The new series of Strictly Come Dancing has already been thrown into chaos after professional dancer Nadiya Bychkova tested positive for coronavirus.
The celebrity line-up, so far including the likes of McFly’s Tom Fletcher, GBBO’s John Whaite, AJ Odudu, Dan Walker, Katie McGlynn, Rhys Stephenson, Sara Davies and Robert Webb, have been released by the BBC over the past week.
But now bosses are panicking after Ukrainian-Slovenian dancer Nadiya, 31, contracted the virus during the first week of filming, meaning many of the cast and crew have to isolate for 10 days, according to The Sun.
Pandemic: The new series of Strictly Come Dancing has already been thrown into chaos after professional dancer Nadiya Bychkova tested positive for coronavirus
A source told the publication: ‘This isn’t exactly the dream start, obviously BBC bosses are panicking.
‘They are taking every caution to be Covid secure, and keep everyone safe, but can’t control everything, Nadiya tested positive during one of the first meet-ups, during the studio rig.
‘Thankfully none of the celebs have started training yet, but it still means anyone who came into contact with her has been told they must isolate.’
Covid: But now bosses are panicking after Ukrainian-Slovenian dancer Nadiya, 31, contracted the virus during the first week of filming (pictured last week)
Keep dancing: The celebrity line-up, so far including Corrie’s Katie McGlynn (left) and Dan Walker (right), has been announced over the past week
The Strictly insider added the Covid scare has heightened fear among bosses that other dancers and celebrities could test positive when the rehearsals start later this month.
The source said the BBC could put ‘yet more measures and precautions in place’ for the cast’s safety and to ensure the show goes ahead without a hitch.
A representative for Strictly Come Dancing declined to comment when contacted by MailOnline.
Nadiya joined the show in 2017 and partnered with EastEnders actor Davood Ghadami, and Blue’s Lee Ryan the following year before being paired with footballer David James.
She was a backing dancer last year. Strictly was famously disrupted in 2020 thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Boxer Nicola Adams and her dance partner Katya Jones were forced to withdraw from the competition after Katya tested positive for coronavirus, while YouTuber HRVY narrowly avoided being axed from the show, after he received a positive test result days before the series started.
Tough: Last series Boxer Nicola Adams and her dance partner Katya Jones were forced to withdraw from the competition after Katya tested positive for coronavirus
Near miss: YouTuber HRVY (pictured with Janette Manrara) narrowly avoided being axed from the show, after he received a positive test result days before the series started
But it seems things are back to normal in 2021 – apart from one or two factors still deemed too tricky to navigate amid the global health crisis.
Show boss Sarah James has told The Mirror: ‘We’re so thrilled that Strictly will be returning for a full-length series this year, and know how much viewers are looking forward to getting their full Strictly fix and seeing the return of much-loved specials.
‘We are all so sad that we won’t be able to get to Blackpool this year but can’t wait to be back dancing at the one and only Blackpool Tower Ballroom in the future.’
The Blackpool episode ordinarily takes place near the end of the series, but was axed last year with restrictions throwing up logistical difficulties on the production.
Still a no-go: Meanwhile, Blackpool has been axed AGAIN due to the ongoing pandemic
But 2021 will include the show’s themed weeks – such as movie week, musicals week and Halloween week.
Last year, these were scrapped, proving too complicated to manage amid the pandemic.
The show’s Christmas special will also be back, with the show set to start in its usual early-autumn time slot, rather than in October, like last year.
It’s said rather than a fewer number of celebs, the full 15 will be taking part again, having cut this to 12 last series.
There are also plans to reinstate the live audience too – another aspect disallowed last season.
‘The full fix!’ But Strictly will bring back ALL themed weeks, a live audience and the usual 15 celeb contestants [pictured Oti Mabuse and Kelvin Fletcher during Halloween Week 2019]
Isolation will remain in place for the professional dancers. This will see them sent to a hotel near the Strictly studios in Hertfordshire several weeks ahead of the show’s return.
The celebs – who will start to be gradually revealed at the end of the summer – will also not have the usual three-week gap between being paired up with their pros and dancing for the first time on live TV.
This has been reduced to one week thanks to logistical factors.
STRICTLY COME DANCING 2021: WHO ARE THE CONTESTANTS?
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!
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.
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 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.
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: AJ has appeared as a panelist on Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two in the past, too.
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: John is set tp be part of the first ever all-male partnering – the first in 17 years of the show
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 the panel of entrepreneurs on BBC show Dragons’ Den, when she joined in 2019.
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.