Strictly Come Dancing’s 2022 couples are REVEALED!

Strictly Come Dancing’s 2022 couples are REVEALED! Reigning champion Giovanni Pernice is partnered with Richie Anderson in one of TWO same-sex pairings – as postponed launch show finally airs after delay amid the Queen’s funeral

  • The pairings were announced during Saturday’s pre-recorded launch show, ahead of the first live show on September 24
  • The high-anticipated launch show had originally been due to air on September 17, but had been postponed due to it being just two days before the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II , which took place on September 19 
  • For the first time in Strictly history, there will be two same-sex pairings in one series, with reigning champion Giovanni taking to the dancefloor with DJ Richie Anderson
  • Comedian Jayde Adams will dance with Karen Hauer in the show’s second same-sex duo
  • Elsewhere, Helen Skelton will take to the floor with Gorka Marquez after becoming a last-minute addition to the show, while Katya Jones has been partnered with footballer Tony Adams

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The Strictly Come Dancing 2022 pairings have been revealed.

Leading the pack is reigning champion Giovanni Pernice, who will form one of two same-sex pairings this series, as he takes to the floor with Richie Anderson, while comedian Jayde Adams will perform with Karen Hauer.

Elsewhere, Helen Skelton will take to the floor with Gorka Marquez after becoming a last-minute addition to the show, while Katya Jones has been partnered with footballer Tony Adams.

The high-anticipated launch show had originally been due to air on September 17, but had been postponed due to it being just two days before the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, which took place on September 19.

Revealed! The Strictly Come Dancing 2022 pairings have been revealed and leading the pack is reigning champion Giovanni Pernice, who will form one of two same-sex pairings this series

Just the two of us: Helen Skelton will take to the floor with Gorka Marquez after becoming a last-minute addition to the show

Revealed! The Strictly Come Dancing 2022 pairings have been revealed and leading the pack is reigning champion Giovanni Pernice, who will form one of two same-sex pairings this series, while Helen Skelton will take to the floor with Gorka Marquez

After being crowned series champion with Rose Ayling-Ellis, this year’s Strictly will see Giovanni take to the floor with DJ Richie, who had confirmed ahead of the series that he would be dancing with a male partner.

Detailing his requirements for a dance partner, Richie mused: ‘As the great 80s philosopher Sinitta said, “he’s got to be big and strong and enough to… whirl me around the dance floor!”‘

For the first time in the show’s history, there will be two same-sex couples performing in the same series, with Karen, who last year danced with Greg Wise, taking to the floor with comedian Jayde.

Sharing her feelings on being part of the Strictly experience, Jade explained: ‘I feel like it’s not real, I feel like someone made a Strictly themed birthday party and I’m in the middle of it!’

Let's do this! Paralympic champion Ellie Simmonds will dance with Nikita Kuzmin, who last year took to the floor with Tilly Ramsay

Let’s do this! Paralympic champion Ellie Simmonds will dance with Nikita Kuzmin, who last year took to the floor with Tilly Ramsay

Honour: Speaking on how she felt representing people with dwarfism on the show, Ellie told host Tess: 'It means everything, to represent not just dwarfism but disability in general, for me to go out of my comfort zone and do something that I¿ve never done before'

Honour: Speaking on how she felt representing people with dwarfism on the show, Ellie told host Tess: ‘It means everything, to represent not just dwarfism but disability in general, for me to go out of my comfort zone and do something that I’ve never done before’

Making history: For the first time in the show's history, there will be two same-sex couples performing in the same series, with Karen, who last year danced with Greg Wise, taking to the floor with comedian Jayde

Making history: For the first time in the show’s history, there will be two same-sex couples performing in the same series, with Karen, who last year danced with Greg Wise, taking to the floor with comedian Jayde

Elsewhere Helen will take to the dancefloor with Gorka, who last year was eliminated during the show’s third week after failing to impress with Katie McGlynn.

On how she felt about the prospect of facing acid-tongued judge Craig, Helen quipped: ‘I’ve got three little kids so I don’t think there’s any tantrum you can throw at me that I haven’t already seen!’ 

