Strictly Come Dancing pairings 2022: who is dancing with who - and early favourites to win Glitterball Trophy

The BBC reality series will begin tonight - after being delayed due to the death of the Queen

Strictly Come Dancing will feature two same-sex couples this year including reigning champion Giovanni Pernice, who will compete to retain his title.

The 15 celebrity contestants discovered which of the professional partners they will be training and performing with in the hit BBC One show in the launch show on Friday (23 September) night. It kicked off this year’s series and was delayed by a week following the death of the Queen.

Strictly Come Dancing was originally due to begin on 17 September, with the launch show taking place the night before on 16 September, but as the country remained in a period of mourning ahead of Elizabeth II’s funeral, the BBC decided to push the programme’s start date back one week.

Here is all you need to know about the pairings:

Who is Richie Anderson dancing with?

The BBC Radio 2 presenter will be doing the foxtrot with reigning champion Giovanni Pernice as part of two same-sex pairings. Anderson admitted he had specific requirements for his partner as he wanted them to be “big and strong enough to… whirl me around the dance floor!”

After Pernice was revealed as his partner in the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show studio, he said: “Could you get anyone better than Mr Giovanni? I feel like I’m the envy of the British public right now.” The dancer, who won last year alongside actress Rose Ayling-Ellis, also confirmed he was happy with his pairing as he noted the radio host has “a lot of energy”.

They follow in the footsteps of Bake Off star John Whaite and professional Johannes Radebe, who became the first all-male couple on the show last year and finished as runners-up.

Who is Jayde Adams dancing with?

The other same-sex pairing will see comedian and actor Jayde Adams team up with professional Karen Hauer. Adams admitted that she was a Strictly superfan and that she was delighted to be partnered with Hauer, saying, “Karen is Strictly.”

The comedian and dancer are also the show’s second female same-sex couple, as Katya Jones was paired with Olympic gold medallist boxer Nicola Adams in 2020.

The celebrity and professional dancers who will dance in Strictly Come Dancing 2022. Picture: BBC/ PA

Who is Ellie Simmonds partner for Strictly?

Paralympic swimming gold medallist Ellie Simmonds told host Tess Daly she was proud to be representing those with disabilities, saying: “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.” The five-time Paralympic champion and broadcaster will dance with Nikita Kuzmin, who said his goal this season is for “Ellie to have the best time of her life”.

Strictly Come Dancing 2022 contestants James Bye; Kym Marsh, Hamza Yassin; Tyler West; Tony Adams; Kaye Adams; Jayde Adams; Helen Skelton; Fleur East; Richie Anderson; Molly Rainford; Matt Goss; Ellie Simmonds; Will Mellor; Ellie Taylor,BBC,Ray Burmiston

Who will Tyler West be partnered with?

Kiss FM DJ Tyler West was partnered with Dianne Buswell and admitted that he thinks his mother was so pleased with his pairing that she was actually in the audience to see her rather than him.

Who is Kym Marsh dancing with in Strictly?

Coronation Street actress and presenter Kym Marsh was paired up with Graziano Di Prima on the set of BBC’s Morning Live where she hosts. She admitted that when meeting him her “stomach was churning” but that she was “delighted”.

Will Mellor’s dancing partner will be...

Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps actor Will Mellor was partnered up with Nancy Xu and told Claudia Winkleman he thought they were well matched, saying: “I’m like an excitable puppy and so’s she!”

Helen Skelton needed a “fun” dance partner

TV presenter Helen Skelton warned she needed a partner who was “fun” and “patient” and could understand a northern accent and so was delighted to be paired with Gorka Marquez.

Who is EastEnder’s James Bye’s partner?

EastEnders actor James Bye was paired with Amy Dowden, which he said he was “so relieved” about as she made him feel at ease about the series ahead.

Fleur East to dance with one of the new professionals

Singer and radio presenter Fleur East will dance with one of the new professionals this year – Vito Coppola. Coppola admitted: “Behind this smile I’m very tough but I’m sure that she’s going to be alright because she’s a hard worker too.”

“Fearless” Hamza Yassin partner revealed

After Wildlife cameraman and presenter Hamza Yassin was paired with Jowita Przystal, who expressed her excitement, saying: “He is just fearless, I can see that, which is very helpful for me. He’s strong and he’s also patient, that’s really important.

Who will Matt Gross be dancing with?

Bros singer Matt Goss said he was “ready to put my heart and soul into this” after being teamed up with professional Nadiya Bychkova at the O2 arena.

Ellie Taylor’s dancing partner wish came true

Ted Lasso actress Ellie Taylor admitted that her heart was set on having Johannes Radebe as her partner and so she was thrilled when it was confirmed she would dance with him. Radebe confirmed he was also happy with his pairing, saying: “Meeting her has been joyous and to see her excited about the season ahead makes me excited.”

Molly Rainford partnered up with a new professional

Britain’s Got Talent finalist Molly Rainford was also partnered with a new professional dancer, Carlos Gu, as she predicted their time together would be “electric”.

Tony Adams partnered with a former winner

Former England footballer Tony Adams confessed he wanted his partner to be “talent” and a “winner” and he got what he was looking for as he was paired with Katya Jones, who won the show in 2017 with actor Joe McFadden.

Who will Kaye Adams be dancing with?

Loose Women star Kaye Adams and dancer Kai Widdrington were the last pairing to be revealed, with the TV presenter praising Mrs Widdrington for doing an “amazing job” raising the dancer as she feels he is “such a lovely man”.

Full list of pairings for Strictly Come Dancing 2022

  • Richie Anderson and Giovanni Pernice
  • Jayde Adams and Karen Hauer
  • Ellie Simmonds and Nikita Kuzmin
  • Tyler West and Dianne Buswell
  • Kym Marsh and Graziano Di Prima
  • Will Mellor and Nancy Xu
  • Helen Skelton and Gorka Marquez
  • James Bye and Amy Dowden
  • Fleur East and Vito Coppola
  • Hamza Yassin and Jowita Przystal
  • Matt Goss and Nadiya Bychkova
  • Ellie Taylor and Johannes Radebe
  • Molly Rainford and Carlos Gu
  • Tony Adams and Katya Jones
  • Kaye Adams and Kai Widdrington

How did the judges react to the pairings?

Head judge Shirley Ballas imparted some advice to the new contestants, saying: “First of all I want to say to each and every celebrity, this is the fun part. The hard work is about to start. Work ethic is key, paying attention to your teacher, and when you’ve done the long day, do some more and the more practice you do, the better you will become.

“And I’m really looking forward to each and every one of you, you’re amazing.”

The show opened with a ballroom performance from the professional dancers and the four new dancers – Lauren Oakley, Michelle Tsiakkas, Coppola and Gu – were introduced with a cinematic group number.

EGOT winner John Legend also performed his new single All She Wanna Do during the launch show.

The first Strictly Come Dancing live show will air on September 24 on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.