Strictly 2022 line-up: Countryfile presenter Helen Skelton becomes final star to join new series

·9 min read

Strictly Come Dancing has slowly announced its 2022 line-up.

In September, the BBC series will return for its 20th anniversary series presented by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman.

The first announcements were made on 4 August, with more names being revealed every day for the following two weeks.

Luckily, fans won’t have long to wait until Strictly returns either, as the show is expected to be back on our screens early September.

Who is taking part in Strictly 2022?

Actor Will Mellor was named as this year’s first contestant. He is best known for his roles in Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps and Broadchurch.

Will Mellor was the first to be announced (BBC)
Will Mellor was the first to be announced (BBC)

Mellor’s other credits include Hollyoaks, Line of Duty, and, most recently, ITV soap Coronation Street, in which he played Harvey Gaskell.

Speaking about his participation, 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!”

The second celebrity to be named was actor and former singer Kym Marsh.

Kym Marsh is participating in ‘Strictly’ 2022’ (BBC)
Kym Marsh is participating in ‘Strictly’ 2022’ (BBC)

Marsh shot to fame as a member of pop band Hear’Say after winning ITV talent series Popstars in 2001. However, she went on to pursue an acting career and was cast as Michelle Connor in Coronation Street.

Speaking about her appointment, 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!”

The third celebrity to be announced was radio DJ and presenter Richie Anderson, who will participate in the show’s second all-male partnership.

Richie Anderson is the third celebrity contestant announced for ‘Strictly’
Richie Anderson is the third celebrity contestant announced for ‘Strictly’

Anderson, who presents travel bulletins on BBC Radio 2’s Breakfast Show, and is a regular host of The One Show, 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.”

Celebrity number four is Loose Women presenter Kaye Adams, who admitted on Friday’s edition of the show (5 August) that she is “terrified” about the weeks ahead.

Kayde Adams is one of three Adams within the cast (BBC)
Kayde Adams is one of three Adams within the cast (BBC)

She told the BBC: “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!”

On Saturday (6 August), comedian and Alma’s Not Normal star Jayde Adams was named as the fifth celebrity competing on the show.

Adams will be appearing on ‘Strictly’ 2022 (BBC)
Adams will be appearing on ‘Strictly’ 2022 (BBC)

Appearing on Strictly has long been Adams’s dream, as she told the BBC: “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.”

Another celebrity joined the Strictly line-up on Sunday (7 August) – this time being Paralympian Ellie Simmonds.

Simmonds will be heading to the ‘Strictly’ dance floor (Unknown)
Simmonds will be heading to the ‘Strictly’ dance floor (Unknown)

The gold medal-winner said that she was “absolutely petrified” to join the show, adding: “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.”

On Monday (8 August), the latest Strictly star was announced. Kiss FM radio presenter, TV presenter and DJ Tyler West said that he was “so gassed” to be joining the show.

Tyler West will be taking part (Unknown)
Tyler West will be taking part (Unknown)

“As I started writing this I already got cramp,” he says. “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.”

This year’s series of Strictly will be the BBC competition’s 20th run. The most recent series, which concluded in December 2021, was won by EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis.

Bros star Matt Goss was also announced as part of the line-up on Monday (8 August).

 (BBC)
(BBC)

The 53-year-old is best known as one half of the Eighties pop band Bros, which he sang in opposite his brother Luke.

Goss admitted he was feeling nervous about his stint on the reality series, but said he is looking forward to “getting going”. He has previously appeared on Strictly in 2013 as part of the Christmas special.

Comedian Ellie Taylor is the ninth contestant joining this year’s series

Ellie Taylor (BBC)
Ellie Taylor (BBC)

Taylor is known as a regular on the BBC’s Mock The Week, The Mash Report and Live at the Apollo. She is a co-host on Channel 4’s The Great Pottery Throw Down and also stars in Apple TV’s multi-award-winning comedy Ted Lasso. Ellie’s debut book, My Child and Other Mistakes, became a Sunday Times bestseller in 2021.

“Well, cover me in fake tan and roll me in sequins!” she said. “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!”

Britain’s Got Talent star Molly Rainford has been announced as the 10th contestant taking part

Molly Rainford (BBC)
Molly Rainford (BBC)

Singer Rainford rose to fame aged 11 as the youngest ever finalist of Britain’s Got Talent. She is currently the star of the CBBC show Nova Jones, in which she plays an intergalactic pop superstar. She has also released two EPs and her biggest single, “Commitment”, has garnered millions of streams.

“I’m so excited to be part of Strictly Come Dancing,” the singer and actor said. “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 Arsenal and England footballer Tony Adams MBE was announced as the 11th celebrity

Tony Adams is taking part in ‘Strictly’ (BBC)
Tony Adams is taking part in ‘Strictly’ (BBC)

The retired sportsman said of his appointment: “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 12th celebrity to be announced for Strictly is Fleur East

Fleur East is getting her dance on (Unknown)
Fleur East is getting her dance on (Unknown)

East shot to fame after reaching the X Factor finals in 201, following which the singer-songwriter released two albums. Since 2018, East has presented Hits Radio Breakfast Show, and has presented on Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway and gameshow The Void.

Speaking about taking part in Strictly, East said: “I’m equally nervous and thrilled to be part of this year’s Strictly lineup. 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 is the 13th contestant to be announced

Hamza Yassin will hit the dancefloor (BBC)
Hamza Yassin will hit the dancefloor (BBC)

Countryfile presenter Yassin was the next star to sign on for this year’s Strictly Come Dancing. Yassin is known to younger viewers as Ranger Hamza from the CBeebies live-action show Let’s Go For A Walk.

He said: “I’m sure all of the contestants for Strictly this year got a phone call saying that they are going to be on Strictly, whereas for me, I’m the odd one out. I got a satellite text message notification from my agent saying in capital letters, ‘you are on Strictly woop, woop!’”

He added: “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 is the 14th Strictly cast member

James Bye is the latest ‘Strictly’ announcement (BBC)
James Bye is the latest ‘Strictly’ announcement (BBC)

Actor Bye, who is best known for playing Martin Fowler in the long-running BBC soap since 2014, was the 14th celeb to join Strictly 2022. He has also appeared in The Great Train Robbery, Hummingbird, The Hooligan Factory and Cemetery Junction.

However, Bye insists his acting background gives him no head start on the dance floor. “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,” he said.

15th and final celebrity joining cast is presenter Helen Skelton

Helen Skelton is the final contestant to be announced (BBC)
Helen Skelton is the final contestant to be announced (BBC)

Countryfile and Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton rounds out the 2022 Strictly line-up.

Her involvement was announced on Claudia Winkleman’s Radio 2 series on Saturday (13 August). She said she was “really excited to get stuck into a fun adventure”.

“I did the Christmas [version of Strictly] the other year,” said Skelton. “The hair is the best, the makeup is incredible, the costumes are incredible. Who gets to go to work and be made to look a bit like Beyonce and have a fun time?

“I thought this is madness to not do it, of course I should do it, it will be so much fun.”

Strictly Come Dancing is expected to return to the BBC on 10 September.