Kai Widdrington, who was last year forced to withdraw from the final after his celebrity partner AJ Odudu suffered an injury, will this year dance with broadcaster Kaye Adams.

However, Kaye predicted that her dancing skills will certainly satisfy judge Craig, who is well known for his put-downs, as she told him: ‘I’m your early Christmas present, I’m the turkey with all the trimmings.’

Katya Jones, who set tongues wagging last year when she appeared to kiss the now-single Olympic star Adam Peaty, has been paired up with footballer Tony Adams.

First meeting: Helen will take to the dancefloor with Gorka, who last year was eliminated during the show's third week after failing to impress with Katie McGlynn

First meeting: Helen will take to the dancefloor with Gorka, who last year was eliminated during the show’s third week after failing to impress with Katie McGlynn

Not fazed: On how she felt about the prospect of facing acid-tongued judge Craig, Helen quipped: 'I¿ve got three little kids so I don¿t think there¿s any tantrum you can throw at me that I haven¿t already seen!'

Not fazed: On how she felt about the prospect of facing acid-tongued judge Craig, Helen quipped: ‘I’ve got three little kids so I don’t think there’s any tantrum you can throw at me that I haven’t already seen!’

Matched up: Kai Widdrington, who was last year forced to withdraw from the final after his celebrity partner AJ Odudu suffered an injury, will this year dance with broadcaster Kaye Adams

Matched up: Kai Widdrington, who was last year forced to withdraw from the final after his celebrity partner AJ Odudu suffered an injury, will this year dance with broadcaster Kaye Adams

Partner goals: Katya Jones, who set tongues wagging last year when she appeared to kiss the now-single Olympic star Adam Peaty, has been paired up with footballer Tony Adams

Partner goals: Katya Jones, who set tongues wagging last year when she appeared to kiss the now-single Olympic star Adam Peaty, has been paired up with footballer Tony Adams

Wow factor: Singer and DJ Fleur East has been coupled with newcomer Vito Coppola

Wow factor: Singer and DJ Fleur East has been coupled with newcomer Vito Coppola

Paralympic champion Ellie Simmonds will dance with Nikita Kuzmin, who last year took to the floor with Tilly Ramsay, while singer and DJ Fleur East has been coupled with newcomer Vito Coppola.

When asked how she juggle Strictly with her Hits Radio Breakfast show, the former X Factor star responded: ‘“I’ve got six alarms that I set, because I snooze all of them. I’ll be up at 4.30am waking everyone up and then dancing at night!’ 

Meanwhile, speaking on how she felt representing people with dwarfism on the show, Ellie told host Tess: ‘It means everything, to represent not just dwarfism but disability in general, for me to go out of my comfort zone and do something that I’ve never done before. 

‘Dancing is for all, yes, I’m going to have to adapt, I’m going to have to see what it’s like, but to be out there every Saturday night dancing… I’m so so proud.’ 

New duo: Last year's finalist Johannes Radebe, who had performed with Great British Bake Off star John Whaite, will this year dance with comedian Ellie Taylor

New duo: Last year’s finalist Johannes Radebe, who had performed with Great British Bake Off star John Whaite, will this year dance with comedian Ellie Taylor

New pair: EastEnders star James Bye, who insists he has 'got zero dance experience' will perform with pro Amy Dowden

New pair: EastEnders star James Bye, who insists he has ‘got zero dance experience’ will perform with pro Amy Dowden

While her partner Nikita shared: ‘For me, the goal for this season is for Ellie to have the best time of her life.’ 

Last year’s finalist Johannes Radebe, who had performed with Great British Bake Off star John Whaite, will this year dance with comedian Ellie Taylor.

EastEnders star James Bye, who insists he has ‘got zero dance experience’ will perform with pro Amy Dowden, while singer and CBBC star Molly Rainford will take to the dancefloor with series newcomer Carlos Gu.

Coronation Street star Kym Marsh will dance with Graziano Di Prima, who last year took to the floor with Judi Love, while Matt Goss has been paired up with Nadiya Bychkova.

