Former Emmerdale actor Adam Thomas has been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.

The Waterloo Road star- who announced earlier this week he'll be taking part in the new series of 'Strictly Come Dancing' – has revealed that he has been "in a lot of pain" for several months.

After undergoing extensive testing, the ex I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! contestant has been told he has the chronic condition, which causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints.

The actor, 35, shared a photo of himself with wife Caroline and their two children and wrote on Instagram: "Well it’s my birthday tomorrow and I turn 35!!

Emmerdale star joins Strictly amid 'learning' about  rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis

"How did that happen, does this mean I should stop acting like a kid now haha. As much as I act like a kid, my body is telling another story

"I’ve been in a lot of pain since January, it started with my knees and then traveled to my wrists, fingers and now ankles and toes.

"I never knew what was happening and finally after several blood tests and back and forth to doctors and hospitals, I’ve been diagnosed with rheumatoid Arthritis!

"I thought that was something people, later on in there life get… but that’s not the case, clearly!(sic)"

Adam joins a star-studded cast including the likes of former Family Fortunes host Les Dennis, Paralympic champion Jody Cundy and former British number one tennis player Annabel Croft as well as BBC Asian Network’s Breakfast Show host Nikita Kanda.

Other contestants include Channel 4 Krishnan Guru-Murthy, comedian Eddie Kadi, Irish TV presenter Angela Scanlon and former Love Island star Zara McDermott.

Adam is thankful he is able to get his condition "under control" but admitted it has been "hard" not being able to train for 'Strictly' properly because of the pain he's in.

He continued: "It’s been a tough old year but … Finally I’m on the right plan now! Finally getting it under control. For now!

"But some days are better than others and am not going to lie, it’s been hard not being able to train properly, it’s has had a huge knock on effect for me personally, but not only that for my family too!!

"And I just want to say thank you to @carolinethomas23 and the kids for going on this journey with me, as I know it’s been challenging and frustrating at times but hopefully we’re on the right path now! (sic)"

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The actor is reportedly "still learning" about his condition and signed up for 'Strictly' in a bid to be active again.

He wrote: "The reason I signed up to Strictly is because I just want to be able to move again, get fit and do it, all with a smile on my face!

"It really couldn’t have come at a better time I’m a firm believer of everything happening for a reason, and I know the journey I’ve been on was meant to happen, to never take small things in life for granted! …Like going for a run, playing with my kids and just being able to walk with no pain!

"I know it’s going to be tough and I’ve definitely got my work cut out but am up for the challenge and can not wait to get on that dance floor!!(sic)"

This is the Strictly Come Dancing 2023 line-up so far

  • Sherlock and Mr Selfridge actress Amanda Abbington
  • Former newsreader Angela Rippon
  • Stage and screen star Layton Williams
  • Channel 4 journalist Krishnan Guru-Murthy
  • Comedian Eddie Kadi
  • Irish presenter Angela Scanlon
  • Love Island’s Zara McDermott
  • Emmerdale and Waterloo Road actor Adam Thomas
  • BBC radio presenter Nikita Kanda
  • Coronation Street's Ellie Leach
  • Paralympic Champion Jody Cundy CBE
  • EastEnders star Bobby Brazier
  • Casualty star Nigel Harman
  • British tennis player Annabel Croft
  • Family Fortunes host Les Dennis

Strictly Come Dancing will return to BBC One and BBC iPlayer for its new series this autumn.