Strictly 2022: Will Mellor and Hamza Yassin top the leaderboard

Strictly Come Dancing 2022: Will Mellor and Hamza Yassin are joint TOP of the Week One leaderboard as they bag 34 points each following their VERY impressive routines – as Ellie Simmonds makes history as the first person with dwarfism to compete

  • Strictly Come Dancing 2022 kicked off its first live show in style on Saturday, with all 15 couples taking to the floor to perform their first ever competitive dance of the series 
  • The stars certainly brought their all to the dancefloor as both Will Mellor and Hamza Yassin topped the leaderboard in the first week with impressive scores of 34 points out of 40
  • Meanwhile, Paralympian swimmer Ellie Simmonds made history as the first person with dwarfism to compete on the BBC show 
  • Elsewhere, despite a fabulous start, the first Strictly Come Dancing show of the series hit a technical hitch as Shirley Ballas’ paddle failed to match the board while scoring Tyler West and his partner Dianne Buswell
  • Read more: Check out the Strictly Come Dancing  Week One live blog 

Strictly Come Dancing 2022 kicked off its first live show in style on Saturday, with all 15 couples taking to the floor to perform their first ever competitive dance of the series. 

And the stars certainly brought their all to the dancefloor as both Will Mellor and Hamza Yassin topped the leaderboard in the first week with impressive scores of 34 points out of 40.

Things soon became too much for Will’s pro partner Nancy Xu however as she broke down in tears at the scores before Will then began to cry after dedicating the dance to his mother and late father. 

Meanwhile, Paralympian swimmer Ellie Simmonds made history as the first person with dwarfism to compete on the BBC show.


What a start! The Strictly Come Dancing  stars certainly brought their all to the dancefloor on Saturday night as both Will Mellor (L) and Hamza Yassin topped the leaderboard in the first week with impressive scores of 34 points out of 40

The Two Pints Of Lager star burst onto the dancefloor with plenty of energy as he and Nancy performed a brilliant Jive to Livin’ La Vida Loca by Ricky Martin.

And the actor was certainly living is best life on the dancefloor as he shook his hips and pulled out some very impressive moved, much to the delight of the audience who were on their feet. 

Judges Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse gave the TV star a standing ovation and couldn’t believe how good the routine was as Motsi asked: ‘Will, where did those hips come from? What is this man? Please help us all! That was fantastic!’ 

While Shirley gushed: ‘Solo work, determination, you had that look, everything was coordinated, it was power packed, you socked it to us. I loved it, well done!’

Making her mark: Meanwhile, Paralympian swimmer Ellie Simmonds made history as the first person with dwarfism to compete on the BBC show (pictured with pro partner Nikita Kuzmin)

Anton Du Beke was just as chuffed with the performance, telling the former Corrie actor: ‘Honestly, that was so brilliant. I mentioned something earlier about owning the routine. You looked like you’d been dancing that routine for about 18 months. It was absolutely amazing!’

While a usually hard-to-please Craig Revel Horwood added: ‘You know what, I loved it!’ 

As pro Nancy was overcome with emotion at the response and their score of 34, Will too welled up as he dedicated the performance to his mother Shirley and his late father Bill, who passed away in 2020 after a short battle with cancer. 

Let’s go! The Two Pints Of Lager star burst onto the dancefloor with plenty of energy as he and Nancy performed a brilliant Jive to Livin’ La Vida Loca by Ricky Martin

Where there’s a Will, there’s a way! The actor was certainly living is best life on the dancefloor as he shook his hips and pulled out some very impressive moved, much to the delight of the audience who were on their feet

Big fans: Judges Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse gave the TV star a standing ovation and couldn’t believe how good the routine was as Motsi asked: ‘Will, where did those hips come from?’


