, best known for being a panellist and one of the main anchors on ITV lunchtime talk show Loose Women.
Adams hosted the show from 1999 to 2006, and then she left to become a regular panellist on Channel 5‘s daily morning show which was then called The Wright Stuff from 2007 until 2012 (now called Jeremy Vine on 5).
Adams then returned to Loose Women in 2013.
She hosts the morning show on BBC Radio Scotland on weekdays from 9am to 12 noon.
Kaye announced her participation in the show herself live on Friday’s edition of Loose Women (5 August). The news was a surprise not only to viewers but also to Adams’ fellow panellists.
What has Kaye Adams said about being on Strictly?
Making her announcement on Loose Women, Adams admitted that she had “two left feet” but said she was looking forward to joining the cast of this year’s show, although she was “terrified”.
She said: “I can’t make much (more) of a fool of myself any more than I am.”
She added: “I’m 60 at the end of this year and I think why not. I’m a really competitive person, but in this I’m not. If I enjoy myself I’ll be happy.”
Who is Richie Anderson?
Richie Anderson is a TV and radio personality and a regular fixture on the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast show, presenting the travel bulletins, and has also hosted a variety of programmes himself.
He has also been a regular presenter on The One Show and this year featured in BBC One’s Platinum Jubilee coverage.
The news he was joining the Strictly line-up was announced during the Zoe Ball Breakfast Show on Friday (5 August).
What has Richie Anderson said about being on Strictly?
Anderson said he would have to cancel his annual Strictly launch party because he’ll be in the studio waiting to perform.
He said: “This is a dream come true! I cannot wait to get in those sparkles and sequins and shimmy across the most famous dancefloor 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.”
Who is Kym Marsh?
Kym Marsh is an actor, television presenter and singer, best known for her role as Michelle Connor in ITV Soap Coronation Street (2006 to 2019).
She first came to public attention in 2000, when she auditioned for reality TV show Popstars. Marsh went on to be one of five singers who were chosen as winners of the show and formed pop band Hear’Say.
The band’s first single Pure and Simple went to number one, but Marsh left the band in 2002.
As well as taking on a long-standing role in Coronation Street, Marsh also appeared in BBC soap Doctors and also Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks: In the City.
She began presenting BBC talk show Morning Live on BBC One in 2021.
She will also be one of the starring cast members of BBC’s revival of their school drama Waterloo Road, which is due to air later this year.
She won the British Soap Award for Best Newcomer at the 2007 British Soap Awards, as well as winning the Newcomer category at the 2007 National Television Awards and being nominated for Best Female Dramatic Performance at the 2017 British Soap Awards.
In 2010, the now 46-year-old finished in fourth place on Popstar to Operastar, a reality show featuring well-known pop stars being trained to sing opera.
Who is Kym Marsh’s husband?
Kym Marsh is married to army major Scott Ratcliff.
Legally, her full name is Kimberley Gail Ratcliff, but she still uses her maiden name of Marsh professionally.
The pair announced their engagement in June 2021, and married in October the same year.
She has previously been married to Eastenders actor Jack Ryder (2002 to 2009) and Hollyoaks actor Jamie Lomas (2012 to 2014).
Marsh has four children and a grandson, with another grandchild on the way.
Her eldest son, David Ryan Cunliffe, age 27, and daughter Emilie Mae Cunliffe, age 25, are from her relationship with Dave Cunliffe.
She has two children with Jamie Lomas. Archie Jay Lomas died seconds after birth in 2009 and Polly Lomas, who is now 11, was born in 2011.
In May 2019, Marsh became a grandmother when her daughter Emilie had a son.
She will become a grandmother for the second time in August, as her son David and fiancée Courtney are expecting.
What has Kym Marsh said about being on Strictly?
Kym Marsh said she is “delighted” to be taking part in this year’s series.
“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!”
Who is Will Mellor?
Will Mellor, also aged 46, is an actor and singer.
He is known for his roles as James “Jambo” Bolton in Hollyoaks (1995 to 1998), Gaz Wilkinson in Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps (2001 to 2011) and Steve Connolly in Broadchurch (2013).
In 2021, he began appearing in the ITV soap Coronation Street as Harvey Gaskell.
As well as his acting career, Will 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 fellow Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps actor Ralf Little, Two Pints with Will and Ralf.
Who is Will Mellor’s wife?
Mellor has been married to wife Michelle McSween for 15 years.
Mellor met dancer McSween when they starred together in the stage musical Oh, What a Night in 1999.
They married in 2007, and have two children; Jayden Will Mellor, aged 18, and Renee Mellor, age 14.
What has Will Mellor said about being on Strictly?
Will Mellor said he was “chuffed” to be taking part on his mum’s favourite show.
“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!”