Strictly Come Dancing: Adam Peaty admits it’s going to be ‘different’ competing for the Glitterball

Strictly Come Dancing star Adam Peaty has admitted it’s going to be ‘very very different’ competing for the Glitterball trophy after his medal-winning summer at the Tokyo Olympics.

The swimmer, 26, told MailOnline that he believes there’s an expectation that he will ‘work hard’ in the training room after spending years of focusing on his dream of winning gold.

Adam explained that he signed up for Strictly after deciding he still wanted a new challenge while he takes a break from swimming.


‘People expect me to work hard’: Strictly’s Adam Peaty admitted it’s going to be ‘very very different’ competing for the Glitterball after his gold medal success in Tokyo

Speaking to MailOnline about taking to the Strictly dancefloor, Adam said that he does feel added pressure to perform well after winning two gold medals in Tokyo.


The sportsman won his first medal in the 100 m breaststroke, before scooping his second gold in the 4×100 m mixed medley. 

He said: ‘People are expecting me to work hard and train hard, because I’ve won every competition I’ve gone into, but going into this is very very different.

Determined: The swimmer told MailOnline he believes there’s an expectation that he will ‘work hard’ in the training room after his Olympic success (pictured in Tokyo 2020)

‘I’m used to being in the water, I’m not used to being on land against gravity, but hopefully my hips are quite fluid.

‘I think it’s very important to be challenged in life, I’m a sportsperson so I’m constantly being challenged, but I felt I needed to take a bit of time away from swimming, it’s all about the challenge.’

Adam also told MailOnline that he fears it’s going be ‘extremely hard’ to take on the challenge of learning how to dance, especially given he’s never trained with a partner before.

He added: ‘The swimming training is one of the hardest sports I’m used to going up and down for four hours a day, for me dancing is music but it’s going to be extremely hard, I’ve trained my mind and body for a long time so I’m hoping I can put the hard work to use.’ 

Getting his glitter on! Adam also told MailOnline that he fears it’s going be ‘extremely hard’ to take on the challenge of learning how to dance

‘With the Olympics you’re not on TV, but the preparation is very different, but obviously you’re carrying people through that training cycle.

‘I can take criticism, but if I’ve put my heart and soul into it, and get a 3 or 4 I’m not going to be very happy.’

‘Those first few weeks are going to be quite hard, everything around that is quite unsettled but once I get a few weeks of it will be good.’

Focused: ‘I can take criticism, but if I’ve put my heart and soul into it, and get a 3 or 4 I’m not going to be very happy,’ he said (pictured during the Tokyo Olympics)

Adam joins a slew of former Olympians who have taken to the Strictly dancefloor, including Louis Smith, Victoria Pendleton and Claudia Fragapane, but he insists he hasn’t picked up any tips from his fellow sports stars.

‘I don’t want to know too much I don’t want to ruin the surprise, just me knowing I’ll enjoy it, it’s a competition just with a fresh mind and see what we get,’ he said. 

This year’s Strictly will see 15 celebrities take to the dancefloor with their professional partners, with the pairings set to be revealed in Saturday’s launch show.

Stars including actor Greg Wise, comedian Judi Love, singer Tom Fletcher and presenter AJ Odudu will take to the dancefloor in their sequins in the hope of impressing the judging panel.

Despite the easing of Covid restrictions across the UK, bosses have confirmed that many of last year’s protocols will continue for this series, including couples forming Covid-safe ‘bubbles’ so they can train and perform safely.

The show will also see the return of a live audience, after most of the 2020 series was plagued by England’s ongoing lockdowns.

Strictly Come Dancing returns on Saturday 18th September on BBC One. 



Age: 36

Profession: McFly musician

Tom says: ‘I’m so pleased the news is out it’s been so hard keeping it secret. Equal parts excited and terrified.’

Fun fact: Tom’s McFly bandmate Harry Judd won Strictly Come Dancing in 2011. Tom’s wife Giovanna Fletcher is the reigning champion of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!


 Age: 48

Profession: Actor and comedian

Robert says: ‘It’s very exciting but with a slight undertone of quivering terror.’

