Entertainment

Football star Tony Adams and BGT finalist Molly Rainford join Strictly line-up

The 20th series will see audiences return to the studio.

Former England footballer Tony Adams and Britain’s Got Talent finalist Molly Rainford are the latest stars to be confirmed for Strictly Come Dancing 2022.

The announcements bring the total number of celebrities unveiled for the upcoming 20th series of the BBC One show to 11.

Adams, 55, captained Arsenal and England during his 22-year professional career, winning 66 caps for his country and appearing at four major tournaments.

He memorably captained the national side as they reached the semi-finals of Euro 96 before crashing out against Germany.

While he was playing he founded Sporting Chance, a charity to help sportspeople with mental health and addiction issues.

On retirement, the father-of-six with wife Poppy went into coaching and management.

He said: “To say I’m excited is an understatement – the lure of the sequins and the call of the salsa has me swapping my battered old football boots for a set of Strictly soft shoes.

“Am absolutely thrilled to be giving it my all on this year’s 20th anniversary of Strictly Come Dancing. I can’t wait to meet my partner – god help her – and start the dancing.”

Rainford, 21, found fame at the age of 11 in 2012 when she became the youngest ever finalist on Britain’s Got Talent.

Molly Rainford
Molly Rainford (BBC/PA)

She went on to study at the Sylvia Young Theatre School before gaining the lead role as an intergalactic pop superstar in hit CBBC show Nova Jones, which is to return for a second and third series.

“I’m so excited to be part of Strictly Come Dancing, I’ve watched it for years and can’t wait to meet the pros and the others taking part,” she said.

They join a Strictly line-up of Ted Lasso star Ellie Taylor, Bros singer Matt Goss, Kiss radio host Tyler West, Paralympic swimming gold medallist Ellie Simmonds, comedian and actress Jayde Adams, Coronation Street actors Will Mellor and Kym Marsh, Loose Women star Kaye Adams and Radio 2’s Richie Anderson.

The last series of Strictly was won by Rose Ayling-Ellis with professional partner Giovanni Pernice.

The 20th series will see audiences return to the studio, with the launch show scheduled to be recorded on September 7.