Strictly Come Dancing 2022: Everything you need to know about series 20 including this year's couples

Sequins at the ready, we’re heading back to the ballroom for a 20th season. Here’s everything you need to know as the biggest show of the year returns.

By Alex Fletcher Published: 23 September 2022 - 8.50pm

Strictly Come Dancing returns this autumn and will be planning a big party for its 20th series.

After two years of Covid-restrictions, viewers and performers will be hoping the show comes back with a bang.

Anton, Shirley, Craig and Motsi will all be back as the judges, Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly return on presenting duties and there are a few new faces in the Strictly professionals lineup.

And we now know the cast of 15 celebrities - including pop stars, soap stars, sporting legends and comedians - prepared to step out of their comfort zones and onto the dancefloor this September, and also the identity of their celebrity partners.

Here is everything you need to know about Strictly Come Dancing 2022...

When does Strictly Come Dancing 2022 start?

Anton Du Beke BBC

The launch show - when we find out which celebrity has been paired with which professional dancer - was filmed on 7 September and was due to be broadcast on Saturday 17 September, but following the death of Queen Elizabeth II and coverage of events ahead her funeral on Monday 19 September, it has been rescheduled for Friday 23 September

The first live show will follow on Saturday 24 September.

Watch the trailer

The trailer for the 20th series of Strictly Come Dancing was revealed on BBC One on 6 September. The 36-second clip features the show's professional dancers performing - to the tune of Nina Simone's Feeling Good - in locations around the UK before the entire troupe return to the familiar Strictly studio. 

One unmistakeable landmark in the clip is Blackpool Tower - a reminder that after a two-year break, the show will return to the hallowed Tower Ballroom in November. 

When are this year's themed shows?

Whether it's movies, musicals, Halloween or the excursion to Blackpool's iconic Tower Ballroom, everyone has their favourite Strictly week, and the 20th series will boast all the regular themes and one or two more besides.

After a two-year gap due to Covid-19 restrictions, Strictly Come Dancing will return to Blackpool to host a celebration of Britain's most famous ballroom and its favourite dance show. All the celebrities will be desperate to dance under the famous tower but they'll have to survive eight shows to get there - Blackpool Week is scheduled for Saturday 19 November so we could be down to the last seven or eight couples by then.

Typically, Movie Week has taken place in week 3 (Saturday 8 October this year), with Musicals Week at the quarter-final stage - this would be 26 November or 3 December, depending on the as-yet unreleased date of the final. 

There'll also be a special themed week this year to mark the centenary of the BBC, in which the couples will dance to theme songs of iconic BBC programmes. The corporation was founded on 18 October 1922, so we'd expect this episode to air on 15 or 22 October.

And with Halloween itself falling on Monday 31 October, it's a safe bet that couples, hosts and judges alike will be dressing up as ghosts and ghoulies for Halloween Week on Saturday 29 October. 

Strictly Come Dancing judges in Halloween costume BBC

Who are the judges and hosts for the 2022 series?

Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman will be back as the presenters of Strictly Come Dancing for an ninth year.

Head judge Shirley Ballas is returning as the head judge and will be rejoined by Motsi Mabuse, Anton Du Beke and Craig Revel Horwood. Bruno Tonioli will not be returning.

"Woohooo! This is BRILLIANT news," said Du Beke.

"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!"

Head judge Ballas added:  "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."

Shirley Ballas Getty

Over on BBC Two spin-off show Strictly: It Takes Two, Janette Manrara and Rylan are expected to be back as presenters.

Watch all the shows you love on BT TV

Take a TV Entertainment pack and catch the new series of Stranger Things and Gangs of London and new shows like This England.

Who are the Strictly 2022 celebrity contestants?

Strictly 2022 celebrity contestants BBC

The 15 confirmed contestants for Strictly Come Dancing 2022 are (left to right):

  • James Bye - EastEnders' Martin Fowler
  • Kym Marsh - Actress, singer and TV presenter
  • Hamza Yassin - Wildlife cameraman and presenter
  • Tyler West - DJ and TV presenter
  • Tony Adams - Ex-footballer
  • Kaye Adams - TV presenter
  • Jayde Adams - Comedian and actress
  • Helen Skelton - TV and radio presenter
  • Fleur East - Radio presenter and singer
  • Richie Anderson - TV and radio personality
  • Molly Rainford - Singer and actress
  • Matt Goss - Singer and actor
  • Ellie Simmonds - Swimmer and TV presenter
  • Will Mellor - Actor
  • Ellie Taylor - Comedian and actress

Find out all about the Strictly 2022 contestants

Who are the Strictly 2022 professional dancers?

Strictly Come Dancing professionals for 2022 BBC/Guy Levy
In 2022 there are a couple of big changes as fan favourites and former Strictly winners Oti Mabuse and Aljaž Škorjanec depart the professional lineup. Their exit means there is room for four new pro dancers - Vito, Carlos, Lauren and Michelle.
 
  • Vito Coppola - New for 2022
  • Carlos Gu - New for 2022
  • Lauren Oakley - New for 2022
  • Michelle Tsiakkas - New for 2022
  • Kai Widdrington
  • Nikita Kuzmin
  • Giovanni Pernice
  • Gorka Marquez
  • Graziano Di Prima
  • Johannes Radebe
  • Neil Jones
  • Cameron Lombard
  • Amy Dowden
  • Dianne Buswell
  • Karen Hauer
  • Katya Jones
  • Nadiya Bychkova
  • Nancy Xu
  • Jowita Przystal
  • Luba Mushtuk

Strictly professional dancers 2022 - The full lineup

What are this year's Strictly pairings?

The 15 pro-celebrity pairs were revealed in a special launch show broadcast on 23 September. Here are the couples hoping to lift the Strictly glitterball in 2022...

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

Who are the Strictly 2022 couples? First-look photos of the new pairings

Who was the winner of Strictly 2022?

Strictly's Rose and Giovanni - The 2021 winners BBC

Champion of the last series of Strictly Come Dancing was soap star Rose Ayling-Ellis, who danced with professional partner Giovanni Pernice.

As well as winning the hearts of the public and judges alike, the pair produced one of Strictly's most memorable moments ever when, in the middle of a dance to Clean Bandit and Zara Larsson's Symphony. the sound was cut to show viewers how deaf contestant Rose experienced the routine.

Rose and Giovanni picked up a BAFTA TV award for the unforgettable and emotionally charged moment.

Viewers' emotional attachment to Rose across the series meant there could only ever be one winner in the 2021 as they beat same-sex couple John Whaite and Johannes Radebe to the Glitterball Trophy.

Can you name all 19 Strictly Come Dancing winners?

Strictly Come Dancing continues every Saturday evening on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.