Fun Fact: Robert squeezed into a shiny leotard to take the title of Let’s Dance For Comic Relief in 2009, performing What A Feeling from ’80s film Flashdance, beating the likes of Keith Lemon and Paddy McGuinness to the title. 


Age: 27

Profession: CBBC presenter  

Rhys says: ‘I have dreamt about being on this show, and I know for a fact that it is going to exceed every expectation’

Fun fact: Rhys has been an actor since the age of ten, performing alongside Matt Smith and Hugh Bonneville. 


 Age: 28

Profession: Actress

Katie says: ‘I’m really not a dancer, but I’m so excited to learn a new skill on this crazy journey and cannot wait to slip into some sequins along the way.’

Fun fact: Katie, who played Sinead Tinker in Corrie, won a NTA for Best Serial Drama Performance in 2020. 


Age: 19

Profession: CBBC presenter

Tilly says: ’I’m going to put my heart and soul into this and can’t wait to get my dancing shoes on!’

Fun fact: Tilly’s father is celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay and the pair often star in dancing TikTok videos.


Age: 52

Profession: Actress

Nina says: ‘I think I should do this before I’m too old and can’t walk anymore. I just want to grab life by the horns and just enjoy it.’

Fun fact: Nina is a JDRF Ambassador and was awarded an OBE in the 2021 New Year’s Honours List. 


Age: 26

Profession: Athlete 

Adam says: ‘I’m really looking forward to doing something totally different and challenging myself away from the pool.’

Fun fact: Adam becoming the first British swimmer to defend an Olympic title at Tokyo 2020.



Age: 38

Profession: Rugby player and sports pundit

Ugo says: ‘What a dream come true! Strictly is the biggest entertainment show on TV and I can’t wait to show everyone I’ve got more than just dad dancing moves.

Fun fact: Beginning his rugby career at Harlequins in 2002, Ugo went on to make 241 appearances for the club where he scored 89 tries, won a Premiership and made his England debut in 2008.



Age: 33

Profession: TV presenter

 AJ says: ‘I think it’s going to be really challenging. I can’t wait for the sequins, the wigs, the glitz and the glamour.’

Fun Fact: Apocalypse Wow hosts AJ has featured on a whopping 14 TV shows this year, competing in the likes oF Cooking With The Stars and Celebrity Karaoke Club. She has appeared as a panelist on Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two in the past, too.


Age: 33

Profession: Great British Bake Off Winner and TV chef

 John says: ‘I’m so grateful, excited, and nervous to be joining the Strictly 2021 family… I’ve been wearing sequins and jazzy attire since I was three years old and can’t wait to hurl myself, full throttle, around the most glamorous dance floor on earth’

Fun Fact: John is set tp be part of the first ever all-male partnering – the first in 17 years of the show.


Age: 37  

Profession:  Businesswoman

Sara says: ‘I’m really nervous because so far the producers keep asking me if I can dance… Truth be told – I haven’t got a clue! I’ve not danced since I did ballet lessons when I was little.’

Fun fact: Sara was the youngest ever dragon on BBC show Dragons’ Den.


Age: 44 

Profession: Journalist

Dan says: ‘I’m enjoying the experience when it starts of learning to dance. I’ll be honest I’m not making room on any shelves in my house for the glitterball.’

Fun fact: Dan recently quit Football Focus after 12 years at the helm and has been covering Tokyo Olympics.


Age: 55

Profession: Actor

Greg says: ‘It’s about being out there and exposing yourself as someone who can’t dance, and learning.’

Fun fact: Greg is married to the actress Emma Thompson who he met while filming Sense and Sensibility.  


Age: 30

Profession: Actress

Rose says: ‘I hope I will do the deaf community proud and break down more barriers. I am also very excited to learn an incredible new skill.’

 Fun fact: Rose will make history as Strictly’s first deaf contestant. 


Age: 41

Profession: Comedienne 

Judi says: ‘I’m truly looking forward to pushing myself in something that I could have only dreamed of doing and now it’s actually coming true!’

Fun fact: Judi began comedy when she performed a set in front of her class for a degree module.