Emotional: Things soon became too much for Will’s pro partner Nancy Xu however as she broke down in tears at the scores before Will then began to cry after dedicating the dance to his mother and late father

Strictly Come Dancing: Week One Leaderboard 

Will Mellor and Nancy Xu: Jive to Livin’ La Vida Loca by Ricky Martin – 34 points out of 40

Hamza Yassin and Jowita Przystał: Foxtrot to Islands In The Stream by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers – 34 points out of 40

Molly Rainford and Carlos Gu: Samba to Kiss My (Uh Oh) by Anne Marie and Little Mix – 31 points out of 40

Fleur East and Vito Coppola: Cha Cha Cha to Let’s Get Loud by Jennifer Lopez – 29 points out of 40

Ellie Taylor and Johannes Radebe: Quickstep to I Am What I Am by Klaus Hallen Tanzorchester – 28 points out of 40

Helen Skelton and Gorka Márquez: American Smooth to You Send Me by Aretha Franklin – 26 points out of 40

Ellie Simmonds and Nikita Kuzmin: Cha Cha Cha to Dance by DNCE – 26 points out of 40

Jayde Adams and Karen Hauer: Samba to Dirrty by Christina Aguilera featuring Redman – 23 points out of 40

Kym Marsh and Graziano Di Prima: Jive to Yes by Merry Clayton – 23 points out of 40

Richie Anderson and Giovanni Pernice: Cha Cha Cha to I’m Your Man by Wham! – 23 points out of 40

James Bye and Amy Dowden: Jive to What I Like About You by The Romantics – 22 points out of 40

Tyler West and Dianne Buswell: American Smooth to Falling by Harry Styles – 22 points out of 40

Kaye Adams and Kai Widdrington: Tango to Voulez-Vouz by ABBA – 21 points out of 40

Matt Goss and Nadiya Bychkova: Quickstep to Sir Duke by The Chris Walden Big Band – 20 points out of 40

Tony Adams and Katya Jones: Tango to Go West by Village People – 15 points out of 40

Will’s wasn’t the only high-flying score of the night as Countryfile’s Hamza Yassin also topped the leaderboard with Jowita, thanks to their elegant Foxtrot to Islands In The Stream by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers.

And Anton certainly let Hamza know what he thought of the dance, as he excitedly exclaimed: ‘We’ve got ourselves a ballroom dancer in the house!’ 

Craig simply remarked: ‘Who knew, darling!’ while Motsi praised his ‘exquisite’ performance, telling the wildlife expert: ‘It was brilliant, well done.’

With Shirley adding: ‘You’re such a gentle soul and so easy on the eye. The footwork, the musicality, it was beautiful.’

It wasn’t just the judges who had high praise for the pair as viewers at home were quick to share their elation over Will and Hamza’s performances.

Taking to Twitter, one viewer penned: ‘Yeah, my happy place is back, my cheeks hurt I’ve smiled so much. Hamza, so great. Will, holy moly… #teamjelly love you guys!.’

What a treat! Will’s wasn’t the only high-flying score of the night as Countryfile’s Hamza Yassin also topped the leaderboard with Jowita, thanks to their elegant Foxtrot to Islands In The Stream by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers

High praise: Craig simply remarked: ‘Who knew, darling!’ while Motsi praised his ‘exquisite’ performance, telling the wildlife expert: ‘ It was brilliant, well done;


Happy: Hamza and Jowita looked delighted by the comments, while his proud doctor parents watched on from the audience after changing their work shifts to watch their son

While a second shared: ‘Strictly was just WOW!! So happy it’s back, I love this time of year!! Who are your faves?! I’ve rooted for Will since he was announced and LOVED him tonight! Hamza has a beautiful soul and danced beautifully too, and Jayde – knew nothing about her but she’s got SASS, LOVE her!’

A third viewer wrote: ‘Will and Hamza are my favourites at the moment.’

‘Helen, Will and Hamza were the best tonight, but everyone gave their best..as usual fabUlous show’ tweeted a fourth.

Reaction: It wasn’t just the judges who had high praise for the pair as viewers at home were quick to share their elation over Will and Hamza’s performances

With another adding: ‘It’s so good to have #Strictly back! I have so many fave couples already but Hamza and Will were the dances of the night for me!’

Meanwhile, Ellie Simmonds made Strictly history as the first person with dwarfism to take part, with the athlete stating ahead of her appearance: ‘If I can do it, people watching can too.’ 

