Paralympian Ellie Simmonds confirmed as sixth Strictly Come Dancing contestant

Safe to say, she’s extremely excited (Picture: BBC/Getty)

Five-time has been announced as the sixth celebrity to take to the ballroom floor this autumn in .

She joins Will Mellor, Kym Marsh, Kaye Adam, Richie Anderson in the for the 2022 series.

Upon the news being announced, : ‘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!’ she admitted.

‘To be asked to be part of the Strictly family is just so exciting and I cannot wait, it’s going to 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.’

A life-long fan of the show, she 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.’

The retired athlete said she watched the show every year with her family (Picture: Getty)
She claimed her first gold medal at the Paralympics aged just 13 (and then won another one) (Picture: Getty)
Ellie joins the likes of Will Mellor and Kym Marsh in this year’s celebrity cast (Picture: Karwai Tang/WireImage)

Ellie, 27, is a retired Paralympic swimmer, who first rose to prominence over a decade ago, winning two golds for Team GB at the Beijing 2008 Paralympics – when she was just aged 13.

Later that same year, she was crowned BBC’s Young Sports Personality of the Year.

In 2009, Ellie – who was born with achondroplasia dwarfism – also made history as the youngest person to receive an MBE from The Queen, aged 14, before being elevated to OBE in the 2013 New Years Honours for services to Paralympic sport.

Ellie has been made MBE and the OBE for the role she’s played in Paralympic sport (Picture: Getty)
She retired following her appearnace at the delayed 2020 Tokyo Paralympics last summer (Picture: Getty)

Her success continued at the London 2012 Paralympics, where she won a further two gold medals and set a world record in the 400m freestyle.

She added a further gold medal to her heaul at the Rio Paralympics in 2016, where, setting a world record this time for the 200m medley.

Ellie has since pivoted to broadcasting, commentating on this summer’s .

Earlier this year, the sportswoman was also on screens as she fronted a documentary investigating a controversial new drug created to allow children with  to grow closer to an average height.

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.

, after it was confirmed that he would be officially replacing Bruno Tonioli.

Who are the new professional dancers?

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

Which professional dancers have left?

After the 2021 season, it was announced that fan-favourite pros and 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 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 .

Ellie will battle it out on the dancefloor in a bid to impress judges , , Motsi Mabuse and Anton Du Beke.

This year’s series welcomes four new professional dancers to the show too, as Strictly marks its biggest-ever pro cast with the addition of Vito Coppola, Carlos Gu, Lauren Oakley and Michelle Tsiakkas.


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