Strictly Come Dancing has overcome a number of obstacles implicated by the coronavirus pandemic in order to bring the much-loved Saturday night staple to our small screens this Autumn.
Strictly dancers and celebrities have formed their own bubble – with one half of the coupling having to live on their own – and the studio audience will be socially distanced. Tickets will only be allocated to family groups from the same household, and face coverings will have to be worn throughout.
Executive producer Sarah James has also detailed that if the Strictly dancers or celebrity contestants test positive for Covid-19 while taking part, they will be ruled out of the competition.
"It's obviously been a really challenging time for myself and the team to come up with a plan of how we can bring the show this year, under all of the current restrictions," Sarah told Prima UK and other press during a Q&A for the show. "I'm really proud of the team and what we've managed to achieve already so far."
"Unfortunately, if you receive a positive test, that means you wouldn't be able to continue in the competition. According to guidelines, you would have to isolate for two weeks and that would rule you out."
Other changes include Bruno Tonioli taking part remotely at the start of this year's series as he also judges on the US version Dancing With the Stars, and he can't travel between countries due to the quarantine rules.
"He will actually be able to watch the show on a live link over in LA," Sarah explained. "And then, although he won't be scoring, we'll get an update from him on what he thinks of the couples, and he'll also be able to call out his fellow judges in the results show if he disagrees with them."
As Strictly will be starting later this year, kicking off in October rather than September, the series will be slightly shorter and Halloween week will be cancelled.
"We will have movie week and we will have musicals week, we won't have Halloween week this year, although we have done a Halloween group number," Sarah said.
"Halloween actually falls on the second week this year so we thought it might be a bit early for a themed week. Obviously we won't be able to go up to Blackpool this year, unfortunately, but we will be doing a very special celebration of Blackpool."
The celebrities taking part on the show this year include Jamie Laing, comedian Bill Bailey, EastEnders star Maisie Smith, Radio 1 DJ Clara Amfo, Loose Women's Ranvir Singh and TV presenter JJ Chalmers.
Judges Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel-Horwood, Oti Mabuse and Bruno – via videolink – will be returning to the panel.
Strictly Come Dancing will air on BBC One.
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