Helen Skelton said yes to Strictly 'so family could see her smile'

Helen Skelton completes the 2022 cast. (BBC)
Helen Skelton is taking part in Strictly Come Dancing 2022. (BBC)

Helen Skelton has said she wanted to take part in Strictly Come Dancing to give her family a chance to "see her smiling".

Mum-of-three Skelton, 39, announced in April that she had split from husband Richie Myler when their youngest child was just four months old, and he is now in a new relationship.

Read more: Shirley Ballas says joining Strictly was 'terrifying'

The Countryfile star and former Blue Peter presenter is currently the bookies' favourite to win the BBC One contest, which returns this weekend.

Helen Skelton after her Strictly makeover. (BBC)
Helen Skelton after her Strictly makeover. (BBC)

Asked why she'd signed up to the show, Skelton said: "I just wanted to do something fun! It was a good chance for my family to see me smiling and it's a fun adventure.

"Anybody who's had anything to do with Strictly will say, the make-up people are the best, the costume people are the best, the set designers are the best, the dancers are the best. So why wouldn't you want to do something where everyone is literally at the top of their game and loving what they do?"

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Skelton added that she expected to find dancing with her partner quite awkward.

"I'm not that touchy feely, so I think the physical closeness I’ll need to have with my partner will take a bit of getting used to!", she said.

Strictly Come Dancing 2022 debuts its made-over cast. (BBC)
Strictly Come Dancing 2022 debuts its made-over cast. (BBC)

Strictly is well known for its glam makeovers on contestants and Skelton admitted she was looking forward to getting the chance to dress up.

She said: "I am here for it! I have three children under seven, a very energetic dog and have lived in a house renovation for the best part of three years, so Strictly-fy me up please!"

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 Helen Skelton?