Who is Joe McFadden? Meet the Strictly Come Dancing contestant and Holby City actor

The Scottish actor says he's equally "thrilled and terrified" about taking to the Strictly ballroom

Strictly Come Dancing Joe McFadden Katya Jones

Strictly Come Dancing 2017 celebrities: Joe McFadden

Age: 41


Strictly Come Dancing code name: Morpheus, who was the god of dreams. Perhaps because he’s so…dreamy?

Twitter: @mrjoemcfadden

Which Strictly professional has Joe been paired with? Katya Jones

Strictly Come Dancing Joe McFadden Katya Jones

Week 4

Score on the leaderboard: 24

Dance: Cha Cha to You Keep Me Hangin’ On by Human Nature

The judges’ verdict: A disappointing follow-up to last week’s impressive Viennese Waltz. Joe’s Cha Cha was too frantic, with Craig criticising him for his leg and hip action. Shirley asked him to focus on the fundamentals of technique, and Bruno called it “frantic, like someone chasing a wildcat, legs were so wide apart I could drive a train through them”. Only Darcey gave him upbeat feedback, saying: “challenging amount of content but you didn’t do too badly, nice attitude and connection.”

Week 3

Score on the leaderboard32

Dance: Viennese Waltz to Somewhere My Love

The judges’ verdict: Joe got a thumbs up from Craig, and Darcey enjoyed the traditional performance and routine that Katya Jones gave him. Shirley was equally impressed, and Bruno said he was “swept away by a romantic blizzard” and that the story through their dance was close to the book and close to the story. “Superb,” he said. We couldn’t have put it better ourselves!

Week 2 

Score on the leaderboard: 22 (51 combined with week 1)

Dance: Tango to Castle on the Hill by Ed Sheeran

Judges’ verdict: Joe is not living up to his potential. Shirley said it took too long to get started (bizarrely he spent quite a while in a wardrobe before launching into the tango) and pointed out issues with his hold and rise and fall. Craig was fed up with his splayed hand (“your thumb was up, which is my pet hate”) and Bruno said it was “all impetus and no control”.

Week 1

Score on the leaderboard: 29

Dance: Rockin’ Robin by Michael Jackson

The judges’ verdict: The Holby City actor got a standing ovation for his Jive, and Darcey thought Joe had “the energy, the style, the choreography” and that she loved the details and focus of the dance. Shirley thought it was entertaining and also congratulated Katya on her choreography, while Bruno said that it was a “lot to live up to” and that he did “extremely well”. Craig, on the other hand, just had three words. “I like you,” he said. Hanging out with Ed Balls has clearly paid off.

Radio Times spoke exclusively to Joe McFadden:

Why are you doing Strictly?

“I’ve been asked on other celebrity shows, but never been in the mix for Strictly, and while others never tempted me, this one I couldn’t resist. I was actually brought in to do a little test dance with Katya — who could say no after that?”

How many hours can you train?

“Holby City have assured me they’ll lighten my schedule a bit, so hopefully a few. Who needs to sleep anyway? And friends and family can go on the back burner until Christmas!”

Hear more from Joe and Katya in our exclusive interview below:

What is Joe McFadden famous for?

Best-known for Holby City and Heartbeat, Joe was born in Glasgow and had a small part in Taggart before he got his first big break acting in Scottish soap Take the High Road in which he played Gary McDonald.

From this, he went on to star in TV mini-series The Glass as well as three episodes of Cranford, but he became a familiar face to millions as PC Joe Mason in Heartbeat.

Strictly Come Dancing Joe McFadden

After a small role in Casualty, Joe then landed the part of Raffaello ‘Raf’ di Lucca in Holby City – a role he’s played for three years.

Away from the small screen, Joe has also performed in the West End, appearing in productions of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Rent. 

Who is taking part in Strictly Come Dancing 2017? See the full list of celebrities here


Of taking part in the show this year, Joe said: “Strictly is one of the biggest, most entertaining shows on TV and being asked to be part of it is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I’m thrilled and terrified about in equal measures!”

Strictly Come Dancing 2017 full contestant line-up

Alexandra Burke


Jonnie Peacock


Debbie McGee


Chizzy Akudolu

chizzy akudolu holby

Charlotte Hawkins

charlotte hawkins

Brian Conley

Brian Conley GettyImages-105204047

Susan Calman


Aston Merrygold


Simon Rimmer


Joe McFadden


Rev Richard Coles


Gemma Atkinson


Ruth Langsford


Davood Ghadami


Mollie King



Last updated 22nd September 2017