Streets ahead? Coronation Street star Kym Marsh will dance with Graziano Di Prima, who last year took to the floor with Judi Love

Streets ahead? Coronation Street star Kym Marsh will dance with Graziano Di Prima, who last year took to the floor with Judi Love

Thrilled: Describing how she felt at finally discovering her dance partner, Kym shared: 'My stomach was churning, but I was delighted!'

Thrilled: Describing how she felt at finally discovering her dance partner, Kym shared: ‘My stomach was churning, but I was delighted!’

Music to his ears: Matt Goss has been paired up with Nadiya Bychkova

Music to his ears: Matt Goss has been paired up with Nadiya Bychkova

Describing how she felt at finally discovering her dance partner, Kym shared: ‘My stomach was churning, but I was delighted!’

DJ Tyler West will dance with Dianne Buswell, who last year withdrew from the series alongside Robert Webb due to his health concerns. Sharing her excitement about her new partner, Dianne was quick to suggest their team moniker: ‘Team TyeDie’. 

Rounding out this year’s couples are actor Will Mellor, who has been partnered with Nancy Xu, and Countryfile’s Hamza Yassin, who will dance with Jowita Przystal and told how his Strictly wish is to bag a 10 from Craig.

Will, who told how he lives near judge Anton, described himself and Nancy as a ‘perfect match’, remarking to Tess: ‘I’m like an excitable puppy and so’s she!’ 

The fifteen couples have been working hard in the training room, with their debut performance set to air during the first Strictly live show on Saturday, with the judging panel scoring each dance out of 40.

Fun times: DJ Tyler West will dance with Dianne Buswell, who last year withdrew from the series alongside Robert Webb due to his health concerns

Fun times: DJ Tyler West will dance with Dianne Buswell, who last year withdrew from the series alongside Robert Webb due to his health concerns

Nice one! Rounding out this year's couples are actor Will Mellor, who has been partnered with Nancy Xu

Nice one! Rounding out this year’s couples are actor Will Mellor, who has been partnered with Nancy Xu

The pairs will then deliver a second performance the following week when the public vote will open, before a results show on Sunday reveals which two pairs received the fewest votes and must compete in the dance off.

The judges will then decide which couple they would like to save, and the other pair will be eliminated. 

The series opener also featured two incredible performances from the Strictly professionals, as well as the return of reigning champion Rose Ayling-Ellis, and a music performance from John Legend who performed his new single All She Wanna Do.

Joining Claudia and Giovanni on the sofa, Rose told how it was ‘lovely’ to be back on the show while expressing her shock that it had been a year since she took part.

She added that training for her return dance with Giovanni made her realise how much she ‘missed’ training with him, while the Italian hunk added that the few hours they danced together once again was ‘magical’.  

Dusting off their paddles were returning judges Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse and Anton Du Beke. 

Let's dance: Singer and CBBC star Molly Rainford will take to the dancefloor with series newcomer Carlos Gu

Let’s dance: Singer and CBBC star Molly Rainford will take to the dancefloor with series newcomer Carlos Gu

Can't wait: Countryfile's Hamza Yassin, who will dance with Jowita Przystal and told how his Strictly wish is to bag a 10 from Craig

Can’t wait: Countryfile’s Hamza Yassin, who will dance with Jowita Przystal and told how his Strictly wish is to bag a 10 from Craig

While viewers were no doubt sad not to see show favourites Aljaz Skorjanec and Oti Mabuse, who both quit Strictly Come Dancing earlier this year.

This series has also seen the introduction of four new professionals, European cup winner Vito Coppola, Chinese National Champion Carlos Gu, former Under 21 British National Champion Lauren Oakley and Latin dance champion Michelle Tsiakkas.

During Saturday’s launch the four pros were officially introduced to viewers through a pre-filmed cinematic dance routine.

Vito Coppola previously said of his new role: ‘I am really excited to become part of this family. I cannot wait to start this new adventure and to challenge myself. Strictly sto arrivando! (or: Strictly I am coming!)’

