Ellie Simmonds in her Strictly headshot

BBC makes history as Ellie Simmonds signs up for Strictly Come Dancing and fans are thrilled

The first-ever contestant with dwarfism to take part

Ellie Simmonds has signed up for Strictly Come Dancing – the sixth name set to appear on the 2022 line-up.

The Paralympian said that she is “literally bursting with excitement” at the prospect of dancing in the new series.

The BBC once again makes history with the announcement that Ellie is taking part in the show, as she will become the first-ever contestant with dwarfism.

Ellie Simmonds in her Strictly headshot
Ellie Simmonds has signed up for Strictly Come Dancing and she’s thrilled (Credit: BBC)

Ellie Simmonds joins Strictly Come Dancing line-up

The news Ellie was joining the 2022 line-up was announced first thing this morning (August 7).

Ellie said: “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!!”

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She is nervous, though.

“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 so much fun.”

Ellie also said she is “counting down the minutes until it starts”.

I’m a tad nervous too, well more than a tad…

She’s excited about “learning to dance, meeting my partner and everyone else involved in the show”.

Ellie then added: “Plus wearing the sequins and all that, It’s going to be a blast.

“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.”

Strictly fans react

To say fans of the show were thrilled by the news would be an understatement.

One said: “Omg this news has made my day! Can’t wait to see you with your dancing shoes on. You will be fabulous.”

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Another added: “You have been positively glowing this week whilst on the Commonwealth Games sofa and now we know why!! This is great news Ellie!”

A third also added: “Definitely watching this now. I don’t care who else they announce, I already know you’ll be the favourite in our house.”

Who is Ellie Simmonds?

Ellie Simmonds OBE is a five-time Paralympic champion and broadcaster.

Ellie is best known as a gold medal-winning Paralympic swimmer.

At the age of 13 she was the youngest British athlete at the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, and won gold medals in the 100m and 400m freestyle events.

In 2012 she achieved gold in the 400m freestyle and the 200m Individual Medley at the Summer Paralympics in London and won a 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 she won BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year and a year later, at  just 14 years old, she became the youngest person ever 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’s also made  documentaries such as Ellie Simmonds: A World Without Dwarfism for BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

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So what do you think? Head to our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and share your thoughts on the line-up.

Nancy Brown
Associate Editor