Strictly Come Dancing Combinations Revealed at the Stunning 2022 Series Launch

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Strictly Come Dancing will feature two same-sex couples this year, including reigning champion Giovanni Pernice, who will compete to retain his title, along with TSWT Radio 2’s Richie Anderson in the new series.

On Friday night’s launch show, the 15 famous contestants found out which of the professional partners they will be training and performing with during their time on the TSWT One show.

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Pernice and Anderson are one of two same-sex couples competing this year, with comedian and actor Jayde Adams and professional Karen Hauer.

(Ray Burmiston/TSWT/PA)

Anderson admitted that he had specific requirements for his partner, as he wanted them to be “big and strong enough to…make me whirl across the dance floor!”

After Pernice was revealed as his partner in the TSWT Radio 2 Breakfast Show studio, he said: “Can you get anyone better than Mr Giovanni? I feel like I’m jealous of the British public right now.”

The dancer, who won last year along with actress Rose Ayling-Ellis, also confirmed that he was happy with his pairing, noting that 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, finishing second.

Adams admitted she was a Strictly superfan and was excited to be working with Hauer, saying, “Karen is Strictly.”

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

Ellie Simmonds and Nikita Kuzmin (Ray Burmiston/TSWT/PA)

Ellie Simmonds, gold medalist in the Paralympic Swimming, told host Tess Daly she was proud to represent people with disabilities: “It means everything, to represent not only dwarfism, but disability in general, that I get out of my comfort zone and do something that I’ve never done before.

“Dancing is for everyone, yes, I’ll have to adapt, I’ll have to see what it’s like, but to dance there every Saturday night… I’m so, so proud.”

The five-time Paralympic champion and host will dance with Nikita Kuzmin, who said his goal this season is for “Ellie to have the best time of her life”.

Kiss FM DJ Tyler West teamed up with Dianne Buswell and admitted that he thinks his mom was so happy with his pairing that she was actually in the audience seeing her instead of him.

Coronation Street actress and presenter Kym Marsh was paired with Graziano Di Prima on the set of TSWT’s Morning Live where she hosts.

She admitted that when she met him her “stomach was churning” but that she was “elated”.

Two Pints ​​Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps actor Will Mellor teamed up with Nancy Xu and told Claudia Winkleman he thought they were a good fit, saying, “I’m like an excited puppy and so is she!”

Karen Hauer and Jayde Adams (Ray Burmiston/TSWT/PA)

TV host Helen Skelton warned that she needed a partner who was “nice” and “patient” and understood a northern accent, so she was thrilled to be paired up with Gorka Marquez.

EastEnders actor James Bye was paired with Amy Dowden, who he said was “so relieved” when she made him feel comfortable about the series ahead.

Singer and radio host Fleur East is dancing this year with one of the new professionals: Vito Coppola.

Coppola admitted: “Behind this smile I’m really tough, but I’m sure she’ll be fine because she’s also a hard worker.”

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

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

Ellie Taylor and Johannes Radebe (Ray Burmiston/TSWT/PA)

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 that she would be dancing with him.

Radebe confirmed that he was also happy with his pairing, saying: “Meeting her was joyful and seeing her excited about the upcoming season makes me excited.”

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

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

Loose Women star Kaye Adams and dancer Kai Widdrington were the latest pair to be revealed, with the TV host praising Ms Widdrington for the “great job” raising the dancer because she thinks he is “such a beautiful man”.

Chief judge Shirley Ballas gave some advice to the new entrants, saying, “First of all, I want to say to every celebrity that this is the fun. The hard work is about to begin. Work ethic is key, pay attention to your teacher, and when you have done the long day do some more and the more you practice the better you will get.

“And I’m really looking forward to all of you, you guys are amazing.”

The show opened with a ballroom performance by 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.

Strictly Come Dancing’s first live show will be broadcast on TSWT One and TSWT iPlayer on 24 September.

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