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

By Emma Saunders
Entertainment reporter

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It’s that time again … there’s an autumn chill in the air, the kids are FINALLY back to school and sequins are frantically sewn onto dozens of fabulous costumes. Strictly it’s back!

Anton Du Beke returns to the jury, but this time outright, he officially takes over the reins of Bruno Tonioli.

Despite being a concentrate of energy, the Italian has clearly decided that the jetlag of the bombing back and forth between Los Angeles (where he shoots Dancing with the stars) and London is too much even for him.

Anton will again be joined by Chief Judge Shirley Ballas plus Motsi Mabuse and the fabulous Craig Revel Horwood.

The launch show is Friday, having been delayed due to the Queen’s death earlier in the month. To whet your appetite, here’s what the celebrity contestants revealed just as rehearsals were starting.

1. Kym Marsh had to borrow some underwear on the first day of training

image source, Kym Marsh

The actress’s husband was supposed to leave his suitcase at the hotel, but he was running late and finished his first sweaty dance workout earlier than expected.

“I had no clothes, no underwear changes, nothing!” She says. “Jade [Adams] I have something to borrow and a Deliveroo. “

Having faced Nasty Nigel on Popstars back in the day, Kym can’t be worried about Craig, can he?

“Nothing can be worse than that, being called fat on television. How cool! But I think.” [Craig] it will be terrible, “he jokes.

2. Matt Goss could become John Travolta or James Bond. Or both.

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

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

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

“I made a decision after the success of my last record, I’m returning to the UK. I called strictly and thought, if I don’t, I’ll be back in my comfort zone of working,” says the former Bros star, who he says the first person he told was his twin brother Luke.

“I want to go clubbing, Staying Alive! And I want to be James Bond,” he adds. Strictly, to you!

3. Hamza Yassin followed Lycra’s advice from Reverend Richard Coles

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The wildlife presenter and camera operator made a documentary with the man of cloth, which took part in Strictly in 2017.

“He’s a great guy,” Hamza says. “He said, ‘Enjoy every single moment. If you don’t normally wear lycra – and they’ll ask you to wear it – do it, because you’ll look sexy!'”

Hamza says being on the show is already a win.

“I’m severely dyslexic. So knowing that someone who has severe dyslexia like me is successful on TV is great.”

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 actress and comedian Ellie co-presents. So you are hoping for a video message from the man himself?

“I’m sure Brad Pitt will walk into my DMs and say ‘I loved you!'” She laughs.

Ellie adds that after doing a Strictly sketch on The Mash Report, it seems surreal to appear now in reality.

“You walk into the ballroom and you think, ‘My God, I’m here and it’s Shirley Ballas!’

“It’s crazy. Looks like you just jumped on television.”

5. Jayde Adams wants to be Bristol’s answer to Bette Midler

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The Alma’s Not Normal star doesn’t mind being dismissed as a novelty because she’s a comedian.

“Well, I hope I am! I sing, dance, act, do fun things. I’ve always wanted to be a bit of a Bristol Bette Midler.”

Jayde will be paired with a woman in this series and she can’t wait to experiment.

“Whenever you have partnerships where you have an older boyfriend [with a female professional], it’s easy for him because he can always lift the girl but when you do the opposite, you have that imbalance. the [professional] the boys are great, they are not rugby players. So I thought I would be able to get into all the stunts. “

About who will lead and who will follow, he says, “I think we might confuse things a bit.”

6. Richie Anderson has a special Strictly cocktail

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The travel presenter of Radio 2 will be missing a great tradition Strictly this year.

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

The Strictly super fan dances with a male partner.

“It was a no-brainer [choosing to dance with a same sex partner]. I wish as a gay teenager … I could have turned on the television in prime time on a Saturday night and see two men dancing together. “

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

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The Paralympic swimming star found his feet both on set and behind the scenes.

“With [having] Dwarfism, I was able to go to the studio just to make sure things could work out for me, even something as simple as they gave me some lower rails so I could put on my clothes. We also get physiological support and psychological support.

