Strictly Come Dancing 2022: Former England captain Tony Adams joins line-up

·10 min read
Tony Adams
Tony Adams

Former England and Arsenal captain Tony Adams has been announced as the 11th contestant taking part in this year's Strictly Come Dancing.

He is the third contestant with the surname Adams to be taking part in this year's series, after Kaye and Jayde.

They join Molly Rainford, Ellie Taylor, Matt Goss, Kym Marsh, Will Mellor, Ellie Simmonds, Tyler West and Richie Anderson on the line-up.

"To say I'm excited is an understatement," (Tony) Adams said.

"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.

"I'm absolutely thrilled to be giving it my all on this year's 20th anniversary of Strictly Come Dancing. I can't wait to meet my partner - god help her - and start the dancing."

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 having founded a charity to help sportspeople with mental health and addiction issues.

Adams' participation in this year's Strictly was revealed via the BBC Sport Twitter account on Wednesday,

The dancing competition is set to return to BBC One in September.

Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas and Anton Du Beke
Strictly judges L-R: Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas and Anton Du Beke

Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and head judge Shirley Ballas will all return to the Strictly judging panel this year.

They will be joined once again by Anton Du Beke, who has now permanently taken over from Bruno Tonioli.

More contestants will be announced in the coming days. The celebrities confirmed to take part so far include:

Molly Rainford

Molly Rainford
Molly Rainford

CBBC star Molly Rainford was announced as the 10th contestant taking part in this year's Strictly Come Dancing earlier on Wednesday.

"I'm so excited to be part of Strictly Come Dancing," the actress and singer said in a statement.

"I've watched it for years and can't wait to meet the pros and the others taking part! I can't wait to learn the moves and get dancing!"

The star, whose name was revealed on CBBC's Newsround, rose to fame aged 11 as one of the youngest ever finalists of Britain's Got Talent.

She went on to do a scholarship at the Sylvia Young Theatre School and is currently the star of the CBBC show Nova Jones, where she plays the titular intergalactic pop superstar.

In real life she has released two EPs and her biggest single, Commitment, has racked up millions of streams.

Matt Goss

Matt Goss
Matt Goss

Singer Matt Goss was announced as the show's eighth contestant on Monday.

He said he was "extremely nervous and excited, but I'm optimistic because I'm very supple from the knees down".

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.

Ellie Simmonds

Ellie Simmonds
Ellie Simmonds said she was excited to be taking part in the long-running dancing show

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.

Simmonds said she was "bursting with excitement" about joining the show but also admitted she was "petrified".

Speaking to Radio 5 Live's Sunday Breakfast, Simmonds said: "I'm so excited, I just want to enjoy every second and try out the sequins and costumes.

"I'll be the first dwarf doing this show and I just want to show how positive it is - being different is okay."

She said while it would be "tough" - admitting she would be living off coffee once training begins - it was a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity".

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.

She went on to present for BBC Sport after retiring from competitive swimming in 2020 and has also made documentaries, including Ellie Simmonds: A World without Dwarfism?

Kym Marsh

Kym Marsh
Marsh appeared in Coronation Street and was previously a member of pop group Hear'Say

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

"I'm nervous but I'm really looking forward to it," she told BBC Breakfast on Thursday.

In the early noughties, Marsh was a member of pop group Hear'Say, who were created on talent show Popstars.

"It's been a long time since I've been on stage, performing in that kind of way, so it's going to be really tricky, but I'm up for the challenge," she said about joining Strictly.

Asked how she would deal with criticism from the judges, she joked: "Listen, I was judged by Nasty Nigel in Popstars, he was the villain back in the day, so I think I'll be fine with it.

Will Mellor

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

The actor said he was "honestly so chuffed to be taking part" in Strictly Come Dancing.

"It's getting a bit frightening now," Mellor told BBC Breakfast about taking part in the show.

Asked if he could dance well, he replied: "It depends what you call well. I dance in the kitchen or at parties like anybody does, but nothing at all like I'm doing here, I'm way out of my comfort zone."

He explained: "My mindset completely changed a while back, and I just thought, I've got to start doing things that frighten me.

"I lost my dad in 2020 and from then I just thought, I've just got to grab life. I've got to create new memories."

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
Tyler West

West, who hosts afternoon shows on radio station Kiss, was the seventh celebrity to be announced and said he was "so gassed to be joining the Strictly family".

"It's going to be one crazy incredible journey which will no doubt be so far outside my comfort zone," West said.

"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."

West was nominated for best new presenter at the 2020 Arias, an awards ceremony which recognises talent in the radio industry.

He 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
Radio and TV presenter Kaye Adams is one of the main anchors of ITV's Loose Women

Kaye Adams, 59, is a broadcaster known for presenting ITV's Loose Women.

She said: "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!"

As well as presenting on the ITV topical discussion show, she also hosts the morning show on BBC Radio Scotland.

She 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.

Ellie Taylor

Ellie Taylor
Ellie Taylor

Comedian, actress and author Ellie Taylor said she and her mum had watched the show for years and she was "over the moon" to be now appearing on it.

Taylor, who 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, was announced as the latest contestant on Tuesday morning on ITV's Lorraine show.

"Well, cover me in fake tan and roll me in sequins!" she said in a statement.

"I'm absolutely over the moon to be a part of Strictly 2022! I've watched the show for years so to be able to take to the dance floor is a dream come true, for both me and mum who is a Strictly super fan!"

"At the moment I'm focusing on the excitement and glitter and choosing to ignore the fact that I have the dancing ability of a newly born giraffe," added the star, who last year had a bestselling debut book titled My Child and Other Mistakes. "Bring it on!"

Jayde Adams

Jayde Adams
Jayde Adams is best known as a comedian

The comedian was announced as the fifth contestant to be taking part.

"I cannot begin to express the emotions I am feeling," she said in a statement. "This means so much to me and my family."

Jayde Adams, who is currently performing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, has won several comedy awards and is also an actor.

She said she had been a "massive fan" of the show for years.

"I've always watched it, apart from a brief hiatus in 2011 as I was relentlessly gigging every weekend (to try and get on Strictly)," she said.

"I feel like I'm watching myself in a dream and I can't believe I've manifested this. Holding this in has been torture for me!"

Richie Anderson

Richie Anderson
Anderson, who reads the travel on Radio 2, described Strictly as the "ultimate feel-good show"

Richie Anderson reads the travel on several shows across BBC Radio 2, and has previously helped cover the Eurovision Song Contest and The Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations for the station. He also covers stories for The One Show.

The presenter said joining Strictly was a "dream come true", adding that he "cannot wait to get in those sparkles and sequins".

"Strictly is the ultimate feel-good show, as soon as I hear that iconic theme tune it's just pure escapism," Anderson said.

"I'm going to have to cancel my legendary Strictly launch night kitchen party that I throw every year," he added, joking: "I'm sure my friends and family will understand."

Anderson will become the third celebrity contestant to compete as part of a same-sex couple, following Nicola Adams and John Whaite.

He said: "I remember watching Nicola Adams do it a couple years ago and John Whaite last year, and I remember just thinking - me growing up when I was coming to terms with what I am or what I'm not - it would have been amazing for me to see something like John and Johannes and Nicola and Katya on such a big show."

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