When does Strictly Come Dancing 2022 start and who are the contestants?

·6-min read
The launch of Strictly has been postponed in tribute to the Queen  (Guy Levy/BBC/PA Media)
The launch of Strictly has been postponed in tribute to the Queen (Guy Levy/BBC/PA Media)

Strictly Come Dancing will make its long-awaited return to our televisions soon, bringing with it a brilliant cast of celebrities and weekly glitz, glamour, and entertainment.

Eight months have passed since the end of the previous season, which saw Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice win the mirror ball after a powerful "silent dance" that mesmerised fans at home.

With only a short time left until the 20th season, here’s everything you need to know.

When does Strictly Come Dancing 2022 start?

The launch show will be broadcast on BBC One, at 7pm, on Friday, September 23, while the first live show will take place the next day.

The launch event is pre-recorded, and the live show usually starts the following week, but it appears the timetable has shifted following the postponement.

This year’s Strictly is a significant one, as the show prepares to mark its 20th anniversary in style.

It has been rumoured that King Charles III and the Queen Consort are planning to host the beloved programme, for a live episode inside Buckingham Palace.

On top of that, four new Strictly pros have been announced and a designated week to celebrate 100 years of the BBC.

If that wasn’t thrilling enough, the show also announced its return to the Blackpool Tower Ballroom for the first time in two years, having skipped the regular special in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.

It wouldn’t be Strictly without Shirley Ballas as the head judge. She will be joined once again by fellow judges Craig Revel-Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, and Anton Du Beke, who has permanently replaced Bruno Tonioli.

Unfortunately, fan favourites Oti Mabuse and Aljaž Škorjanec will not be returning for the 2022 series.

Who are the contestants?

Ellie Simmonds

Paralympic swimming gold medallist Ellie Simmonds was the youngest British athlete at the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing at the age of 13 - and was named BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year the same year.

During the 2008 competition, she won gold medals in the 100m and 400m freestyle events. Simmonds won two golds at London 2012 and another at Rio 2016.

After retirement, she went on to present for BBC Sport and has also made documentaries, including Ellie Simmonds: A World without Dwarfism?

Fleur East

Fleur East was the runner-up on The X Factor in 2014 and went on to have a hit single with Sax and release two albums.

After appearing on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here in 2018, she became host of the Hits Radio breakfast show.

Molly Rainford

Molly Rainford is the star of the CBBC show Nova Jones, where she plays the titular intergalactic pop superstar.

She rose to fame aged 11 as one of the youngest ever finalists of Britain’s Got Talent. She then went on to do a scholarship at the Sylvia Young Theatre School.

Rainford has released two EPs and her biggest single, Commitment, has racked up millions of streams.

Tony Adams

Tony Adams is the former England and Arsenal men’s football captain.

Aside from winning titles with the Gunners and representing his country at Euro 96 and the World Cup in 1998, Adams was made an MBE after founding a charity to help sportspeople with mental health and addiction issues.

Matt Goss

Matt Goss enjoyed huge success in the band Bros alongside his brother Luke and Craig Logan, with their debut album Push going platinum seven times following its release in 1988.

He’s enjoyed solo success since with a longstanding residency in Las Vegas and the 2018 Bros documentary, After the Screaming Stops, won a Bafta and a National Television award.

Kym Marsh

Actress and TV presenter Kym Marsh currently hosts BBC One’s Morning Live and has appeared in Coronation Street and The Syndicate.

Marsh was a founding member of the Popstars-produced pop band Hear'Say in the early 2000s.

Will Mellor

Will Mellor is well-known for appearing in Hollyoaks, Coronation Street, Casualty and Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps.

He is also a performer. Mellor reached number five in the UK singles chart with When I Need You in 1998.

He recently toured the UK with a live version of the popular podcast he co-hosts with Ralf Little, Two Pints with Will and Ralf.

Tyler West

Tyler West is an afternoon presenter on radio station Kiss, he was nominated for best new presenter at the 2020 Arias, an awards ceremony which recognises talent in the radio industry.

West began his broadcasting career in children’s television, presenting various programming across CBBC, and has hosted MTV News, HQ Trivia and the red carpet live show at the 2020 Bafta Awards.

Last year, he launched his first BBC Three series, co-hosting Flat Out Fabulous as well as becoming the host of The MTV Movie Show.

Kaye Adams

Kaye Adams is a broadcaster known for presenting ITV’s Loose Women.

She not only hosts the morning show on BBC Radio Scotland but also contributes to the topical debate programme on ITV.

Adams started her career as a news journalist presenting programmes for various TV channels, including STV, the BBC and Channel 5.

This year she also started her popular podcast, How To Be 60 with Kaye Adams.

James Bye

James Bye plays Martin Fowler in Eastenders.

He has previously had roles in the BBC One mini-series The Great Train Robbery and films including Hummingbird, The Hooligan Factory and Cemetery Junction.

Ellie Taylor

Comedian, actress and author Ellie Taylor is known as a guest star on award-winning Apple TV+ series Ted Lasso and was a regular on outgoing BBC panel show Mock The Week.

Hamza Yassin

Wildlife presenter and cameraman Hamza Yassin, who hosts the BBC’s Animal Park and is a guest presenter on Countryfile.

Yassin is also well-known as Ranger Hamza from the CBeebies show Let’s Go For A Walk, and recently fronted a Channel 4 documentary titled Scotland: Escape to the Wilderness.

Jayde Adams

Jayde Adams is a comedian and actor.

She is best known for sitcom Alma’s Not Normal, indie film The Fence and musical Greatest Days.

Helen Skelton

TV and radio presenter Helen Skelton previously appeared in the 2012 Strictly Christmas special.

Skelton recently took over from Laura Whitmore on her 5 Live Sunday morning show.

Richie Anderson

Richie Anderson has previously helped cover the Eurovision Song Contest and The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations for the BBC Radio 2. He also covers stories for The One Show.