And Ellie for sure made her community proud as she kicked and partner Nikita Kuzmin off her Strictly campaign with a great Cha Cha Cha to Dance by DNCE.

Sharing his thoughts on her routine, Anton said: ‘You powered across the floor, you went, “OK, here we go, have some of this.” Your side-by-side work was great, your timing was excellent. It was good.’

She did it! Meanwhile, Ellie Simmonds made Strictly history as the first person with dwarfism to take part , with the athlete stating ahead of her appearance: ‘If I can do it, people watching can too’

Golden girl: Ellie for sure made her community proud as she kicked and partner Nikita Kuzmin off her Strictly campaign with a great Cha Cha Cha to Dance by DNCE

With Craig agreeing with his co-star as he shared ‘I have to agree with Anton, the timing, your attitude, the rhythm, your isolation. It was excellent.’

While Motsi added: ‘I absolutely love this team. What I love is this focus, you understand what the dance was about. Allow yourself to enjoy it even more. I loved it.’ 

Elsewhere, despite a fabulous start, the show hit a technical hitch as Shirley Ballas’ paddle failed to match the board while scoring Tyler West and his partner Dianne Buswell.

In spite of the issue, radio DJ Tyler earned a standing ovation from his favourite judge following his emotional American Smooth to to Falling by Harry Styles, which featured a stunning Angel lift.

Commenting on Tyler’s performance, Shirley said: ‘Any girl would feel very safe doing lifts with you’, before adding that ‘the atmosphere you created was stunning’. She then want on to give him tips on his footwork.

Whoops! Elsewhere, despite a fabulous start, the first Strictly Come Dancing show of the series hit a technical hitch as Shirley Ballas’ paddle failed to match the board while scoring Tyler West and his partner Dianne Buswell

Loved it: In spite of the issue, radio DJ Tyler earned a standing ovation from his favourite judge following his emotional American Smooth to to Falling by Harry Styles, which featured a stunning Angel lift

Shirley was so impressed that when it came to the scoring, she attempted to give him a 7, but on screen said a different story as it came up with 6 points. 

Amid rumblings of confusion in the crowd, host Claudia Winkleman was forced to clarify Shirley’s score, with the judge admitting she made a mistake amid her excitement, before confirming that she scored 7 points. 

And while Shirley had plenty of praise, Craig Revel Horwood rained on Tyler’s parade as he remarked that it ‘all looked a little pedestrian for me’, adding that there was ‘sloppy footwork’ and it ‘lacked emotion’. However, Craig added that he  loved the lift and could see potential.

Kicking off the show was Kym Marsh and Graziano Di Prima, with the pair looking fabulous in bright yellow ensembles while dancing an energetic Jive to Yes by Merry Clayton

Commenting on the performance, head judge Shirley Ballas enthused: ‘What a way to open the show!’ before adding that she thought the former Coronation Street star  ‘did remarkably well’

Anton Du Beke told Kym that it was ‘absolutely wonderful’ and that he ‘really really loved it’. The dancer went on to praise her for her technique, saying that it made the routine look so clean, but warned her to work on her spins.

Nice job: Commenting on Tyler’s performance, Shirley said: ‘Any girl would feel very safe doing lifts with you’, before adding that ‘the atmosphere you created was stunning’. She then want on to give him tips on his footwork

Confirmation: Amid rumblings of confusion in the crowd, host Claudia Winkleman was forced to clarify Shirley’s score, with the judge admitting she made a mistake amid her excitement, before confirming that she scored 7 points

Ever the pessimist, Craig Revel Horwood got his first boos of the series as he moaned that it was ‘all a bit sluggish’, telling the star she needed ‘more energy’ and needed to be up on her toes more.

However, on a positive note, he added that he didn’t agree with Anton, saying that her spins were very good.

While Motsi Mabuse remarked that she looked ‘comfortable’ on the dancefloor, and asked her to bring the confidence and the energy for her next dance. 

Fantastic: Tyler and Dianne left everyone impressed with their emotional American Smooth, scoring 22 points

Atmospheric: Tyler and Dionne brought the emotion to their first dance of the series


Wow: The duo brought their all to the dancefloor during the American Smooth

Kym and Graziano’s first dance of the series earned them 23 points. 

