Will Mellor became a household name in the mid-1990s when he played Jambo Bolton in Channel 4's brand-new teen soap, Hollyoaks. Since then he's gained popularity as Gaz Wilkinson in Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, DC Spike Tanner in No Offence and, most recently, drug dealer Harvey Gaskell in Coronation Street. Now he's swapping the cobbles for the ballroom on Strictly Come Dancing 2022.
Here Will, 46, tells us why he's facing his fears on the BBC1 dance show...
What made you sign up for Strictly?
"I’ve always been terrified to do any reality shows. I was always too worried about whether doing something could affect my career in a negative way. But then I lost my dad in 2020 and thought: ‘I've got to grab life and stop being scared of what could happen’. You need to do things that frighten you a little bit, step out of your comfort zone and make new memories."
What do your family think of you doing Strictly?
"Strictly is my mum’s favourite show, so she’s already buzzing. I was worried about how my kids would take it, because they're mortified when I dance. I don’t take myself seriously and they know that, so they’ll just see me having a bit of fun and doing what I can do."
Have you received any tips from anyone who’s done Strictly previously?
"Everyone I've spoken to has said it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever done but also the best thing they’ve ever done. Emma Bunton spoke to me about it and I remember Phil Tufnell telling me years ago: 'I don't know what I'm doing son. But I'm loving it'. It’s really tough but that’s what life's about. It's like climbing a mountain, it's hard work but when you get to the top, it's worth it."
How are you feeling about having your dancing critiqued by the judges?
"I don't mind. That's what they're there for. I'm not a dancer so if they say this was wrong, that was wrong, I'll go: ‘Alright, I'll try not to do that next week’. A bit of flirting works well with judges. Me and Craig Revel Horwood will have a little flirt-off!"
How are you feeling about being Strictly-fied?
"I'm a bit wary about having a spray tan. Watch this space but I just don't want to have to wash my sheets every day to get rid of what looks like the outline of a dead body on my bed!"
What do you hope to get out of being on Strictly?
"I'm so ready for it. I just hope I can make it through without injury, and enjoy it."
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 WhatToWatch.com, 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!
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