Helen Skelton: Who is the Strictly Come Dancing 2022 contestant and what is she famous for?

It’s time to put up your disco ball... because Strictly Come Dancing is back for another week.

The hit BBC reality series unveiled a whole new roster of contestants for 2022, including TV presenters, athletes, and pop stars.

You can check out the full line-up here.

Among the contestants competing for the Glitterball trophy this year is Helen Skelton. She is coupled up with Gorka Márquez.

But who is Skelton, and what has she said about appearing on Strictly?

Skelton, 39, is best known for co-presenting the BBC children’s series Blue Peter from 2008 until 2013, and presenting on Countryfile since 2014.

She currently appears in the Channel 5 show On the Farm, and she is also a regular presence on the radio, having stood in for Dermot O’Leary and OJ Borg on BBC Radio 2. The broadcaster was also just announced as the host of the new BBC Radio 5 Live Sunday morning programme.

Skelton is no stranger to Strictly, having taken part in a Christmas Special of the show in December 2012, on which she came second to JLS star JB Gill.

The star’s Summer on the Farm co-presenter Martin Hughes-Games recently joked that bosses have taken on more than they bargained for by recruiting Skelton to join the show.

“Helen’s a bit dodgy to work with,” the wildlife presenter told The Sun, adding: “She’s a safe pair of hands, but has to be reined in a bit because she has a tendency to be a bit wild.”

He added: “We have someone from Channel 5 compliance, on set in South Yorkshire, who tells her that she mustn’t say too many naughty things. Although of course there’s always the chance that she might.”

Skelton with partner Gorka Marquez (BBC/Guy Levy)
Skelton with partner Gorka Marquez (BBC/Guy Levy)

In April, Skelton revealed that her ex Richie Myler had “left the family home” just four months after they welcomed their third child.

“Very sad to say that Richie and I are no longer a couple,” she wrote. “He has left the family home. We will be doing our best to co-parent our small children.” They had been married since 2013.

Speaking ahead of her Strictly appearance, Skelton said she was “really excited to get stuck into a fun adventure”.

She is excited to be “Strictly-fied” (essentially, covered in glitter). “I am here for it!” Skelton said. “I have three children under seven, a very energetic dog and have lived in a house renovation for the best part of three years, so Strictly-fy me up please!”

In week four, Skelton’s Paso Doble went down quite well with judges, who said she needed more “self belief”. Their scores left her with a total of 29 points and she did not land in the dance off.

The following week, Skelton’s Charleston, performed to the Blue Peter theme tune, was well received by judges, banking a score of 35.

This was followed by a Foxtrot to “Lil’ Red Riding Hood” by Sam the Sham & The Pharaohs for Halloween week, a performance which earned a score of 32.

In week eight, Skelton “delivered the party atmosphere” with her Salsa. She scored 32 points.

Strictly Come Dancing continues Saturdays and Sundays on BBC One.