Fleur East, Kym Marsh and Will Mellor doing 'Strictly' for their dads

Fleur East, Kym Marsh and Will Mellor are all taking part in Strictly Come Dancing. (BBC)
Fleur East, Kym Marsh and Will Mellor are all taking part in Strictly Come Dancing. (BBC)

Fleur East, Kym Marsh and Will Mellor have all shared that their poignant personal reasons for taking part in Strictly Come Dancing are about paying tribute to their dads.

Singer East lost her father Malcolm two years ago and said that she was keen to sign up because the BBC One show had been his absolute favourite - even causing him to complain that it clashed with The X Factor when East was starring in the ITV competition.

Read more: Will Mellor suffering knee trouble ahead of Strictly launch

On her reasons for taking part, the 'Sax' singer said: "Firstly, it's the best show ever. Secondly, for me it’s a personal reason, my dad passed away in 2020 and this was his favourite show.

"He even used to get annoyed that he had to miss out on Strictly when I was on The X Factor because they were on at the same time.

Fleur East - Strictly Come Dancing 2022. (BBC)
Fleur East is one of the favourites to win. (BBC)

"When I was deciding whether or not to do it I spoke to my sister and she reminded me of dad watching it all the time and then that was that the deciding factor straightaway, so that’s my motivation for doing it."

East has also shared that her late father sent her a good luck message for the show when her cousin visited a medium.

TV presenter and actor Kym Marsh opened up on her own personal reasons for saying yes to Strictly - telling how she wanted her dad Dave, recently diagnosed with terminal cancer, to be able to watch her dance.

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She said: "My husband is in the army and he's still based in this country at the moment, but there's a chance that next year he'll go away, so if I waited and did it next year, he might not be here to watch.

"Also my dad's not very well and he would love to see me do the show and be able to come in and watch, so in order to make that happen it had to be this year."

Kym Marsh - Strictly Come Dancing 2022. (BBC)
Kym Marsh said the timing was right. (BBC)

Meanwhile, actor Will Mellor said he'd had a change in attitude to being offered jobs like Strictly since losing his own father.

He said: "I’ve been asked to do things over the years and I've never wanted to do them, I was always a bit wary of doing things that might affect my career in a negative way.

"My mindset changed a couple of years ago after I lost my dad. Once I had gone through the grief I just realised you have to grab life and start saying ‘yes’ to things.

Will Mellor will take part in Strictly Come Dancing 2022. (BBC)
Will Mellor will take part in Strictly Come Dancing 2022. (BBC)

"When I got the phone call about Strictly something inside me said ‘ just say yes, do it’. Because I'd rather look back and say ‘I did that’ rather than ‘why didn't I do that?’, I want to do something that’s a challenge. It's scary and it’s out of my comfort zone, but those are the things that you remember, and that's why I decided to do it.

"Also it's my mum's favourite show and she's had a really tough couple of years, so it will give her something to look forward to and to smile about."

The show returns with its launch episode tonight, almost a week later than planned, after being postponed until after the Queen's funeral.

Celebrities will be matched with their partners when the pre-recorded show airs at 7pm, and then it continues with the first live show tomorrow night (Saturday) at 6.45pm.

Watch: Who is Strictly's Fleur East?