Strictly’s Molly Rainford and Carlos Gu lead stars back in Blackpool


The stars of Strictly Come Dancing couldn’t contain their excitement as the show returned to Blackpool for the first time in three years. 

Covid restrictions meant that the last two series of the hit show haven’t been able to film their annual episode in the famous Tower Ballroom.  

Yet the class of 2022 broke the streak as they returned to the seaside resort on Thursday to check out the town ahead of rehearsals for Saturday’s live show. 

Guess who’s back: The stars of Strictly Come Dancing couldn’t contain their excitement as the show returned to Blackpool with Molly Rainford and Carlos Gu spotted larking around at the tram stop

Molly Rainford and Carlos Gu looked positively giddy as they checked out the sights of the town, play fighting at a tram stop as Carlos picked up the singer and spun her around. 

Last weekend the pair performed the Rumba to All the Man That I Need by Whitney Houston and were awarded 37 points, their highest so far. 

For Blackpool week they will take on the Jive to Bandstand by Boogie Barry Manilow.

On the move: Will Mellor and Nancy Xu ensured they made the most of all their time before the live show as they danced down the street together

On the move: Will Mellor and Nancy Xu ensured they made the most of all their time before the live show as they danced down the street together

Meanwhile, Will Mellor and Nancy Xu ensured they made the most of all their time before the live show as they danced down the street together. 

The pair impressed with their performance last week as they did a Waltz to Three Times A Lady by the Commodores and dedicated the performance to his late father Bill, who passed away from cancer during the pandemic. 

This week they will perform a Samba to I Go To Rio by Hugh Jackman. 

Loving life: Molly Rainford and Carlos Gu looked positively giddy as they checked out the sights of the town

Loving life: Molly Rainford and Carlos Gu looked positively giddy as they checked out the sights of the town

Riding that high: Last weekend the pair performed the Rumba to All the Man That I Need by Whitney Houston and were awarded 37 points, their highest so far

Riding that high: Last weekend the pair performed the Rumba to All the Man That I Need by Whitney Houston and were awarded 37 points, their highest so far

Great news: For Blackpool week they will take on the Jive to Bandstand by Boogie Barry Manilow

Great news: For Blackpool week they will take on the Jive to Bandstand by Boogie Barry Manilow

Chirpy: She looked delighted as she strolled around the city

Chirpy: She looked delighted as she strolled around the city 

Doubled over: Will and Nancy couldn't stop laughing as they spun around the dance floor

Doubled over: Will and Nancy couldn’t stop laughing as they spun around the dance floor 

On the move: The pair were seen dancing up and down the street

On the move: The pair were seen dancing up and down the street 

Good job: The pair impressed with their performance last week

Good job: They did a Waltz to Three Times A Lady by the Commodores and dedicated the performance to his late father Bill

Good job: The pair impressed with their performance last week as they did a Waltz to Three Times A Lady by the Commodores and dedicated the performance to his late father Bill

One to watch: This week they will perform a Samba to I Go To Rio by Hugh Jackman

One to watch: This week they will perform a Samba to I Go To Rio by Hugh Jackman

Don't rain on my parade: The pair were  in good spirits despite the wet and blustery weather

Don’t rain on my parade: The pair were  in good spirits despite the wet and blustery weather 

Snap happy: Nancy shared a shot with Will captioned: 'We are here!!! #blackpooltower Let's do this partner @willmellor76'

Snap happy: Nancy shared a shot with Will captioned: ‘We are here!!! #blackpooltower Let’s do this partner @willmellor76’

Hamza Yassin and his dance partner Jowita Przystal looked in high spirits as they skipped down the street. 

Last week they celebrated his African roots the pair danced to Jersualema by Master KG and received a whopping 38 points. 

This week they will do the American Smooth to (Theme From) New York, New York by Frank Sinatra.

Two's company: Hamza Yassin and his dance partner Jowita Przystal looked in high spirits as they skipped down the street.

Two’s company: Hamza Yassin and his dance partner Jowita Przystal looked in high spirits as they skipped down the street.

