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Strictly 2022 confirms celeb pairings including 2 same-sex couples

Celebs Jayde Adams and Richie Anderson are partnered up with same-sex pros in Strictly Come Dancing 2022.

The celebrities and professional dancers from Strictly Come Dancing 2022
BBC/Guy Levy
Published: Friday, 23rd September 2022 at 8:50 pm
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Strictly Come Dancing has made a welcome return to our screens, with this year's couples confirmed during today's launch show.

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The Strictly contestants were introduced by hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, donning their best outfits to take to the stage with their respective pro partners to perform a huge group number.

This year, the Strictly Come Dancing line-up features not one but two same-sex couples, with comedian Jayde Adams partnered up with Karen Hauer, and footballer turned TV personality Richie Anderson partnering with last year's winner, Giovanni Pernice.

Karen Hauer, Jayde Adams, Richie Anderson, Giovanni Pernice
Karen Hauer partnered with Jayde Adams, and Richie Anderson partnered with Giovanni Pernice BBC/Ray Burmiston

“I feel like it’s not real, I feel like someone made a Strictly themed birthday party and I’m in the middle of it!” Strictly fan Jayde revealed at the launch show before being partnered with Karen, who she declared "is Strictly!"

"I’m absolutely excited, I have so many ideas, too many ideas, this is going to be a golden moment for me," Karen added.

Nikita Kuzmin was unveiled as Paralympic champion and broadcaster Ellie Simmonds' partner, while actress Ellie Taylor was partnered up with Johannes Radebe.

Nikita Kuzmin, Ellie Simmonds, Ellie Taylor, Johannes Radebe
Nikita Kuzmin paired with Ellie Simmonds, and Ellie Taylor paired with Johannes Radebe BBC/Ray Burmiston

Asked what it means to be representing people with dwarfism on Strictly, Simmonds said: "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."

Ellie Taylor had hoped she'd be paired with Johannes, so she was over the moon when it was announced, and Johannes felt the same, saying: I’m really chuffed to be partnered with Ellie, meeting her has been joyous and to see her excited about the season ahead makes me excited!”

The other couples include Fleur East and Vito Coppola, Hamza Yassin and Jowita Przystal, Helen Skelton and Gorka Marquez, James Bye and Amy Dowden, and Kaye Adams and Kai Widdrington.

Meanwhile, Kym Marsh has been paired with Graziano Di Prima, Matt Goss will be dancing with Nadiya Bychkova, Molly Rainford has newcomer Carlos Gu, Tony Adams was matched with Katya Jones, Tyler West and Dianne Buswell are partners, and Will Mellor will be alongside Nancy Xu.

Will Mellor, Nancy Xu, Tyler West, Dianne Buswell
Will Mellor paired with Nancy Xu, and Tyler West paired with Dianne Buswell BBC/Ray Burmiston

Speaking of his pairing with Nancy, Will gushed: “We match well… I’m like an excitable puppy and so’s she!”

As well as introducing their partners, the Strictly professionals also performed two stunning routines, while reigning champion Rose Ayling-Ellis also made a triumphant return, and John Legend performed.

The series will return tomorrow with its very first live show.

Strictly Come Dancing 2022's first live show airs on BBC One at 6:45pm tomorrow (Saturday 24th September). Find something to watch with our TV Guide or visit our Entertainment hub for all the latest news.

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