James Jordan has slammed the three ‘selfish’ Strictly dancers who have reportedly refused to take the Covid vaccine and said they don’t deserve their right on the show.
The former star, who appeared on the BBC series from 2006 to 2013, hit out at the trio, who are unnamed, during a debate on Good Morning Britain on Tuesday, alongside ex Strictly dancer Kristina Rihanoff.
Sources have claimed one professional dancer has already been paired with a celebrity and it is well-known among the cast that they have refused the jab, sparking resentment behind the scenes.
Furious: James Jordan has slammed the three Strictly dancers who have reportedly refused to take the Covid vaccine and said they don’t deserve their right on the show
The pro does not have to disclose whether they’ve been vaccinated to BBC bosses, because it is a private medical manner.
Giving his take on the situation, James, 43, said: ‘I would normally protect the professional dancers until the cows come home but on this particular occasion I can’t unfortunately.
‘I definitely believe they don’t deserve their right on the show and the celebrities have every right to refuse to dance with them.
Tension: Sources have claimed one professional dancer has already been paired with a celebrity and it is well-known among the cast that they have refused the jab
‘I just think it’s a really, really selfish thing to do. And also, what you have to remember, in previous years on Strictly, your immune system gets low, lots of people get sick anyway. This is way before coronavirus.
‘So if you are sweating and all over someone, it is very close contact on Strictly as we all know, so you are much more at risk of spreading something like that.’
‘If it does spread and the whole show comes down or god forbid someone dies because let’s not forget 150,000 people have already died from this horrible virus.
‘If someone on this show get this virus and their immune system is really low and they die, it could have been prevented.
Annoyed: The former star, who appeared on the BBC series from 2006 to 2013, hit out at the trio, who are unnamed, during a debate on Good Morning Britain on Tuesday
Outranged: ‘If someone on this show get this virus and their immune system is really low and they die, it could have been prevented,’ James said
‘I say let’s not have these professional dancers on the show.’
Meanwhile Kristina, 43, who starred on the show from 2008 to 2015 and is double vaxxed, said: ‘I know some instructors of mine can’t have it for certain reasons because of health issues.
‘It goes back to the BBC – have they done those checks before they even hired those professionals on the show.
‘You don’t hire someone, drag them from another country to the UK, give them the contract but then ask if they are double vaccinated and if you are not you are not allowed on the show.
‘The BBC should have done their job prior to the actual shoot when hiring those dancers.’
Strict: This year’s Strictly has once again seen stars and their professional dancers required to adhere to strict Covid safety measures
This year’s Strictly has once again seen stars and their professional dancers required to adhere to strict Covid safety measures, including being tested multiple times a week, and former bubbles to perform and train safely.
And so the reports three professional dancers aren’t vaccinated is said to have caused tension among the team.
A source told The Sun: ‘Producers are dreading an outbreak of Covid on the new series, which is a crucial part of the autumn schedule.
‘They are taking every possible precaution to make the set as safe as possible, particularly as the studio audience is returning.’
A Strictly spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘We do not comment on speculation of somebody’s COVID vaccination status.
Worries: On Saturday it was reported that two of the show’s professional dancers had refused to get Covid jabs (Giovanni is pictured getting a Covid test)
‘Strictly Come Dancing production has, and will, continue to follow strict government guidelines to ensure the safety of all on the show.’
Saturday’s launch show, which was recorded earlier this month, saw this year’s celebrity contestants discover their professional partners, with the 15 couples set to perform in the first live show this weekend.
On Saturday it was reported that two of the show’s professional dancers had refused to get Covid jabs, ahead of the launch show being broadcast.
The identity of the dancers was not revealed and BBC bosses were said to be fearful that there could be a larger outbreak among those participating in the show.
A source told The Sun that if a ‘proper outbreak’ led to ‘half the cast’ contracting Covid-19, it would be ‘curtains’ for the show.
They added: ‘Strictly already has to jump through hoops just to be able to broadcast. The dancers who won’t get vaccinated have been a topic of conversation among cast and crew for weeks — even before the positive test.
‘There were vocal protests from celebrities that they didn’t want to be paired with them. It’s a headache for bosses but employers cannot force workers to get jabbed.’
It came just three days after it emerged that one professional dancer has tested positive for Covid-19. The unidentified dancer was forced to isolate for ten days, but their celebrity partner tested negative.
Show bosses are reportedly still enforcing Covid-19 bubbles for its professional dancers, despite lockdown restrictions easing.
Concerns: Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman are pictured ahead of the series’ first live show, set to take place this Saturday
Wanting to minimise all potential risks, Strictly bosses have requested the show’s dancers all stay at a London hotel in ‘bubbles’, according to The Sun.
Such bubbles were put into practice for last year’s Strictly series amid lockdown, while the show’s professionals have been busy pre-recording group dances ahead of this year’s launch.
As well as forming bubbles ahead of the series, the professional dancers filmed most of their group routines in advance and only a limited number of guests will be allowed in the studio audience.
Fans, along with friends and family of the celebrity contestants, will be allowed back into Elstree studios to watch the live shows, but only in small numbers.
Last year, Strictly bosses brought bubbles and close contact cohorts into play in order to ensure the safety of the contestants, dancers and crew during filming.
Each dancing couple formed an exclusive support bubble – meaning one half of the bubble was a single adult household living alone and the other could remain with their household, allowing them to have close contact with one another.