Good times: Last week they celebrated his African roots the pair danced to Jersualema by Master KG and received a whopping 38 points

Good times: Last week they celebrated his African roots the pair danced to Jersualema by Master KG and received a whopping 38 points

Chirpy: This week they will do the American Smooth to (Theme From) New York, New York by Frank Sinatra

Chirpy: This week they will do the American Smooth to (Theme From) New York, New York by Frank Sinatra

Happy: They posed for a beaming snap in front of the Blackpool Tower

Happy: They posed for a beaming snap in front of the Blackpool Tower

Tyler West and Dianne Buswell looked in good spirits as they were seen sightseeing at the seaside resort. 

The pair took to the dancefloor with a fiery Pasodoble last week, earning themselves a score of 31, the highest for a Paso this series. 

They still landed in the dance off however, and will be hoping to avoid that this week with a Salsa to KC & The Sunshine Band.

On the move: Tyler West and Dianne Buswell were seen sightseeing at the seaside resort

On the move: Tyler West and Dianne Buswell were seen sightseeing at the seaside resort 

Beaming: They were all smiles as they enjoyed a well deserved break from Strictly rehearsals

Beaming: They were all smiles as they enjoyed a well deserved break from Strictly rehearsals 

Congrats: The pair took to the dancefloor with a fiery Pasodoble last week, earning themselves a score of 31, the highest for a Paso this series

Congrats: The pair took to the dancefloor with a fiery Pasodoble last week, earning themselves a score of 31, the highest for a Paso this series

Oh dear: They still landed in the dance off however, and will be hoping to avoid that this week with a Salsa to KC & The Sunshine Band

Oh dear: They still landed in the dance off however, and will be hoping to avoid that this week with a Salsa to KC & The Sunshine Band

Yum: Dianne was seen stocking up on fish and chips from a local takeaway

Yum: Dianne was seen stocking up on fish and chips from a local takeaway 

Weeeeee! Tyler then took on a rollercoaster ride, travelling solo on the ride

Weeeeee! Tyler then took on a rollercoaster ride, travelling solo on the ride 

Scared: A terrified Tyler could be seen screaming throughout the rollercoaster ride

Scared: A terrified Tyler could be seen screaming throughout the rollercoaster ride

Comical: The pair couldn't stop laughing as they messed around at the theme park

Comical: The pair couldn’t stop laughing as they messed around at the theme park 

Hiya: Tyler  seemed in great spirits as he waved at fans

Loving it: Dianne was in high spirits

Hiya: Tyler and Diane seemed in great spirits as they waved at fans after rehearsing 

Getting ready: Dianne gave fans a glimpse into their rehearsals ahead of Saturday's show

Getting ready: Dianne gave fans a glimpse into their rehearsals ahead of Saturday’s show 

Since 2013, Blackpool ballroom has had an annual slot in the BBC show where the celebs get to perform under the dazzling lights.

One star who won’t be joining them in Blackpool is Tony Adams after he sensationally quit Strictly on Sunday evening, pulling out of the contest with an apparent hamstring injury. 

A BBC source said: ‘After finding out he would be facing the dance off, Tony had a chat with producers and stated that both he and the physio were concerned that dancing the jive again in the dance off could cause further injury and he had therefore decided he would instead withdraw from the competition.’ 

Looking good: Fleur East was seen arriving in Blackpool in very high spirits

Looking good: Fleur East was seen arriving in Blackpool in very high spirits 

Support: A banner was flown in the sky showing support from her radio station

Support: A banner was flown in the sky showing support from her radio station 

The BBC refused to explain what the injury was or how it occurred, citing it as a private, medical matter, though there was speculation he had hurt his hamstring, a common complaint for footballers.

A source at the studio said that Tony looked ‘upset’ after the Saturday night show ended.

‘Something was wrong, something was going on,’ they told the Daily Mail. ‘He was struggling to walk and was holding his leg.’