Says she and she [yet to be announced] dance partners want to learn together.

“He’s never danced with anyone with dwarfism before. And I’ve never danced before in my life. We’re just … adapting. As if I have to keep it different, I’ll keep it different … but I think if Ce I can do it … people who watch from home can realize they can adapt. Dancing is for everyone. “

8. Will Mellor could be Craig’s private dancer

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The actor was chosen by the judge during an interview on BBC’s The One Show last month, with Craig saying of Will: “I think he has a real charm in him and I think he’ll be able to take him to the floor dance. . “

Will jokingly refers to a famous song by Tina Turner: “I was Craig’s private dancer for many years, his dancer for money.”

Before being “strictly”, Will tells us that the most outrageous dress he wore (so far) was the one for “a Mamma Mia revamp on ITV … with knee-high boots. I looked at it later and I thought: ‘It might have been a mistake!’ “

9. Tony Adams can’t wait to show off his silky skills

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The former Arsenal and England captain has no illusions about the challenge that awaits him.

“This isn’t the football pitch. It’s a little different! I’m a little tiptoe. The only thing in common is the back leg!”

Several former professional footballers have taken part in the show previously, including Peter Schmeichel, Peter Shilton, and Robbie Savage.

“They all said not to, not to be stupid,” Tony jokes.

“I’m at a stage in my life where I can do anything. I’m addiction free, haven’t taken alcohol or drugs for 26 years and can just deal with 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 found fame in ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent as a child, reaching the final 10 years ago. But this time she is slightly more anxious.

“When I was 11, I don’t think I know what I was getting into,” he says. “While now in a way I do. I’m definitely a little more nervous than when I was little.

“Because I had Simon [Cowell as a judge], am I afraid of Craig? I know Simon had a little soft side and in the end he was a really big teddy bear. So I hope Craig is the same! “

11. Fleur East will “surrender to sequins”

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

“He just said, ‘Surrender to sequins! It’s going to be so hard but the best thing you’ve ever done.’

“I would love to dance to my music, that would be great. My mom is from Ghana and I grew up with highlife music and afrobeat. It would be really fun to do something like that.”

Fleur is already feeling the tension: she arrived two hours late for her breakfast radio show after the first day of shooting.

“I’m sorry I let you down, but I was just shaking and shaking until the wee hours of the morning and it knocked me out!” she told her listeners him on Hits Radio. You’ll get used to it, Fleur.

12. Tyler West is slightly afraid of elevators

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“I was nervous about the elevators because even though I go to the gym and … I feel pretty strong physically, it’s completely different,” he says. “Doing this [a lift] after a full minute running around the dance floor is crazy! “

He says he’s thrilled that people get to know him.

“It gives you the opportunity to present who we really are. And I feel like I’m the kid watching a show like Strictly with my family and [could] say, “Wait, I look like them or I sound like him or I have dreadlocks or whatever”, that’s the motivation. The representation is there “.

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James Bye, who plays Martin Fowler on EastEnders, says he feels no 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 take part in, so who else would he want to see try?

“I wish Lacey (Turner) would do that. I don’t know if she would, but I think she would be great. Or Steve McFadden. I think Phil Mitchell in sequins would be the best!”

14. Helen Skelton likes to talk a lot

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“I think the great thing about this for me is … I’m normally on my own, it’s just the nature of my work,” says the former Blue Peter presenter.

“I went to Antarctica [for Sport Relief], they intentionally got a sound engineer who didn’t speak English because they wanted me to be alone, like a true explorer. Against this, it’s nice to be in and around people, to share something in a team. That’s why I talk so much! “

Her family is preparing to see Helen strut towards the end of this month.

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

15. Kaye Adams has already taken the hours

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Anchor Loose Women practiced with her Charleston swivel.

“Why did I do it? It took me six weeks [to be able to do it]! I’m signing up for 2023! “, She jokes.

Don’t worry though, Kaye has received great advice from the Loose Women who have already taken part in the show.

“They basically said to me: ‘Don’t screw it up!'”