Strictly’s Will Mellor details how the loss of his father pushed him to join the dancing show

‘It crippled me’: Will Mellor says his father’s death pushed him to join Strictly Come Dancing because his grief ‘changed everything’

  • The actor, 46, lost his father back in 2020, after a two-week battle with cancer 
  • Will is gearing up to star in the upcoming season of Strictly Come Dancing, which kicks off on September 17

Will Mellor has opened up about how the death of his father changed his perspective on life and pushed him to try new things.

The actor, 46, who is gearing up to star in the new series of Strictly Come Dancing, lost his dad Bill suddenly in 2020 – just two weeks after he was diagnosed with cancer.

Admitting that the loss ‘crippled me’ and ‘changed everything’ – the star shared that the grief sparked him to finally go for the dancing competition.

Grief: Will Mellor, 46, has detailed how the loss of his father pushed him to join Strictly Come Dancing show... admitting that his grief 'changed everything'

Grief: Will Mellor, 46, has detailed how the loss of his father pushed him to join Strictly Come Dancing show… admitting that his grief ‘changed everything’

Chatting to MailOnline, Will shared how losing his dad changed his perspective on life.

And admitting it’s not the first time Strictly has approached him, the star revealed he was previously worried about what people would think and if they would judge.

The Hollyoaks star shared: ‘I’ve been asked before, it’s just the right timing. I would generally say no to these things because I was always worried about what other people would think and what they would say. But then I lost my dad in 2020 and everything changed.

Will lost his dad Bill suddenly in 2020 - just two weeks after he was diagnosed with cancer (pictured together)

Will lost his dad Bill suddenly in 2020 – just two weeks after he was diagnosed with cancer (pictured together)

Heartbreaking: The actor admitted that losing his dad 'changed everything' (pictured with his parents in 2017)

Heartbreaking: The actor admitted that losing his dad ‘changed everything’ (pictured with his parents in 2017)

‘It crippled me and I just thought I’ve got to grab life and do things. It really changed my mindset.’

And while the loss has changed perspective for him, Will’s participation in the show is also an ode to his mum Shirley.

Sharing that Strictly is her ‘favourite show’, the star continued that he’s doing it to add some positivity into her life too. 

‘She’s had the worst time recently so I just thought we need some positivity in our lives. She lost her husband, brother-in-law and sister-in-law all in the space of a year so I am doing this for me but also for her,’ he detailed. 

Positivity: Sharing that he's doing it for his mum Shirley, Will explained: 'She's had the worst time recently so I just thought we need some positivity in our lives' (pictured with his mum Shirley)

Positivity: Sharing that he’s doing it for his mum Shirley, Will explained: ‘She’s had the worst time recently so I just thought we need some positivity in our lives’ (pictured with his mum Shirley)

Looking forward to it: 'I'm really proud to be part of Strictly and I cant wait to go on this journey'

Looking forward to it: ‘I’m really proud to be part of Strictly and I cant wait to go on this journey’

Continuing: ‘So yeah I’m just going to go for it and I don’t care what anyone thinks. I’ve got the family behind me. Life does that to you and it makes you realise you just have to live and make memories.’

Will has previously shared that due to social distancing guidelines in place during 2020, he was unable to comfort his close family in person. 

The family were ripped apart by the loss, which happened during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Will is set to star alongside celebrities such as Kym Marsh, Matt Goss and Ellie Simmonds – as they all prepare to take to the dancefloor with a professional.

And while competition could be fierce, the actor is prepared to give it his all, sharing: ‘I’m really proud to be part of Strictly and I cant wait to go on this journey.’

‘I was surprised by a few of the celebrities, some of the girls can move. I think you just need to go for it 100%, give it your all and do the best you can do.’

Strictly Come Dancing kicks off on BBC One on Saturday 17 September. 

STRICTLY COME DANCING 2022: WHO ARE THE CONTESTANTS?

KYM MARSH

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.’

RICHIE ANDERSON 

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!’

ELLIE SIMMONDS 

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.’

TYLER WEST 

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.’

ELLIE TAYLOR

 

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!’

TONY ADAMS MBE 

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’

  

JAMES BYE

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.’

HELEN SKELTON

 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’

WILL MELLOR

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!’

 KAYE ADAMS 

 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!’ 

 JAYDE ADAMS

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.’

MATT GOSS

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

 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.’

FLEUR EAST

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.’

 HAMZA YASSIN

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.’

 

 

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