Sixth celebrity contestant for Strictly Come Dancing 2022 revealed

Top soap star confirmed as contestant on Strictly Come Dancing 2022

The official BBC image for Strictly Come Dancing 2022. Credit: Twitter@bbcstrictly

Paralympic athlete Ellie Simmonds is the sixth celebrity unveiled for the next series of Strictly Come Dancing.

Strictly Come Dancing has today, Sunday, August 7, unveiled the sixth celebrity contestant for this year’s series. Ellie Simmonds OBE, best known as a gold medal-winning Paralympic swimmer and broadcaster, has signed up for the popular BBC show due to start in September.

Ellie Simmonds tweeted @ElieSimmonds1: “Oh my gosh!! I’m literally bursting with excitement!! It’s been soooo hard keeping this secret as I’ve wanted to tell everyone. I’m going on Strictly Come Dancing!! I’m a tad nervous too, well more than a tad… I’m absolutely petrified!”.

“To be asked to be part of the Strictly family is just so exciting and I cannot wait, it’s going to be so much fun. I’m counting down the minutes until it starts; learning to dance, meeting my partner and everyone else involved in the show. Plus wearing the sequins and all that, It’s going to be a blast”, she continued.

Ellie added: “I’ve been watching Strictly from as far back as I can remember; it’s a traditional lead-up to Christmas with my family and it’s a genuine privilege to be part of it”.

In 2012, the athlete achieved gold in the 400m freestyle and the 200m Individual Medley at the Summer Paralympics in London. She won further gold in the 200m Individual Medley at Rio 2016. In addition, she has won ten gold World Championship titles.

At the age of 13, Ellie won BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year, and a year later, at just 14 years old, she became the youngest person ever to receive an MBE. She was elevated to OBE in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to Paralympic sport.

After retiring from competitive swimming in 2020, Ellie has gone on to present for BBC Sport, most recently for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. She has also been involved in documentaries such as ‘Simmonds: A World Without Dwarfism?’ for BBC One and BBC iPlayer. She is set to explore disability and adoption in a recently announced ITV film.

Ellie joins the other five celebrities who the BBC has already confirmed: Will MellorKym Marsh, Richie Anderson, Kaye Adams, and Jayde Adams.


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at