Strictly Come Distancing: Producers reveal how the new series will work
Written by on 28 September 2020
Strictly Come Dancing may return with or without an audience – depending on what the government guidelines are come October.
BBC bosses say they are prepared to film the show with a normal audience, with a socially distanced one, or without one at all.
The new series begins next month and will run for nine weeks – instead of the usual 13 – to allow more time for filming amid coronavirus restrictions.
Strictly executive producer Sarah James said: “We’ve made plans for no audience, we’ve made plans for a distanced audience, and we’ve made plans for a full audience, and… whatever happens, we’ll obviously just be following the government guidelines.”
Among this year’s celebrity contestants are comedian Bill Bailey, former home secretary Jacqui Smith and Made In Chelsea star Jamie Laing.
Olympic gold medallist Nicola Adams will also star – and be part of the programme’s first ever same-sex dance pairing.
Ms James said of the boxer: “I was so excited to have Nicola on the show… She’s a world-class athlete, she’s a household name, and she’s just the loveliest person.
“When we initially spoke to her she made it very clear she wanted to dance with a female partner and so we’re really, really happy to be able to make that happen.”
The Strictly band are unable to fit in the band “pit” with social distancing, so only key members will be filmed on the night – and others pre-recorded earlier in the week, she added.
BBC bosses have asked all the dancing couples to form support bubbles, which means one of the two will have to live alone for as long as they take part in the series.
Judge Bruno Tonioli will also be absent at the beginning of the series, as he is filming the US version of the show – Dancing With The Stars – but will be back later on.
Strictly will return on BBC One on Saturday 17 October.