Jayde Adams and Karen Hauer was up next with a Samba to Dirrty by Christina Aguilera featuring Redman and they certainly turned up the heat.

Their attitude-filled, sassy performance left the audience up on their feet and the judges were certainly impressed too.

An excited Motsi exclaimed: ‘Samba you’re in trouble, you’ve never met this woman!’, while Shirley quipped: ‘I haven’t seen that much attitude on week one – just fantastic!’

Fabulous: Kicking off the show was Kym Marsh and Graziano Di Prima, with the pair looking fabulous in bright yellow ensembles while dancing an energetic Jive to Yes by Merry Clayton

Kicking and flicking: Commenting on the performance, head judge Shirley Ballas enthused: ‘What a way to open the show!’ before adding that she thought the former Coronation Street star ‘did remarkably well’

Hello yellow: Kym and Graziano gave their dance plenty of energy

You go girls! Jayde Adams and Karen Hauer was up next with a Samba to Dirrty by Christina Aguilera featuring Redman and they certainly turned up the heat


Work it: Their attitude-filled, sassy performance left the audience up on their feet and the judges were certainly impressed too

They’ve got the moves: An excited Motsi exclaimed: ‘Samba you’re in trouble, you’ve never met this woman!’, while Shirley quipped: ‘I haven’t seen that much attitude on week one – just fantastic!’

Can’t believe it: Jayde looked overwhelmed by her scores, as she got a respectable 23 points

Up next, Loose Women’s Kaye Adams attempted to impress with a Tango to Voulez-Vouz by ABBA alongside Kai Widdrington.

The star’s nerves got the better of her however as she made some mistakes during the routine and received a mixed response from the judges. 

Shirley remarked that ‘the nerves got the better of you’, while the routine was littered with mistakes, with Anton also commenting on the errors.

But surprisingly, Craig dished out more pleasant remarks as he told Kaye that he ‘really really liked’ her performance after initially expecting it to be dreadful.

EastEnders star James Bye then took to the floor with Amy Dowden as they performed an energetic Jive to What I Like About You by The Romantics.

There she is: Up next, Loose Women’s Kaye Adams attempted to impress with a Tango to Voulez-Vouz by ABBA alongside Kai Widdrington


Giving it a go: The star’s nerves got the better of her however as she made some mistakes during the routine and received a mixed response from the judges

Lady in red: The broadcaster looked red hot on the dancefloor

Feedback: Shirley remarked that ‘the nerves got the better of you’, while the routine was littered with mistakes, with Anton also commenting on the errors. But surprisingly, Craig dished out more pleasant remarks

Support: Kaye’s Loose Women pals Nadia Sawalha and Jane Moore were cheering her on from the audience

The Martin Fowler star put his all into the dance, prompting Shirley to later urge him to breathe, before telling him that he made some mistakes. 

While Motsi told him that he ‘moved economically’ before encouraging him to build his confidence. 

Next up was Richie Anderson and Giovanni Pernice – one of two same-sex couples this year – who performed a Cha Cha Cha to I’m Your Man by Wham!

Craig kicked off with mixed remarks, telling Richie that it was ‘stiff and spiky’ before adding: ‘full marks for entertainment.’

With Motsi joking: ‘I never saw a person do a cha cha like you!’ before urging him to breathe and listen to the music.

Fun times: EastEnders star James Bye then took to the floor with Amy Dowden as they performed an energetic Jive to What I Like About You by The Romantics

From Enders to Elstree: The Martin Fowler star put his all into the dance, prompting Shirley to later urge him to breathe, before telling him that he made some mistakes

Come on: James and Amy gave it their all during the performance

Choose dance! Next up was Richie Anderson and Giovanni Pernice – one of two same-sex couples this year – who performed a Cha Cha Cha to I’m Your Man by Wham!

Response: Craig kicked off with mixed remarks, telling Richie that it was ‘stiff and spiky’ before adding: ‘full marks for entertainment’

Flamboyant: Richie certainly owned the stage for his first competitive performance

Meanwhile, Helen Skelton took to the floor with Gorka Marquez to perform a American Smooth to You Send Me by Aretha Franklin.

