Strictly Come Dancing 2022 kicked off its first live show in style on Saturday, with Helen Skelton and her professional partner Gorka Marquez scoring 26 points.
And as the BBC broadcast ended, the Countryfile presenter’s estranged husband Richie Myler broke his silence after their Strictly debut when he branded his girlfriend Stephanie Thirkill “family” in a gushing post on Instagram.
The rugby player, 32, ended his eight-year marriage to Helen, 39, in April just four months after she gave birth to their third child and quickly moved on with Stephanie, 32.
Stephanie is the daughter of Leeds Rhinos President Andrew Thirkill, who is one of the wealthiest businessmen in Leeds and is worth an estimated £175million.
Debut: Strictly Come Dancing 2022 kicked off its first live show in style on Saturday, with Helen Skelton, 39, and her professional partner Gorka Marquez scoring 26 points
Richie first posted a selfie of Stephanie taken on the sidelines after his Leeds Rhinos final game of the rugby league season.
She had written: “Wasn’t a win but couldn’t be prouder of this one. Grand final at Old Trafford and a great game to you. Love you so much @richiemyler,” to which he added, “Love you.”
Richie posted a picture of himself and Stephanie with their family to his Instagram Stories, also captivatingly captioned, “This season ended as a family,” and drew a heart.
The rugby player shares two young sons, Ernie, six, Louis, five, and daughter Elsie Kate, eight months, with his estranged wife Helen.
Family: Richie posted a picture of himself and Stephanie with their family to his Instagram stories and also gushed, “This season ended as a family” and drew a heart
Loved: Richie also reposted a selfie of Stephanie taken on the sidelines after his last rugby match of the season
Richie made his relationship with Stephanie official on Instagram when they attended Wimbledon together.
His relationship with Stephanie came to light in May, days after it was announced that his eight-year marriage to Helen was over.
Helen was said to have felt “confused” by the breakdown in her marriage, and a source close to the couple told MailOnline: “Helen is absolutely devastated.”
They continued, “Now she’s contemplating life without him while he’s moved on with his new partner.”
New Focus: Helen is currently taking on a new challenge as she joins Strictly
Emotional: Helen and Richie’s split came just four months after the arrival of the couple’s third child, Elsie (pictured in May)
“Richie insists there was no crossover, that he began the romance with Stephanie after their marriage collapsed, but Helen feels let down. They are still married and their baby is literally four months old.
“She thought her marriage was safe and secure and is totally shocked by what happened.”
Former Blue Peter star Helen confirmed their split on Instagram, writing: “Very sad to say that Richie and I are no longer a couple. He left the parental home. We will do our best to raise our little children together.”
Making it official: Richie made his relationship with Stephanie Instagram official when they attended Wimbledon together
For her Strictly debut on Saturday, Helen took to the stage with Gorka Marquez to perform an American Smooth to You Send Me by Aretha Franklin.
And despite her protestations that she lacked elegance, Craig was quick to reassure her, telling her, “Love the energy and you have elegance, darling.”
While Anton gushed, “Brilliant line, when you make lines it’s beautiful. own it! Own the dance, just believe in yourself a little bit more because when you do it’s brilliant.’
Shirley also praised the presenter, explaining: “You weren’t too fast, you weren’t too slow. The beginning was divine, the arms were love. Well done.’
Strictly Come Dancing 2022: who are the couples?
HELEN SKELTON AND GORKA MARQUEZ
Helen Skelton and Gorka Marquez
Age of Star: 39
Profession: TV and radio stations
Helen says: “I’m really looking forward to embarking on a fun adventure. My family and friends have always loved the show and can’t wait for me to get started.
ELLIE SIMMONDS AND NIKITA KUZMIN
Ellie Simmonds and Nikita Guzman
Age of Star: 27
Profession: Former athlete
Ellie says: “Being asked to join the Strictly family is just so exciting and I can’t wait, it’s going to be so much fun.”
ELLIE TAYLOR AND JOHN RADEBE
Ellie Taylor and Johannes Radebe
The age of the stars: 38
Ellie says: “Well, cover me in fake tan and roll me in sequins! I’m absolutely thrilled to be a part of Strictly 2022!’
FLEUR EAST AND VITO COPPOLA
Fleur East and Vito Coppola
Age of Star: 34
Fleur says: “I’m equally nervous and excited to be a part of this year’s Strictly line-up. I look forward to learning new skills and I want to soak up every moment of this magical experience.”
JAMES BYE AND AMY DOWDEN
James Bye and Amy Dowden
Age of Star: 38
Profession: EastEnders actor
James says “I’m not known for my flapping or sparkling toes — in fact, my kids regularly laugh at my dad dancing, but it’s an honor to be asked and I’ll do my best.”
JAYDE ADAMS AND KAREN HAUER
Jayde Adams and Karen Hauer
Age of Star: 37
Jayde says: “I’ve been a huge fan of the show for years. I feel like I’m watching myself in a dream and can’t believe I manifested this.
TYLER WEST AND DIANNE BUSWELL
Tyler West and Dianne Buswell
Age of Star: 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 this shiny dance floor… with a side of sequins.”
HAMZA YASSIN AND JOWITA PRZYSTAL
Hamza Yassin and Jowita Przystal
celebrity ince: 35
professionn: Wildlife cameraman and moderator
Hamza says: “I am absolutely thrilled to be part of Strictly 2022. Never in a million years did I think I’d be on a show this cool.”
RICHIE ANDERSON AND GIOVANNI PERNICE
Richie Anderson and Giovanni Pernice
Age of Star: 34
Profession: radio host
Richie says: ‘This is a dream come true! I can’t wait to slip on these glitters and sequins and dance the world’s most famous dance floor!’
KYM SWAMP AND GRAZIANO DI PRIMA
Kym Marsh and Graziano di Prima
Age of Star: 46
Profession: Coronation Street star and presenter
Kim says: “I am very happy that they made it this year! I’m a huge fan of the show and can’t believe I’ll be watching from home in my pajamas and actually dancing in front of the judges in a glitter dress.
MATT GOSS AND NADIYA BYCHKOVA
Matt Goss and Nadiya Bychkova
Age of Star: 53
Matt says: “I was retired, I come and work and then go back to America. I thought it was time for me to come home and get out of my way.
MOLLY RAAFORD AND CARLOS GU
Molly Rainford and Carlos Gu
Molly says: “I already know it will be an experience of a lifetime and I can’t wait to meet the rest of the Strictly family who I will be sharing it with.”
WILL MELLOR AND NANCY XU
Will Mellor and Nancy Xu
Age of Star: 46
will says: “I know it’s going to be a big challenge, but that’s what life is about. It’s my mom’s favorite show too and she’s had a really tough few years so I’m doing it for her too. Bring it on!’
TONY ADAMS AND KATYA JONES
Tony Adams and Katya Jones
Age of Star: 55
Profession: Retired Footballer and Manager
Tony says: “To say I’m excited is an understatement – the allure of sequins and the call of salsa make me trade in my battered old football boots for a pair of Strictly Soft shoes.”
KAYE ADAMS AND KAI WIDDRINGTON
Kaye Adams and Kai Widdington
Celebrity is age: 59
Profession: TV presenter
Kaye says: “I said I wanted to make the last year of my fifties unforgettable and I can’t think of a better way than to show the world my two left feet. Pray for me!’
#Helen #Skeltons #estranged #husband #Richie #Myler #breaks #silence #Strictly #debut