STRICTLY COME DANCING 2021: WHO ARE THE COUPLES?
TOM FLETCHER & AMY DOWDEN
Celebrity’s Age: 36
Profession: McFly musician
Tom says: ‘I’m so pleased the news is out it’s been so hard keeping it secret. Equal parts excited and terrified.’
Fun fact: Tom’s McFly bandmate Harry Judd won Strictly Come Dancing in 2011. Tom’s wife Giovanna Fletcher is the reigning champion of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
ROBERT WEBB & DIANNE BUSWELL
Celebrity’s Age: 48
Profession: Actor and comedian
Robert says: ‘It’s very exciting but with a slight undertone of quivering terror.’
Fun Fact: Robert squeezed into a shiny leotard to take the title of Let’s Dance For Comic Relief in 2009, performing What A Feeling from ’80s film Flashdance, beating the likes of Keith Lemon and Paddy McGuinness to the title.
RHYS STEPHENSON & NANCY XU
Celebrity’s Age: 27
Profession: CBBC presenter
Rhys says: ‘I have dreamt about being on this show, and I know for a fact that it is going to exceed every expectation’
Fun fact: Rhys has been an actor since the age of ten, performing alongside Matt Smith and Hugh Bonneville.
KATIE MCGLYNN & GORKA MARQUEZ
Celebrity’s Age: 28
Katie says: ‘I’m really not a dancer, but I’m so excited to learn a new skill on this crazy journey and cannot wait to slip into some sequins along the way.’
Fun fact: Katie, who played Sinead Tinker in Corrie, won a NTA for Best Serial Drama Performance in 2020.
TILLY RAMSAY & NIKITA KUZMIN
Celebrity’s Age: 19
Profession: CBBC presenter
Tilly says: ’I’m going to put my heart and soul into this and can’t wait to get my dancing shoes on!’
Fun fact: Tilly’s father is celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay and the pair often star in dancing TikTok videos.
NINA WADIA & NEIL JONES
Celebrity’s Age: 52
Nina says: ‘I think I should do this before I’m too old and can’t walk anymore. I just want to grab life by the horns and just enjoy it.’
Fun fact: Nina is a JDRF Ambassador and was awarded an OBE in the 2021 New Year’s Honours List.
ADAM PEATY & KATYA JONES
Celebrity’s Age: 26
Adam says: ‘I’m really looking forward to doing something totally different and challenging myself away from the pool.’
Fun fact: Adam becoming the first British swimmer to defend an Olympic title at Tokyo 2020.
UGO MONYE & OTI MABUSE
Celebrity’s Age: 38
Profession: Rugby player and sports pundit
Ugo says: ‘What a dream come true! Strictly is the biggest entertainment show on TV and I can’t wait to show everyone I’ve got more than just dad dancing moves.
Fun fact: Beginning his rugby career at Harlequins in 2002, Ugo went on to make 241 appearances for the club where he scored 89 tries, won a Premiership and made his England debut in 2008.
AJ ODUDU & KAI WIDDRINGTON
Celebrity’s Age: 33
Profession: TV presenter
AJ says: ‘I think it’s going to be really challenging. I can’t wait for the sequins, the wigs, the glitz and the glamour.’
Fun Fact: Apocalypse Wow hosts AJ has featured on a whopping 14 TV shows this year, competing in the likes oF Cooking With The Stars and Celebrity Karaoke Club. She has appeared as a panelist on Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two in the past, too.
JOHN WHAITE & JOHANNES RADEBE
Celebrity’s Age: 33
Profession: Great British Bake Off Winner and TV chef
John says: ‘I’m so grateful, excited, and nervous to be joining the Strictly 2021 family… I’ve been wearing sequins and jazzy attire since I was three years old and can’t wait to hurl myself, full throttle, around the most glamorous dance floor on earth’
Fun Fact: The duo are the first ever all-male partnering – the first in 17 years of the show.
SARA DAVIES & ALJAZ SKORJANEC
Celebrity’s Age: 37
Sara says: ‘I’m really nervous because so far the producers keep asking me if I can dance… Truth be told – I haven’t got a clue! I’ve not danced since I did ballet lessons when I was little.’
Fun fact: Sara was the youngest ever dragon on BBC show Dragons’ Den.
DAN WALKER & NADIYA BYCHKOVA
Celebrity’s Age: 44
Dan says: ‘I’m enjoying the experience when it starts of learning to dance. I’ll be honest I’m not making room on any shelves in my house for the glitterball.’
Fun fact: Dan recently quit Football Focus after 12 years at the helm and has been covering Tokyo Olympics.
GREG WISE & KAREN HAUER
Celebrity’s Age: 55
Greg says: ‘It’s about being out there and exposing yourself as someone who can’t dance, and learning.’
Fun fact: Greg is married to the actress Emma Thompson who he met while filming Sense and Sensibility.
ROSE AYLING-ELLIS & GIOVANNI PERNICE
Celebrity’s Age: 30
Rose says: ‘I hope I will do the deaf community proud and break down more barriers. I am also very excited to learn an incredible new skill.’
Fun fact: Rose will make history as Strictly’s first deaf contestant.
JUDI LOVE & GRAZIANO DI PRIMA
Celebrity’s Age: 41
Judi says: ‘I’m truly looking forward to pushing myself in something that I could have only dreamed of doing and now it’s actually coming true!’
Fun fact: Judi began comedy when she performed a set in front of her class for a degree module.