Strictly fans confused as ‘new contestant’ Nessa from Gavin and Stacey announced

Fans of Strictly Come Dancing have been left confused after the BBC appeared to announce that a "new contestant" was joining the show – Nessa from hit comedy show Gavin & Stacey.

It all started when BBC Three posted: "'Oh! What's occurring?' Nessa is bringing Barry Island to the ballroom as the 20th celebrity contestant confirmed for #Strictly 2022."

They even went as far as to mimic the promotional Strictly Come Dancing contestant announcement shots, superimposing an image of Nessa, with her black bob and gold chain, onto a blue disco background.

Some fans didn't catch on to the joke – as Nessa Jenkins is in fact a fictional character played by Ruth Jones, 59 – but there were plenty of excited comments on the tweet.

One fan wrote: "OMG, can't wait" while another raved: "I mean that’s B****Y AMAZING."

Another person commented: "Excited much. I alway watch Strictly but this just made it more exciting 2 watch".

If people had clicked on the link in the post, it would have taken them to the iPlayer page for Gavin & Stacey, which was first broadcast by BBC Three.

A while after their original tweet, BBC Three owned up to their prank about Nessa, replying on their tweet: "Sorry @bbcpress and @bbcstrictly our hand slipped."

Gavin & Stacey is the award-winning BBC sitcom that captured the heart of the nation as it followed the love life of Essex lad Gavin, played by Matthew Horne, and Welsh girl Stacey, played by Joanna Page.

The show was written by James Corden and Ruth Jones, and the pair starred alongside Matthew and Joanna as Smithy and Nessa.

All 15 contestants have now been announced for Strictly Come Dancing, which starts in September, with Countryfile presenter Helen Skelton revealed as the final celebrity to join the show.

The full line-up for this year's contestants includes: Kym Marsh, Will Mellor, Fleur East, Kaye Adams, Ellie Simmonds OBE, Jayde Adams, Richie Anderson, Tyler West, Matt Goss, Ellie Taylor, Molly Rainford, Tony Adams, Hamza Yassin, James Bye and, of course, Helen Skelton.

The popular BBC series recently announced that preparation for the 2022 show is well and truly underway, with recording for the launch show set to take place on Wednesday 7 September.

Confirming the news, the broadcaster said: “The stunning 20th series returns, bringing glamour and show-stopping dancing back to Saturday nights on BBC One – and we’re extremely excited to be able to welcome an audience back to the studio for this year’s shows.”


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