Delay: The high-anticipated launch show had originally been due to air on September 17, but had been postponed due to it being just two days before the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II , which took place on September 19

Delay: The high-anticipated launch show had originally been due to air on September 17, but had been postponed due to it being just two days before the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II , which took place on September 19

Carlos Gu added: ‘I’m thrilled to join Strictly and very excited to get started. It’s a new chapter of my life and a new challenge as well. I’m absolutely ready to take on this journey and to shine.’  

Former Under 21 British National Champion Lauren Oakley gushed: ‘I’ve grown up watching Strictly, always hoping that one day I could be part of the best show on television, doing what I love the most.’

‘Now that it’s happening, it doesn’t quite seem real. I can’t wait to start this new sequined adventure and join this incredible family.’

Latin champ Michelle Tsiakkas said: ‘Being a professional dancer on Strictly Come Dancing has been my dream ever since I was a little girl.’

They're baaack! Dusting off their paddles were returning judges Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse and Anton Du Beke

They’re baaack! Dusting off their paddles were returning judges Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse and Anton Du Beke 

Grand return! The new series of Strictly Come Dancing will once again be hosted by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman , who had presented the show together since 2014

Grand return! The new series of Strictly Come Dancing will once again be hosted by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman , who had presented the show together since 2014

‘I cannot believe my dream has come true! I’m so grateful to be joining this incredible family and I can’t wait to step on that magical dance floor and give it my all!’ 

The postponed launch show finally aired after being delayed due to Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, with the original date initially set just two days before the monarch was laid to rest.

The United Kingdom was placed in a period of mourning on September 8 after Buckingham Palace announced the Queen’s passing, with much of BBC’s schedule filled with rolling coverage of events leading to her funeral on September 19.

Government guidance had stated that entertainment events were under no obligation to be cancelled or postponed occasions during the mourning period, though it had been heavily suggested as a mark of respect.

They've got the moves! The series opener also featured two incredible performances from the Strictly professionals

They’ve got the moves! The series opener also featured two incredible performances from the Strictly professionals

New faces: During Saturday's launch the four pros were officially introduced to viewers through a pre-filmed cinematic dance routine

New faces: During Saturday’s launch the four pros were officially introduced to viewers through a pre-filmed cinematic dance routine

As a result, the BBC opted to air the Paddington films in honour of the Queen, with the first film shown in place of the launch show last Saturday.

This series will be the first in three years to be broadcast without Covid measures, which forced bosses to introduce restrictions including ‘bubbles’ for training and limited audience numbers. 

Series 20 of Strictly will see its stars celebrate 100 years of the BBC with a special themed week this year. 

To mark the centenary, the Strictly couples will either dance ‘to a theme tune from an iconic BBC programme or in tribute to one of the BBC’s most-loved services’.

The anniversary show is also set to feature two special routines by the professionals – one will honour the BBC’s Natural History Programming unit, while the other will see the dancers ‘crashing’ some flagship shows.

Strictly Come Dancing’s first live show will air on September 24, with It Takes Two returning on September 26.

STRICTLY COME DANCING 2022: WHO ARE THE COUPLES? 

HELEN SKELTON AND GORKA MARQUEZ 

Helen Skelton and Gorka Marquez

Helen Skelton and Gorka Marquez

Celebrity’s age: 39

Profession: TV and radio broadcaster

Helen says: ‘I’m really excited to get stuck into a fun adventure. My family and friends have always loved the show and can’t wait for me to get started’

ELLIE SIMMONDS AND NIKITA KUZMIN 

Ellie Simmonds and Nikita Guzman

Ellie Simmonds and Nikita Guzman

Celebrity’s age: 27

Profession: Former athlete 

Ellie says: ‘To be asked to be part of the Strictly family is just so exciting and I cannot wait, it’s going to so much fun.’

ELLIE TAYLOR AND JOHANNES RADEBE 

Ellie Taylor and Johannes Radebe

Ellie Taylor and Johannes Radebe

Celebrity’s age: 38

Profession: Comedian

Ellie says: ‘Well, cover me in fake tan and roll me in sequins! I’m absolutely over the moon to be a part of Strictly 2022!’

