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Nottingham Post
Nottingham Post
Karen Antcliff & Simon Duke

BBC Strictly Come Dancing's Will Mellor makes blistering debut to storm into 'top spot'

BBC's Strictly Come Dancing is back and it's back with a bang. However, it is Will Mellor that has caused the greatest impact, according to one report. His red hot jive to Ricky Martin wowed judges and sent bookmakers shuffling the favourites.

Now in its 20th series the show hot footed its way back on to our screens on Friday, September 23. With a line-up that includes familiar names such as Paralympian Ellie Simmonds, singer songwriter Fleur East, cameraman Hamza Yassin, comedian Ellie Taylor, and presenter Helen Skelton it was former Hollyoaks actor Will Mellor that shot to the attention of the judges and public.

According to Chronicle Live, bookies have also been so blown away by his first live show performance and have changed the odds on who will win this year to make him the favourite.

READ MORE: Take That's Mark Owen addresses why he 'looks different' to BBC Breakfast viewers

The actor, singer and model, who first shot to TV fame in Hollyoaks in the 90s, was one of the first celebs to be announced for Strictly and was near the top of the betting from the start. However, in the days and weeks leading up to Saturday's opening live show he'd been passed by Fleur East and Helen Skelton, with Helen edging just ahead of Fleur to be favourite going into the live broadcast.

In the first show of the series, Will and pro partner Nancy Xu's red hot jive to Ricky Martin impressed judges and glowing praise was backed up by their scores, as Will and Nancy earned 34 out of 40. They ended the night joint top of the leader board. Wildlife presenter Hamza Yassin got the same score on his debut.

Bookies have now put Will at the top of their pile after social media went wild for him. On Sunday night, Will was favourite with Betfair at odds of 6/4, with Fleur and Helen both on 9/2. Hamza has climbed up the betting significantly to now be at 12/1 for the win, while Matt Goss has fallen back and Tony Adams and Kaye dams are both outside shots at 90/1.

Sam Rosbottom, a Betfair spokesperson said: “Punters have raced to back Will Mellor to win Strictly this year after his impressive performance in the first week and his odds have been cut to 6/4 favourite from 5/1. Helen Skelton was the previous favourite but bettors have cooled their interested and she now trails Mellor in the betting at 9/2."


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