Kym Marsh on Strictly: 'I've been called fat on TV — I can cope with anything!'

Kym Marsh on Strictly Come Dancing
(Image credit: BBC1)

Launching to fame on ITV talent contest Popstars in 2001, Kym Marsh knows all about being judged as a performer. Having faced the wrath of music bigwig Nigel Lythgoe back then, Kym is well-prepared for having her dancing scrutinized on Strictly Come Dancing 2022, which launches on Friday night.

Kym — along with Suzanne Shaw, Myleene Klass, Noel Sullivan and Danny Foster — became Hear'Say, who shot straight to No.1 with their debut single, Pure & Simple. But she experienced firsthand how brutal the music business can be when, en route to stardom, 'Nasty' Nigel told Kym she needed to get in shape — and he wasn't polite!

Here Kym Marsh, 46 — best known these days for playing Michelle Connor in Coronation Street — reveals why she's putting her talents under the spotlight once more...

What made you sign up for Strictly?

"I’ve been asked to appear on various reality shows over the years and Strictly is the only one I’d said I’d definitely want to do but it’s never felt like the right time until now. My husband's in the military, and he's in the country this year, but next year, he might be deployed again, so I wanted to do it while he was here. Also, my dad loves Strictly but he’s been poorly recently, so I really want him to come and watch it and be a part of it."

What do your children think about mum doing Strictly?

"They're really delighted. My 11-year-old daughter Polly just hopes I won't embarrass her. But my older children David and Emily are very excited about the whole thing, as is my grandson Teddy, who’s three and just loves dancing. He won't really have a clue what I'm doing but he’ll be really excited that I'm dancing on TV."

Are you looking forward to being Strictly-fied?

Kym Marsh for Strictly 2022

Kym can't wait to get her glam on when Strictly launches on Friday night. (Image credit: BBC)

"Oh, I’ll definitely be getting a spray tan. I 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, it’s unreal!"

Have any of your showbiz pals given you any advice about doing the show?

"Cath Tyldesley [ex-Coronation Street star] has been telling me to just enjoy every moment. And eat carbs because you need them!"

Kym Marsh plays Michelle Connor in Coronation Street

Kym Marsh is best known to viewers these days as Coronation Street's Michelle Connor. (Image credit: ITV)

How are you feeling about having your dancing critiqued by Strictly judges Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse and Anton Du Beke?

"You can't really complain. I mean, these are dance professionals. You know, the reason they are judges is for that reason; they’re there to tell you where you go wrong and to try and help you progress further. So you can't really be upset by it. When you've been called fat on national television by Nigel Lythgoe like I have, you can cope with anything!"

Strictly Come Dancing 2022 - celebrity line up

(Image credit: BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing: The Launch Show airs on Friday September 23 at 7pm, with the first live show on Saturday September 24 at 6.10pm.

Victoria Wilson
Feature Writer for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and

With over 20 years’ experience writing about TV and film, Vicky currently writes features for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week magazines plus news and watching guides for, a job which involves chatting to a whole host of famous faces. Our Vicky LOVES light entertainment, with Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice UK among her fave shows. Basically, if it’s got a shiny floor, she’s all over it! When she’s not watching TV, you might find Vicky in therapy… retail therapy that is!