BBC Studios has announced the return of the multi-award-winning entertainment show, Strictly Come Dancing, with the first two contestants now revealed.
The show, which will return for its 20th series this autumn on BBC One and BBC iPlayer, has confirmed the first celebrity contestant - Will Mellor.
The second contestant announced is Kym Marsh.
But who is Will Mellor and Kym Marsh and what did they say about participating on Strictly?
Here’s what you need to know.
Who is Will Mellor?
Will Mellor, 46, is from Bredbury in Greater Manchester. He is an actor, singer and model, most known for his roles as Jambo Bolton (Hollyoaks), DC Spike Tanner (No Offence) and Steve Connolly (Broadchurch).
Soap fans will also recognise him as Harvey Gaskell in Coronation Street - a role which he began in 2021.
He has also made appearances as Knight Valiant (Merlin), Rick (Death in Paradise) and PC Rod Kennedy (Line of Duty).
As a singer, Mellow released a cover of Leo Sayer’s “When I Need You” in 1998 - which reached number 5 on the UK Singles Chart, and a follow-up single called “No Matter What I Do” - which reached number 23.
Strictly will not be his first time in a BBC competition, as in 2003, Mellor participated in Comic Relief Does Fame Academy, and won the competition.
He recently toured the UK with a live version of the podcast he hosts with Ralf Little (Death in Paradise star) called Two Pints with Will and Ralf.
Mellor married dancer Michelle McSween in 2007, after meeting when starring together in the stage musical Oh, What A Night in 1999.
Together the couple has two children.
What did Will Mellor say about being on Strictly Come Dancing?
The news of Mellor joining the cast was made this morning (Thursday 4 August) on BBC Breakfast on BBC One.
Of the show, Mellor said: “I’m honestly so chuffed to be taking part in Strictly Come Dancing this year! Not going to lie, it’s totally out of my comfort zone and 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!”
Have the other contestants been revealed?
BBC Studios has annoucned Kym Marsh as the second contestant to join Strictly, but the remaining celebrity contestants joining the series will be “announced in due course”.
Who is Kym Marsh?
Kym Marsh, 46, is an actor, televison presenter and singer.
She is best known for her role as Michelle Connor (Coronation Street) for which she won “Best Newcomer” at the National Television Awards and British Soap Awards.
Marsh has also had a successful singing career - in the band Hear’Say after winning a place from the show Popstars - and as a solo artist.
Recently, Marsh has played the role of Alex in the touring theatre production of Fatal Attraction, and is a currently a presenter on BBC One’s Morning Live.
Marsh married army major Scott Ratcliff on 16 October 2021. Marsh has four children from her previous marriages, and one grandson.
What did Kym Marsh say about being on Strictly Come Dancing?
The news of Marsh joining the cast was made this morning (Thursday 4 August) on BBC Breakfast on BBC One.
Of the news she said: “I’ve considered doing Strictly for years but the timings never worked out. 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, it’s unreal!”
Who are Strictly Come Dancing’s judges?
Returning to the panel are Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Head Judge Shirley Ballas. Former Strictly professional dancer, Anton Du Beke, will be taking up residency on the judging panel this year after a successful stint as a judge for the 2021 series.
Craig Revel Horwood said: “I am beyond thrilled to be returning to Strictly, I can’t believe it will be my 20th series! It’s going to be Fab-u-lous!”
Motsi Mabuse said: “Last year’s series of Strictly was one of the highlights of my career, it has had such a real impact which has been incredible to witness. I am so proud to be a part of this show and I am so looking forward to returning for my fourth series!”
Shirley Ballas said: “Being a judge on Strictly is such a joy and honour for me, and I can’t wait to be back at the studio waving my paddle. Every year the wonderful production team surpass themselves and I know they have some brilliant plans in store for 2022. I’m so excited to get started.”
Anton Du Beke said: “Woohooo! This is BRILLIANT news. Everyone knows how much I absolutely love the show and I’m utterly delighted to be continuing as a regular judge. And I get to make the final again - now I know how Giovanni feels!”