Strictly Come Dancing 2022: 15 things we found out about this year’s stars



by Emma Saunders
entertainment correspondent

Tough Competitors 2022image Source, PA Media

It’s that time again… There’s an autumn chill in the air, the kids are finally back at school and dozens of fabulous dresses are being sewn into sequins. Strictly Back!

Anton du Beke returns to the judging panel but this time on a permanent basis as he has officially taken over the reins from Bruno Tonioli.

Despite being a bundle of energy, the Italian has clearly decided that the jetlag from bombing back and forth between LA (where he dances with the stars) and London is too much for him.

Anton will again be joined by Chief Justice Shirley Ballas plus Motsi Mabuse and Wonderful Craig Ravel Horwood.

The launch show is on Friday, delayed due to death of queen in the first month. To whet your appetite, here’s what the celebrity contestants revealed as they started rehearsing.

1. Kim Marsh Had to Borrow Some Underwear on Her First Day of Training

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The actress’s husband was supposed to leave his suitcase at the hotel, but he was late and finished his first sweaty dance practice ahead of schedule.

“I had no clothes on, no change in underwear, nothing!” She says. “flavors” [Adams] I got some to borrow, and a Deliveroo.”

Nasty Nigel faced off on Popstars back in the dayKim sure can’t be worried about Craig?

“Nothing could be worse, to be called fat on television. How sweet! But I think [Craig] would be terrible,” she jokes.

2. Matt Goss could have gone full John Travolta or James Bond. Or both.

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The singer says that rigorous training is very different from preparing to perform as a solo artist.

“The biggest obstacle… are we not told [as solo performers] ‘You have to put your foot there, leave it there. You should go this way. You have to do this.’ The reason we didn’t want a proper job is because we don’t like being told what to do on stage. And when you do it for so long, it’s a hard habit to break. So you’re trying to move a certain way [in training] But you are strictly engaged with that choreography.”

Matt is back home in the UK after 11 years as headliner in Las Vegas, but says he “wasn’t happy at the end. I felt disconnected”.

“I made a decision after the success of my previous record, I’m coming back to the UK. Strictly called and I thought, If I don’t do that I’m going back to work in my comfort zone,” Says the former Bros star, who says that the first person he mentioned was his twin brother, Luke.

“I want to go disco-tastic, stay alive! And I want to do James Bond,” he says. Strictly on you!

3. Hamza Yasin consults the Rev. Richard Coles for Lycra

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The wildlife presenter and camera operator did a documentary with Man of the Cloth, who took part in Strictly in 2017.

“He’s a wonderful friend,” Hamza says. “They said: ‘Enjoy every single moment. If you don’t normally wear Lycra — and they’ll tell you to wear Lycra — do it, because you’re going to look sexy in it!”

Hamza says being on the show is already a win.

“I’m severely dyslexic. So to know that someone with as severe dyslexia as me is being successful on TV, it’s amazing.”

4. Could Brad Pitt make a special appearance for Ellie Taylor?

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The A-List Movie Star Is a Fan of The Great Pottery Showdown, which comedian and actress Ellie co-presents. So is she expecting a video message from the man herself?

“I bet Brad Pitt would just slip into my DMs and say ‘I love you!’,” she laughs.

Ellie says that, after doing a strictly sketch on The Mash Report, it now feels real to be seen in the real thing.

“You go into the ballroom and think, ‘Oh my god, here I am and it’s Shirley Ballas!

“It’s crazy. It’s like you just jumped into the telly.”

5. Jay Adams Wants Bette Midler To Be Bristol’s Answer

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The Almaz’s Not Normal star has no worries about being dismissed as a novelty act because he’s a comic.

“Well, I hope I am! I sing, I dance, I act, I joke. I’ve always wanted to be Bristolian Bette Midler.”

Zayde will be partnering with a woman in this series and is looking forward to experimenting.

“Whenever you have a partnership where you have a plus size guy [with a female professional]it’s easy for him because he can always pick up the girl but when you have it on the other side, you have that imbalance. [professional] People are great they are not rugby players. So I thought I would be able to indulge in all the acrobatics.”

On who will lead and who will follow, she says: “I think we can mix it up a bit.”

6. Richie Anderson Has a Special Strictly Cocktail

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The Radio 2 travel presenter will be missing a big Strictly speaking tradition this year.

“Every year on launch night I have a big cocktail party at my house,” he explains. “So my mother’s angry [that there won’t be one this year], I make a Charleston cocktail, it’s like a blackcurrant liqueur. I’ll give you the recipe!”

Strictly super fan dancing with male partner.

“It was a no-brainer [choosing to dance with a same sex partner], I wish as a gay teenager… I could have switched on primetime television on a Saturday night and saw two men dancing together.”

7. Ellie Simmonds wants to prove that dancing is for everyone

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The Paralympic swimming star is finding her feet both on the sets and behind the scenes.

