Kym Marsh and Will Mellor have been announced as the first two contestants competing on Strictly Come Dancing.
The former Hear’Say star and Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps actor, both 46, were unveiled on BBC Breakfast on Thursday.
The announcement was made ahead of the 20th series of Strictly, which will see audiences returning to the studio this year, with the launch show scheduled to be recorded on September 7.
Marsh found fame in the band Hear’Say, who were created through ITV show Popstars in 2001, before turning to acting and starring as Michelle Connor in Coronation Street.
She now co-presents Morning Live alongside Gethin Jones and recently appeared in the touring theatre production of Fatal Attraction.
Speaking via video call from holiday, she said: “I am really looking forward to it. I am nervous – but I am really looking forward to it.”
Marsh said her previous experience in dance would be unlikely to help her on the show.
Asked what style of dance she was most excited for, she said: “I am just very keen to learn. Watching it, I have done dancing before when I was a little girl and in Hear’Say but it was a very different style of dance.”
She said her husband, army major Scott Ratcliff, was “extremely excited” about her being about to teach him how to dance properly so they can dance together at mess balls.
Marsh was also joined on screen by her parents Dave and Pauline, who she was on holiday with, with her mother saying she was a long-standing fan of the show.
Questioned over how she will react to being grilled by the judges, Marsh replied: “Listen, I was judged by Nasty Nigel (Nigel Lythgoe) on Pop Stars. Don’t forget that. He was the villain back in the day.
“I think I will be fine with it. These are people who I truly respect because this is what they do. I will have to suck it up, I guess. I will be fine. I won’t start waving my fist at people or anything like that.”
Mellor, who starred as Gaz in cult Noughties sitcom Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps, said Strictly is his mother Shirley’s favourite show and that following the death of his father in 2020 from cancer he wanted to create new memories.
He said: “The training side of it is one of the reasons why I’m doing it. My mindset completely changed a while back and I just thought I’ve got to start doing things that frighten me a little bit and step out of your comfort zone, and that’s what life is about.
“And when I got the phone call for this I just said: ‘Yes, I’m going to do it.’
“Also I lost my dad in 2020 and I just thought from then I’ve just got to grab life and I’ve got to do things and I’ve got to create new memories and my mindset changed, and that’s sort of one of the reasons why.
“It’s my mum’s favourite show so she’s had it really tough over the last few years so I thought, we’ll do this…”
Four new professional dancers will appear in the next series of Strictly, creating the show’s largest ever roster.
It comes after two-time winner Oti Mabuse and Aljaz Skorjanec announced their departures.
The last series of Strictly was won by Rose Ayling-Ellis with her professional partner Giovanni Pernice.
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