And despite her protests that she lacked elegance, Craig was quick to reassure her, telling her: ‘ Love the energy and you do have elegance, darling.’ 

While Anton gushed: ‘Brilliant line, when you do lines it’s gorgeous. Own it! Own the dance, Just believe in yourself a little bit more because when you do, it’s brilliant.’

Wow! Meanwhile, Helen Skelton took to the floor with Gorka Marquez to perform a American Smooth to You Send Me by Aretha Franklin

Picture of elegance: Despite her protests that she lacked elegance, Craig was quick to reassure her, telling her: ‘ Love the energy and you do have elegance, darling’

Charming: Shirley also praised the presenter, explaining: ‘You weren’t too fast, you weren’t too slow. The beginning was divine, the arms were love. Well done’

Shirley also praised the presenter, explaining: ‘You weren’t too fast, you weren’t too slow. The beginning was divine, the arms were love. Well done.’

Cbeebies star Molly Rainford then took to the floor with newcomer Carlos Gu to perform a  Samba to Kiss My (Uh Oh) by Anne Marie and Little Mix and boy did they deliver.

Motsi emphasized: ‘She did deliver, this was the best show of the night before now. Lots of basic, fundamental steps. This is a shooting star and I can see it coming.’

While Shirley reeled off the things they included, stating; ‘I do like to see a good Samba, I do like to see a good vaulter, and you gave it me all.’

On fire! Cbeebies star Molly Rainford then took to the floor with newcomer Carlos Gu to perform a Samba to Kiss My (Uh Oh) by Anne Marie and Little Mix and boy did they deliver

Sow us what you’ve got: Motsi emphasized: ‘She did deliver, this was the best show of the night before now. Lots of basic, fundamental steps. This is a shooting star and I can see it coming’

Gave it a good go: Bros star Matt Goss hoped to impress with his Quickstep to Sir Duke by The Chris Walden Big Band alongside pro Nadiya Bychkova, but things didn’t go quite as planned

Feedback: Shirley attempted to be constructive as she told him: ‘you’ve got a lot of potential but it fell a bit apart’ before telling him he needed to get ‘back to the drawing room’ as he couldn’t get away with a ‘bad frame’

Clearly impressed, Craig then simply added: ‘I can’t wait to see more, darling.’ 

Bros star Matt Goss hoped to impress with his Quickstep to Sir Duke by The Chris Walden Big Band alongside pro Nadiya Bychkova, but things didn’t go quite as planned.

Shirley attempted to be constructive as she told him: ‘you’ve got a lot of potential but it fell a bit apart’ before telling him he needed to get ‘back to the drawing room’ as he couldn’t get away with a ‘bad frame’.

And while Anton agreed with Shirley about Matt’s poor frame, Craig surprisingly stood up for the singer as he exclaimed: ‘I think they’re all being really nasty!

Own goal? Meanwhile, Arsenal legend Tony Adams hoped to score big with his football-inspired Tango to Go West by Village People, but his and Katya Jones efforts failed to impress

Uh oh! The two landed at the bottom of the leaderboard with just 15 points, with Craig saying of the routine: ‘Your feet did look glued to the floor at times, it was very stompy’

What an entrance! Tony descended from the ceiling on a golden cannon, in a nod to his former team’s emblem

‘I liked that, that was punchy. Yes, there’s the frame but obviously you’re going to learn how to do that, darling, but I think that was a great routine.’ 

Meanwhile, Arsenal legend Tony Adams hoped to score big with his football-inspired Tango to Go West by Village People, but his and Katya Jones efforts failed to impress.

The two landed at the bottom of the leaderboard with just 15 points, with Craig saying of the routine: ‘Your feet did look glued to the floor at times, it was very stompy. Your bottom was sticking way too far out. I do have some positives here, darling. It had attack and it had aggression.’

While Shirley offered some words of comfort, telling him: ‘Let me tell you, young man. You have a lovely long neck, from elbow to elbow you have great shape, you have potential. 