Cute couple: Kai Widdrington and Nadiya Bychkova strolled into the venue together

Cute couple: Kai Widdrington and Nadiya Bychkova strolled into the venue together 

Hey: Gorka Marquez flashed a broad grin and smile

Hey: Gorka headed to his hotel

Hey: Gorka Marquez flashed a broad grin and smile as he headed to his hotel 

Leggy: Nancy changed into a little black dress paired with a vibrant green cardigan and coat

Leggy: Nancy changed into a little black dress paired with a vibrant green cardigan and coat 

Wrapped up: Johannes Radebe donned lots of layers in chilly Blackpool

Keeping warm: Nikita was clutching a steaming hot coffee

Wrapped up: Johannes Radebe and Nikita Kuzmin donned lots of layers in chilly Blackpool 

Chirpy: Nikita flashed a thumbs up for passers by as he left the ballroom

Chirpy: Nikita flashed a thumbs up for passers by as he left the ballroom 

Ready for it: While Katya Jones may no longer be competing in the show she still seemed in high spirits

Ready for it: Karen Haeur had rehearsed the group numbers

Ready for it: While Katya Jones and Karen Haeur may no longer be competing in the show they still seemed in high spirits as they rehearsed the group numbers 

Week eight is deemed on of the most crucial of the series as it is the last show before the celebrities head to Blackpool to perform world famous Tower Ballroom.

Tony was under increased pressure from Strictly fans to quit the competition after he stayed in last Sunday while Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds – a favourite to reach the final – was sent home. She had scored 12 more points the than Adams for her dance.

Her exit prompted devoted followers of the BBC dance programme to write to the Corporation’s bosses and also share their anger on social media. They insisted he leave the show to give his more talented co-stars an opportunity to stay.

They were also furious with Arsenal fans for voting for Tony, 56, to stay when he was scoring such low marks.

Strictly Come Dancing continues Saturdays and Sundays on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. 

Bye: One star who won't be joining them in Blackpool is Tony Adams after he sensationally quit Strictly Come Dancing on Sunday evening

Bye: One star who won’t be joining them in Blackpool is Tony Adams after he sensationally quit Strictly Come Dancing on Sunday evening

STRICTLY COME DANCING 2022: WHO ARE THE CONTESTANTS?

KYM MARSH

Age: 46

Profession: Coronation Street star and presenter

Kym says: ‘I’m so delighted that this year they have! I’m a huge fan of the show and can’t believe I’m going to go from watching at home in my pyjamas to actually dancing in front of the judges in a glittery dress.’

ELLIE SIMMONDS 

Age: 27

Profession: Former athlete 

Ellie says: ‘To be asked to be part of the Strictly family is just so exciting and I cannot wait, it’s going to so much fun.’

TYLER WEST 

Age: 26

Profession: Radio DJ

Tyler says: ‘It’s a show that means so much to me and my family and I can’t wait to seriously shake a leg on that shiny dance floor… with a side of sequins.’

ELLIE TAYLOR

 

Age: 38

Profession: Comedian

Ellie says: ‘Well, cover me in fake tan and roll me in sequins! I’m absolutely over the moon to be a part of Strictly 2022!’

TONY ADAMS MBE 

Age: 55 

Profession: Retired footballer and manager

Tony says:  ‘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’

WILL MELLOR

Age: 46

Profession: Actor

Will says: ‘I know it will be a huge challenge but that’s what life is all about. This is also my Mum’s favourite show and she’s had a really tough few years so I’m doing this is for her as well. Bring it on!’

 MOLLY RAINFORD

 Age: 21

Profession: Singer 

Molly says: ‘I already know it’s gonna be an experience of a lifetime and I can’t wait to meet the rest of the Strictly family I’ll be sharing it with.’

FLEUR EAST

Age: 34 

Profession: Singer

Fleur says: ‘I’m equally nervous and thrilled to be part of this year’s Strictly line up. I’m excited to learn new skills and I want to soak up every moment of this magical experience.’

 HAMZA YASSIN

Age: 35

Profession: Wildlife cameraman and presenter

Hamza says: ‘I am absolutely over the moon to be joining Strictly 2022. Never in a million years did I think I’d be on such a cool show.’

HELEN SKELTON

Age: 39

Profession: TV and radio broadcaster

Helen says: ‘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’

 

 

 

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