Strictly 2022: Kym Marsh and Will Mellor announced as first celebrity contestants

·2-min read
 Kym Marsh and Will Mellor - BBC
Kym Marsh and Will Mellor - BBC

Actors Kym Marsh and Will Mellor are the first two contestants announced for this year’s series of Strictly Come Dancing.

The 20th series will return next month and the BBC has begun the process of unveiling the celebrity line-up.

Marsh, 46, who shot to fame as a member of the manufactured band Hear’Say and later appeared in Coronation Street, was first to be announced.

She will join Mellor, also 46, the actor whose credits include Two Pints of Lager and A Packet of Crisps and Broadchurch. He has also appeared in Coronation Street.

Marsh said the stage routines she performed during her pop career would not give her an unfair advantage in the competition.

“I have done dancing before when I was a little girl and in Hear’Say, but it was a very different style of dance,” she said.

Will Mellor - Splash News
Will Mellor - Splash News

Marsh said she would be able to handle criticism from the judges because she had already experienced it during her time on Pop Stars, the TV talent contest. “Listen, I was judged by Nasty Nigel [Lythgoe] on Pop Stars. He was the villain back in the day. I will be fine - I won’t start waving my fist at people or anything like that,” she said.

The actress said that she hoped to put her learned dancing skills to good use when accompanying her husband, an Army major, to mess balls.

Mellor said he had decided to take part following the death of his father in 2020. “I just thought from then, ‘I’ve got to grab life and I’ve got to do things and create new memories.’ My mindset changed.

“It’s my mum’s favourite show, she’s had it really tough over the last few years so I thought, ‘Well do this,’” he said.

The new series of Strictly will be without Oti Mabuse and Aljaz Skorjanec, who announced their departure earlier this year. Anton du Beke will take over as a permanent judge after Bruno Tonioli opted to work full-time on the US version of the show.

The last series was won by Rose Ayling-Ellis with her professional partner Giovanni Pernice.

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