Dazzling: Comedian Ellie Taylor and partner Johannes Radebe hoped to impress with their Quickstep to I Am What I Am by Klaus Hallen Tanzorchester and they indeed managed to earn decent scores for the dance

Glam: Anton certainly was taken by it as he told her: ‘Hollywood glamour, musical start, silver screen. You just epitomised the golden age of Hollywood. You held a wonderful arm line. The nuts and bolts down below need a bit of work but you did a good job’

‘A few people have made some mistakes tonight, week one, but trust me when I say you have potential for a great ballroom frame.’ 

Comedian Ellie Taylor and partner Johannes Radebe hoped to impress with their Quickstep to I Am What I Am by Klaus Hallen Tanzorchester and they indeed managed to earn decent scores for the dance.

Anton certainly was taken by it as he told her: ‘Hollywood glamour, musical start, silver screen. You just epitomised the golden age of Hollywood. You held a wonderful arm line. The nuts and bolts down below need a bit of work but you did a good job.’

While Motsi shared: ‘It was fun, it was like. I loved it. It was a contrast from what we have seen and it was so divine.’

Last but not least: The final person to compete on the night was X Factor’s Fleur East, who ended the show with a bang thanks to her and newbie Vito Coppola’s Cha Cha Cha to Let’s Get Loud by Jennifer Lopez

Electric: The pair certainly turned up the noise as they gave it their all on the dancefloor, though the judges pointed out that the singer gave a little too much

Wild thing: Sharing his mixed response, Craig said: ‘I have to say, really wild for me, a bit too wild. It needs a little bit more technique but my goodness, you are a fantastic dancer’

The final person to compete on the night was X Factor’s Fleur East, who ended the show with a bang thanks to her and newbie Vito Coppola’s Cha Cha Cha to Let’s Get Loud by Jennifer Lopez.

And the pair certainly turned up the noise as they gave it their all on the dancefloor, though the judges pointed out that the singer gave a little too much.

Sharing his mixed response, Craig said: ‘I have to say, really wild for me, a bit too wild. It needs a little bit more technique but my goodness, you are a fantastic dancer.’ 

Judge and jury: Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse and Anton Du Beke (L-R) were on hand to give their comments on the week one dances

Leading ladies: Hosts Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly cut stylish figures as they presented the first live show of the series

While Motsi agreed: ‘I am just impressed by the amount of power that you have, the conviction for the steps that you have. It’s truly impressive. I think we just have to find a way to control it. It went on 110% there was nothing less.’ 

The dazzling series opener kicked off with a colourful carnival-inspired dance from the professionals set to Chaka Khan’s Ain’t No Body, before they were joined on the dancefloor by the judges Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse, Craig Revel Horwood and Anton Du Beke. 

While hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman descended from the ceiling on a fabulous feather-adorned float while showing off their dance moves. 

It comes after the postponed launch show finally aired on Friday after being delayed due to Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral.

Home time: Strictly stars including Jayde Adams were seen making their way back to their London hotel after the first live episode

Done and dusted: Ellie Simmonds looked pleased with herself as she strolled along after a successful first show


There they go: It Takes Two host wowed in a strapless red jumpsuit following the show, while judge Motsi Mabuse opted for amore casual ensemble after wowing in a glam blue number

Loved up: Karen Hauer cosied up to husband Jordan Wyn-Jones as they headed back to the hotel

Look who it is: Kaye Adams posed with fellow dancer Hen Skelton and her Loose Women co-stars Nadia Sawalha and Jane Moore

It had originally been due to air on September 17, but had been postponed due to it being just two days before the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, which took place on September 19. 

The United Kingdom was placed in a period of mourning on September 8 after Buckingham Palace announced the Queen’s passing, with much of BBC’s schedule filled with rolling coverage of events leading to her funeral.

And Strictly ensured it kicked off the series with a bang as the 15 celebrities finally found out who their professional partners were. 

Let’s do this! Strictly Come Dancing 2022 kicked off its first live show in style on Saturday, with all 15 couples taking to the floor to perform their first ever competitive dance of the series 

Among the pairings, reigning champion Giovanni Pernice formed one of two same-sex pairings this series, as he took to the floor with Richie Anderson.

