Helen Skelton: Yorkshire-based Countryfile presenter confirmed as Strictly Come Dancing contestant
The broadcaster, 39, was unveiled on Saturday morning during Claudia Winkleman’s BBC Radio 2 show, who also co-hosts the popular dance competition with Tess Daly.
Skelton completes the line-up for the 20th series of the BBC show which is due to return in September.
She lives on the outskirts of Leeds with her three children, and has recently separated from their father, Leeds Rhinos player Richie Myler.
On making her debut on the ballroom floor, Skelton said: “I’m really excited to get stuck into a fun adventure.
“My family and friends have always loved the show and can’t wait for me to get started.”
On Winkleman’s BBC Radio 2 show, she revealed she only agreed to do the show recently but said she was keen to sign up after competing in the Christmas special in 2012.
She added: “Who gets to go to work and made to look a bit like Beyonce and have a fun time?
“So I just thought, this is madness to not do it, of course I should do it. It’ll be so much fun.”
Skelton also admitted that she does have some dance background as she once competed in the Ken Dodd tap dancing awards.
The presenter started her TV career in children’s television, presenting Newsround and Blue Peter on the BBC.
During her five years at Blue Peter, she took on various challenges including completing the Namibia Ultra Marathon, cycling to the South Pole and kayaking more than 2,018 miles down the Amazon River.
Since then, she has presented shows across various channels including Countryfile, ITV’s Lorraine and the On The Farm series for Channel 5. She has also been a regular on ITV Tonight.
Skelton has also worked on several major sporting events for BBC Sport as well as FA Women’s Super League football matches and Channel 4’s Rugby League Super League coverage.
As a radio presenter, she has stood in for Dermot O’Leary and OJ Borg on BBC Radio 2 and has recently been announced as the new host of the BBC Radio 5 Live Sunday morning show, taking over from Love Island’s Laura Whitmore.
She has also published a number of books including Wild Girl: A Guide To Adventures and the novel Amy Wild: Amazon Summer.
Skelton joins the previously announced contestants including EastEnders star James Bye, singer Fleur East, Ted Lasso star Ellie Taylor, Bros singer Matt Goss, Kiss radio host Tyler West, Former England footballer Tony Adams and Britain’s Got Talent finalist Molly Rainford.
Paralympic swimming gold medallist Ellie Simmonds, comedian and actress Jayde Adams, Coronation Street actors Will Mellor and Kym Marsh, Loose Women star Kaye Adams, Radio 2’s Richie Anderson and Wildlife cameraman and presenter Hamza Yassin complete the 2022 line-up.
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.