How Strictly Come Dancing picks the celebrities for the line up

Strictly Come Dancing has revealed how the show picks its celebrities for each series.

And it all starts many months before each season begins.

Strictly’s talent executive Stefania Aleksander explained just how the cast is picked in an interview with the Strictly Confidential podcast.

Speaking about casting past line ups, she began: “You come up with ideas for the cast of Strictly, present them to the executives and commissioners, and together decide who we want to go for.

strictly come dancing 2022 line up c

“The list is endless.

“We approach people that we really want to go after and we’d love to see on the show and then we meet them to have a chat about the show, and the commitment, and find out how much they want to learn to dance. Then we present that to the channel between us – it’s a long process.”

Stefania says the process begins as early as February: “It’s not as simple as saying, ‘Hey I want to do Strictly’ and we go, ‘OK, you’re booked’. You have to represent for the family audience.

“It’s a mixed bag – you don’t want to replicate every year.

“For me it’s about surprises. I want them to go, ‘Oh I didn’t expect that’.”

She added that the introduction of YouTubers – starting with Joe Sugg in 2018 – was all about “bringing in a new audience.”

Stefania went on to admit not every celebrity who wants to take part makes the cut.

“We’ve all been there in life when we’ve been for an audition and you didn’t get it,” she said. “I’m very sensitive to that… I feel sad for them but genuinely we don’t have the space for more than 15, which is a real shame.”

Strictly Come Dancing returns with its brand new series this Friday and Saturday night on BBC One.

Confirmed celebs for 2022’s Strictly Come Dancing line up include TV & radio host Helen Skelton, TV and radio presenter Kaye Adams, Paralympian & broadcaster Ellie Simmonds, stand up comedian Jayde Adams and Wildlife cameraman & presenter Hamza Yassin.

Joining them are KISS FM presenter Tyler West, singer Fleur East, TV star Will Mellor, musician and actor Matt Goss and media personality Richie Anderson.

Concluding this year’s contestants are comic and actress Ellie Taylor, soap star James Bye, CBBC actress Molly Rainford, football star Tony Adams MBE and television host Kym Marsh.