While comedian Jayde Adams will perform with Karen Hauer.

Elsewhere, Helen Skelton was paired with Gorka Marquez after becoming a last-minute addition to the show, while Katya Jones has been partnered with footballer Tony Adams.

They’ve got the moves! The series opener also featured two incredible performances from the Strictly professionals

The series opener also featured two incredible performances from the Strictly professionals, as well as the return of reigning champion Rose Ayling-Ellis, and a music performance from John Legend who performed his new single All She Wanna Do.

Joining Claudia and Giovanni on the sofa ahead of their comeback dance, Rose told how it was ‘lovely’ to be back on the show while expressing her shock that it had been a year since she took part.

She added that training for her return dance with Giovanni made her realise how much she ‘missed’ training with him, while the Italian hunk added that the few hours they danced together once again was ‘magical’.  

This series will be the first in three years to be broadcast without Covid measures, which forced bosses to introduce restrictions including ‘bubbles’ for training and limited audience numbers.

Yes! This series will be the first in three years to be broadcast without Covid measures, which forced bosses to introduce restrictions including ‘bubbles’ for training and limited audience numbers

Series 20 of Strictly will see its stars celebrate 100 years of the BBC with a special themed week this year.

To mark the centenary, the Strictly couples will either dance ‘to a theme tune from an iconic BBC programme or in tribute to one of the BBC’s most-loved services’.

The anniversary show is also set to feature two special routines by the professionals – one will honour the BBC’s Natural History Programming unit, while the other will see the dancers ‘crashing’ some flagship shows.

Strictly Come Dancing continues Saturday at 6.30pm on BBC One.  

Keeep dancing! Strictly Come Dancing continues Saturday at 6.30pm on BBC One

Strictly Come Dancing 2022: Who are the couples?

HELEN SKELTON AND GORKA MARQUEZ 

Helen Skelton and Gorka Marquez

Celebrity’s age: 39

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’

ELLIE SIMMONDS AND NIKITA KUZMIN 

Ellie Simmonds and Nikita Guzman

Celebrity’s age: 27

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.’

ELLIE TAYLOR AND JOHANNES RADEBE 

Ellie Taylor and Johannes Radebe

Celebrity’s age: 38

Profession: Comedian

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!’

FLEUR EAST AND VITO COPPOLA 

Fleur East and Vito Coppola

Celebrity’s age: 34 

Profession: Singer

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.’

JAMES BYE AND AMY DOWDEN 

James Bye and Amy Dowden

Celebrity’s age: 38

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.’

JAYDE ADAMS AND KAREN HAUER 

Jayde Adams and Karen Hauer

Celebrity’s age: 37

Profession: Comedian

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.’

TYLER WEST AND DIANNE BUSWELL 

Tyler West and Dianne Buswell

Celebrity’s age: 26

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.’

HAMZA YASSIN AND JOWITA PRZYSTAL 

Hamza Yassin and Jowita Przystal

Celebrity’s age: 35

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.’

RICHIE ANDERSON AND GIOVANNI PERNICE 

Richie Anderson and Giovanni Pernice

Celebrity’s age: 34

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!’

KYM MARSH AND GRAZIANO DI PRIMA 

Kym Marsh and Graziano Di Prima

Celebrity’s age: 46

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.’

MATT GOSS AND NADIYA BYCHKOVA 

Matt Goss and Nadiya Bychkova

Celebrity’s age: 53

Profession: Singer

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 RAINFORD AND CARLOS GU 

Molly Rainford and Carlos Gu

Age: 21

Profession: Singer 

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.’

WILL MELLOR AND NANCY XU 

Will Mellor and Nancy Xu

Celebrity’s age: 46

Profession: Actor

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!’

TONY ADAMS AND KATYA JONES 

Tony Adams and Katya Jones

Celebrity’s age: 55

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’

KAYE ADAMS AND KAI WIDDRINGTON 

Kaye Adams and Kai Widdrington

Celebrity’s age: 59 

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!’ 

 

 

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