Ellie Simmonds, a former Team GB Paralympian from Walsall, has been announced as one of the latest stars to be named in the lineup for Strictly Come Dancing 2022. She becomes the first ever dwarf to take part in the popular ballroom dance competition.
Simmonds, who can’t quite contain her excitement, spoke to BBC Blogs after the announcement was made. “To be asked to be part of the Strictly family is just so exciting and I cannot wait,” Simmonds said.
“It’s going to be 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.”
Here’s everything you need to know about the soon-to-be Strictly star.
Who is Ellie Simmonds?
Ellie Simmonds OBE is a 27-year-old former Paralympic swimmer who is famous for winning double gold at the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing. At the time, Simmonds was just 13 years old and she captured the hearts of the nation.
Simmonds then won the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year Award in 2008, before soaring ahead to the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London where she retained her 400m freestyle S6 title from four years earlier, as well as winning yet another gold. Her final Paralympics was at Tokyo 2020.
Since retiring from para swimming, Simmonds, who is a Water Aid ambassador, has been heavily involved in charity work, focusing on sports, young people, and access to water. She’s also a Girlguiding leader in Manchester.
What is Ellie Simmonds’ height?
Ellie Simmonds, who has achondroplasia, is 4ft 0in, which equates to 123cm (1.23m).
How many Paralympic medals did Ellie Simmonds win for Team GB?
Ellie Simmonds won an incredible eight medals for Team GB across three Paralympic Games, five of which were gold. She also won an astonishing 31 medals across the World Championships and European Championships; 21 golds, six silvers, and four bronzes.
The full list of her Paralympic medals can be found below.
- 2008 Beijing: Gold, 100m freestyle S6
- 2008 Beijing: Gold, 400m freestyle S6
- 2012 London: Gold, 400m freestyle S6
- 2012 London: Gold, 200m individual medley SM6
- 2012 London: Silver, 100m freestyle S6
- 2012 London: Bronze, 50m freestyle S6
- 2016 Rio de Janeiro: Gold, 200m individual medley SM6
- 2016 Rio de Janeiro: Bronze, 400m freestyle S6
What is Strictly Come Dancing?
Now entering its 20th series, Strictly Come Dancing is a British television dance contest aired on BBC One throughout the autumn. Celebrities partner up with professional dancers and a panel of judges scores their weekly performances from one to ten.
Known informally as Strictly, the show is currently presented by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, and it was originally hosted by the late great Sir Bruce Forsyth.
When does Strictly Come Dancing 2022 start?
No start date has been officially announced by the BBC just yet, but Strictly fans old and new won’t have to wait too long for the show to begin, as the series usually gets underway in September.
How to watch Strictly Come Dancing
Strictly Come Dancing airs on BBC One on Saturday nights, with the results show a little later on in the evening. As Strictly is part of BBC One’s primetime schedule on Saturdays, the main show should be aired between 7pm to 8pm.