FLEUR EAST AND VITO COPPOLA 

Fleur East and Vito Coppola

Fleur East and Vito Coppola

Celebrity’s age: 34 

Profession: Singer

Fleur says:  ‘I’m equally nervous and thrilled to be part of this year’s Strictly line up. I’m excited to learn new skills and I want to soak up every moment of this magical experience.’

JAMES BYE AND AMY DOWDEN 

James Bye and Amy Dowden

James Bye and Amy Dowden

Celebrity’s age: 38

Profession: EastEnders actor

James says ‘I’m not known for my shimmy or my twinkle toes – in fact my kids regularly laugh at my dad dancing but it’s an honour to be asked and I’m going to give it my best shot.’

JAYDE ADAMS AND KAREN HAUER 

Jayde Adams and Karen Hauer

Jayde Adams and Karen Hauer

Celebrity’s age: 37

Profession: Comedian

Jayde says: ‘I’ve been a massive fan of the show for years. I feel like I’m watching myself in a dream and I can’t believe I’ve manifested this.’

TYLER WEST AND DIANNE BUSWELL 

Tyler West and Dianne Buswell

Tyler West and Dianne Buswell

Celebrity’s age: 26

Profession: Radio DJ

Tyler says: ‘It’s a show that means so much to me and my family and I can’t wait to seriously shake a leg on that shiny dance floor… with a side of sequins.’

HAMZA YASSIN AND JOWITA PRZYSTAL 

Hamza Yassin and Jowita Przystal

Hamza Yassin and Jowita Przystal

Celebrity’s age: 35

Profession: Wildlife cameraman and presenter

Hamza says: ‘I am absolutely over the moon to be joining Strictly 2022. Never in a million years did I think I’d be on such a cool show.’

RICHIE ANDERSON AND GIOVANNI PERNICE 

Richie Anderson and Giovanni Pernice

Richie Anderson and Giovanni Pernice

Celebrity’s age: 34

Profession: Radio presenter 

Richie says: ‘This is a dream come true! I cannot wait to get in those sparkles and sequins and shimmy across the most famous dance floor in the world!’

KYM MARSH AND GRAZIANO DI PRIMA 

Kym Marsh and Graziano Di Prima

Kym Marsh and Graziano Di Prima

Celebrity’s age: 46

Profession: Coronation Street star and presenter

Kym says: ‘I’m so delighted that this year they have! I’m a huge fan of the show and can’t believe I’m going to go from watching at home in my pyjamas to actually dancing in front of the judges in a glittery dress.’

MATT GOSS AND NADIYA BYCHKOVA 

Matt Goss and Nadiya Bychkova

Matt Goss and Nadiya Bychkova

Celebrity’s age: 53

Profession: Singer

Matt says: ‘I’ve been reclusive, I come and work and then go back to America. I thought, it’s time for me to come home and get out of my own way’

MOLLY RAINFORD AND CARLOS GU 

Molly Rainford and Carlos Gu

Molly Rainford and Carlos Gu

Age: 21

Profession: Singer 

Molly says: ‘I already know it’s gonna be an experience of a lifetime and I can’t wait to meet the rest of the Strictly family I’ll be sharing it with.’

WILL MELLOR AND NANCY XU 

Will Mellor and Nancy Xu

Will Mellor and Nancy Xu

Celebrity’s age: 46

Profession: Actor

Will says: ‘I know it will be a huge challenge but that’s what life is all about. This is also my Mum’s favourite show and she’s had a really tough few years so I’m doing this is for her as well. Bring it on!’

TONY ADAMS AND KATYA JONES 

Tony Adams and Katya Jones

Tony Adams and Katya Jones

Celebrity’s age: 55

Profession: Retired footballer and manager

Tony says:  ‘To say I’m excited is an understatement – the lure of the sequins and the call of the salsa has me swapping my battered old football boots for a set of Strictly soft shoes’

KAYE ADAMS AND KAI WIDDRINGTON 

Kaye Adams and Kai Widdrington

Kaye Adams and Kai Widdrington

Celebrity’s age: 59 

Profession: Television presenter 

Kaye says: ‘I said I wanted to make the last year of my fifties memorable and i can’t think of a better way of doing it than showing the world my two left feet. Pray for me!’ 

 

 

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