“with [having] Dwarfly, I was able to go to the studio to make sure things worked out for me, even something as simple as they gave me a low rail so I could wear my outfits. We also get physio support and psychology support.

she says that he and she [yet to be announced] The dance partner will be learning together.

“He’s never danced with dwarfism before. And I’ve never danced before in my life. We’re just … going to adapt. Like if I have to hold him differently, then I would hold her differently… but I think if I can do it… people watching from home can feel they can adapt. Dancing is for everyone.”

8. Will Mailer Could Be Craig’s Personal Dancer

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The actor was chosen by a judge during an interview on BBC’s The One Show last month, with Craig saying of Will: “I think he’s got a real charm about him and I think he Will be able to bring it to dance. Destination.”

Will would jokingly reference a famous Tina Turner track: “I was Craig’s personal dancer for many years, his dancer for the money.”

Before getting “tightly tight,” Will told us about the most outrageous outfit (so far) “for a Mamma Mia revamp on ITV… was wearing knee-high platform boots. I saw it later.” And thought: ‘Maybe it’s a mistake!'”

9. Tony Adams is eager to showcase his silking skills

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The former Arsenal and England captain is under no illusions about the challenge ahead.

“It’s not a football pitch. It’s a little different! I’m a little on my toes. The only thing in common is the trailing foot!”

Several ex-pro footballers have previously participated in the show, including Peter Schmeichel, Peter Shilton and Robbie Savage.

“They all said don’t do that, don’t be fooled,” jokes Tony.

“I am at a stage in my life when I can do anything. i am free from addictionI haven’t had a drink or drugs for 26 years and I can just go into it, nuts and bolts.”

10. Molly Rainford Believes She Can Handle Craig After Simon Cowell

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CBBC star and singer Molly first rose to fame as a child on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent, reaching the finals 10 years earlier. But this time he is a little more worried.

“When I was 11, I didn’t think I knew what I was doing,” she says. “Whereas now I kind of do. I’m definitely a little more nervous than I was when I was younger.

“Cause I have Simon [Cowell as a judge]Am I afraid of Craig? I know Simon’s side was a little soft and he was a really big teddy bear in the end. So hopefully that’s Craig!”

11. Fleur East will ‘surrender to sequins’

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The singer and presenter is friends with AJ Odudu, who participated in Strictly last year.

“She just said: ‘Surrender to the sequins! It’s going to be so hard but the best thing you’re ever going to do.’

“I would love to dance to my own music, that would be wonderful. My mother is from Ghana and I grew up on high life music and Afrobeats. It would be really fun to do something like that.”

Fleur is already feeling stressed – she was two hours late on her radio breakfast show after the first day of filming.

“I’m sorry I let you down, but I was just in agony and shivering early in the morning and it freaked me out!” He told his listeners on Hits Radio. You’ll get used to it, Fleur.

12. Tyler West Is Taking Lifts A Little Intimidating

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“I was nervous about lifts because although I go to the gym and … I feel pretty strong physically, it’s completely different,” he says. “doing that [a lift] It’s crazy to run on the dance floor after a full minute!”

He says he is excited for people to get to know him.

“It just gives you an opportunity to show us who we really are. And I feel like if I were a kid watching a show like Strictly with my family and [could] Say: ‘Wait, I look like them or I sound like them or I have dreadlocks or whatever,’ that’s the motivation. The representation is there.”

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James Bye, who played Martin Fowler in EastEnders, says he didn’t feel any pressure after his co-star Rose Ayling-Ellis won Strictly last year.

“I’m not a very competitive person. So as long as I beat Rose, I don’t care!” He laughs.

James is one of a long line of EastEnders actors to participate, so who else would want to see it?

“I’d love to see Lacey (Turner) do it. I don’t know if she will, but I think she’ll be fantastic. Or Steve McFadden. I think Phil Mitchell in sequins will be the last!”

14. Helen Skelton is having fun talking a lot

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The former Blue Peter presenter says, “I think that’s the cool thing about it for me… Normally I’m on my own, that’s just the nature of my job.”

“I went to Antarctica” [for Sport Relief], they intentionally got a non-English speaking sound man because they wanted me to be on my own like a real explorer. While it is nice to be in and around people, sharing something in a team. That’s why I talk a lot!”

Her family is gearing up to see Helen pack up their belongings later this month.

“My mom is excited, my dad is excited, even my brother is, and I love him as I say it, he’s the most serious man in the world – and he’s excited!”

15. Kaye Adams Is Already Putting In The Hours

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The loose female anchor is practicing her Charleston swivel.

“Why did I do this? It took me six weeks [to be able to do it], I’m going to sign up for 2023!” she jokes.

Don’t worry though, Kaye got some great advice from Loose Woman, who’s already been on the show.

“He basically told me: ‘Don’t spoil it!'”


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