Entertainment: Will Mellor is the first contestant confirmed for Strictly Come Dancing

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Will can’t wait to get started (Picture: BBC/Rex) © Provided by Metro Will can’t wait to get started (Picture: BBC/Rex)

And we’re off! Two Pints of Lager and A Packet of Crisps legend Will Mellor is the first contestant officially confirmed for Strictly Come Dancing.

The BBC flagship programme returns next month for its milestone 20th series, and there’s already a lot of excitement brewing.

However, the broadcaster has kept any names linked to this year’s series firmly under wraps, as fans themselves start to speculate who could be involved.

But BBC Breakfast was on-hand to reveal the first name to have made it past the point of no return and will be hoping to lift the Glitterball Trophy this year.

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Naga Munchetty and Charlie Stayt excitedly welcomed Will, who made his name as part of the cast of Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, onto the show to confirm his place in the line-up.

Fans have seen the actor all over the box in the past couple of decades, including as Jambo Bolton in Hollyoaks, DC Spike Tanner in No Offence, Steve Connolly in Broadchurch, and PC Rod Kennedy in Line of Duty.

Will Mellor will be taking to the floor this year (Picture: BBC) © Provided by Metro Will Mellor will be taking to the floor this year (Picture: BBC)

Upon being announced, Will said in a statement: ‘I’m honestly so chuffed to be taking part in Strictly Come Dancing this year! Not going to lie, it’s totally out of my comfort zone and I know it will be a huge challenge but that’s what life is all about.

‘This is also my Mum’s favourite show and she’s had a really tough few years so I’m doing this is for her as well. Bring it on!’

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He was quickly probed on the BBC Breakfast sofa about whether he has any dance experience, replying: ‘I dance in the kitchen when there’s music on… nothing at all like this!’

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The former Hollyoaks star gave a very heartfelt reason as to what swayed him into immediately saying yes when asked to take part this year.

Will shot to fame in Two Pints of Lager and A Packet Of Crisps (Picture: PUBLICITY PICTURE) © Provided by Metro Will shot to fame in Two Pints of Lager and A Packet Of Crisps (Picture: PUBLICITY PICTURE) Will with his mum Shirley, who is a mega Strictly fan (Picture: Instagram) © Provided by Metro Will with his mum Shirley, who is a mega Strictly fan (Picture: Instagram)

He told the hosts: ‘My mindset completely changed a while back and I wanted to start doing things that scare me a bit.

‘I lost my dad in 2020 and I just thought, I’ve got to grab life and do things, create new memories. My mindset changed. It’s my mum’s favourite show!’

Four new professional dancers will be seen on our screens, taking the total number to 20 – the highest ever on the show.

What we know about Strictly Come Dancing 2022 so far

Who are the judges?

Head judge Shirley Ballas will be joined once again by fellow judges Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse.

Anton Du Beke will also be returning to judge, after it was confirmed that he would be officially replacing Bruno Tonioli.

Who are the new professional dancers?

There are four new pros joining the line-up: Vito Coppola, Carlos Gu, Lauren Oakley and Michelle Tsiakkas.

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Which professional dancers have left?

After the 2021 season, it was announced that fan-favourite pros Oti Mabuse and Aljaž Škorjanec would not be returning for the 2022 series.

Will there be a studio audience?

Yes – following past restrictions put in place due to the pandemic, the full studio audience is set to return this year, while the see-through dividers between the judges will also be removed.

When is the show returning?

The BBC has revealed that the launch show for the 2022 series is due to be recorded on Wednesday September 7.

Therefore, it’s likely that it will air a few days later on Saturday September 10, although the exact date of the first episode is yet to be disclosed.

Find out more about Strictly 2022 here.

Those newcomers are Vito Coppola, Carlos Gu, Lauren Oakley, and Michelle Tsiakkas.

Dianne Buswell, Nadiya Bychkova, Graziano Di Prima, Amy Dowden, Karen Hauer, Katya Jones, Neil Jones, Nikita Kuzmin, Cameron Lombard, Gorka Marquez, Luba Mushtuk, Giovanni Pernice, Jowita Przystal, Johannes Radebe, Kai Widdrington and Nancy Xu have already been confirmed for the upcoming run of Strictly.

BBC Breakfast airs daily from 6am on BBC One.

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Strictly's Craig Revel Horwood reveals which celeb he's most looking forward to see dance .
Alex Jones pressed him on his early favourite.Due to launch in just over two weeks, the sparkling new line-up boasts 15 shiny celebrities ready to be put through their paces, including presenter Helen Skelton, Coronation Street star and singer Kym Marsh, Matt Goss of boyband Bros and Paralympic gold medallist Ellie Simmonds.

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