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Strictly Come Dancing WILL operate with a live studio audience – with tickets in ‘family bubbles’

Strictly Come Dancing WILL operate with a live studio audience – with tickets allocated in ‘family bubbles’ of four, cabaret-style seating and mandatory face coverings

  • The BBC One show confirmed it will return with an eighteenth consecutive series in September
  • Producers have since revealed that family bubbles of four will be allowed to watch the show while it is filmed 
  • Instead of the usual shoulder to shoulder studio seating, cabaret style tables and balcony seating will be provided  
  • Guests will be required to wear face masks at all times will sitting in social bubbles of four throughout the show
  • However the annual Blackpool special – a favourite among fans – will not go ahead for the first time in its history
  • Filming is reportedly scheduled to begin in September, with the professional dancers’ group routines to be pre-recorded

Strictly Come Dancing will operate with a socially-distanced live studio audience when the series kicks off next month. 

The BBC One show confirmed it will return with an eighteenth consecutive series in September, and has since outlined the safety measures put in place to ensure it continues to be aired in front of its traditional live studio audience.  

Producers have revealed that family bubbles of four will be allowed to watch the show while it is filmed at Hertfordshire’s Elstree Studios, while face masks and social distancing will be compulsory for all members of the public. 

You’re invited: Strictly Come Dancing will operate with a socially-distanced live studio audience when the series kicks off next month (pictured: former winners Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton)

Alleviating logistical concerns regarding the production of the show, a tweet posted on Monday read: ‘To make the most if limited space we’ll have in the studio this year because of our social distancing measures, for the first time ever tickets will be allocated to groups of four, allowing you to come along as a family bubble / household group.

‘We’ll be able to seat family groups of up to four people from the same household / social bubble at cabaret tables and in balcony seating. Cabaret tables and balcony seats will be allocated randomly, in advance of your arrival at the studio.’ 

While the show attempts to move on following the coronavirus pandemic, it’s understood that its annual Blackpool special – a favourite among fans – will not go ahead for the first time in its history.

Green light: Producers have revealed that family bubbles of four will be allowed to watch the show while it is filmed at Hertfordshire's Elstree Studios

Green light: Producers have revealed that family bubbles of four will be allowed to watch the show while it is filmed at Hertfordshire’s Elstree Studios

A BBC spokesperson told MailOnline that the series will not ‘physically’ travel to the famous Tower Ballroom this November, but promised to celebrate the ‘iconic’ venue from the studio. 

In a statement they said; ‘Blackpool is a milestone moment in every series of Strictly that our audience, our celebs and professional dancers look forward to. 

‘Whilst we’ll be unable to physically go to Blackpool this series, we’ll still be celebrating this iconic venue and bringing it to life from our studio in Elstree.’

Old times: Members of the public used to cram in alongside the contestants' friends and family members, but new measures mean the audience seating will be replaced by cabaret tables and balcony seating

Old times: Members of the public used to cram in alongside the contestants’ friends and family members, but new measures mean the audience seating will be replaced by cabaret tables and balcony seating 

Strictly usually travels to Blackpool for one weekend towards the middle of the series in November, with the remaining celebrity couples getting the chance to perform in the legendary Tower Ballroom.

Filming for the new series is reportedly scheduled to begin in September, with the professional dancers’ group routines to be pre-recorded after they completed two weeks in isolation.

However the set was recently evacuated and given a ‘deep clean’ after a crew member tested positive for COVID-19. 

Cancelled:  While the show attempts to move on following the coronavirus pandemic, it's understood that its annual Blackpool special will not go ahead for the first time in its history

Cancelled:  While the show attempts to move on following the coronavirus pandemic, it’s understood that its annual Blackpool special will not go ahead for the first time in its history

A source later told MailOnline: ‘The crew member is no longer on the production and has had a negative NHS test result.

‘Procedures were followed and stringent protocols have been put in place just in case, but recording isn’t due to happen until later this week so there is minimal impact.’

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith and YouTube star HRVY were confirmed as the final contestants for this year’s Strictly last week.

They joined Jason Bell, Ranvir Singh, Clara Amfo, Caroline Quentin, Jamie Laing, Bill Bailey, JJ Chalmers, Max George, Maisie Smith and Nicola Adams on the line-up.

Strictly Come Dancing Contestants 2020

CAROLINE QUENTIN

Age: 60

Profession: Actress, known for roles in Men Behaving Badly and Jonathan Creek

Caroline says: ‘I hope my knees don’t let me down and I hope the foundation garments live up to expectations when I start leaping about!’

Fun fact: She met her now-husband, Sam Farmer in 1998 on the set of Men Behaving Badly when he was one of the studio runners.

MAX GEORGE 

 Age: 31

Profession: Singer – from former boy band The Wanted

Max says: ‘Nan – I’m doing Strictly this year!’ as he vowed to make his superfan grandmother proud

Fun Fact: Max’s fellow The Wanted bandmate Jay McGuiness was on Strictlby Come Dancing in 2015 – and won it!  

CLARA AMFO

 Age: 36

Profession: Radio 1 presenter

Clara says: ‘As we know this year has been a real challenge and escapism through dancing is something I know we all enjoy’

Fun fact:  Clara has some experience of celeb gameshows, having taken part on Celebrity Masterchef in 2018

BILL BAILEY 

 Age: 55

Profession: Comedian and TV personality

Clara says: ‘I’m not Lord of the Dance, more a sort of caretaker of the dance’

Fun fact:  Bill is a classically trained musician and multi-instrumentalist

 

 MAISIE SMITH 

 Age: 19

Profession: EastEnders actress

Maisie says: ‘Get me in those sequins, I can’t wait to dive into the Strictly fancy dress box this winter!’

Fun fact:  Maisie won the 2019 Children In Need special of Strictly with Kevin Clifton 

 

 HRVY

 

 Age: 21

Profession: YouTube star 

HRVY says: ‘Being on Strictly is going to be such an amazing experience and I’m so thankful to be taking part this year.’

Fun fact:  HRVY follows in the footsteps of former internet star contestants Joe Sugg and Saffron Barker – the latter of whom is close friends with him 

 

JASON BELL

Age: 42

Profession: Retired American Football player – now a pundit

 Jason says: ‘I am thrilled. I’m a huge fan of the show, I’ve been watching it since I came to this country, so it’s time for me to do something cool to impress my daughter, now that she can watch me perform!’

Fun Fact: Jason is the father of Girls Aloud star Nadine Coyle’s daughter. The couple were together for 11 years, only splitting recently in 2019

 RANVIR SINGH 

 Age: 43

Profession: ITV broadcaster, Political Editor for GMB

Ranvir says:  ‘It feels like I’m on a rollercoaster… Hopefully after the first dance I will feel exhilarated rather than sick!’

Fun fact: Ranvir is the fourth GMB star to star following Susanna Reid, Richard Arnold and Charlotte Hawkins.

 

NICOLA ADAMS  

 Age: 37

Profession: Double Olympic gold medallist boxer

Nicola says: ‘I’m a huge fan of the show and am thrilled to be part of something that holds such a special place in so many people’s hearts’

Fun fact:  Nicola will form the show’s first ever same-sex pairing as she is parterned with a female professional. 

   

  JJ CHALMERS

Age: 55 Profession: Comedian and TV personality Clara says: 'I'm not Lord of the Dance, more a sort of caretaker of the dance' Fun fact: Bill is a classically trained musician and multi-instrumentalist

 Age: 55 Profession: Comedian and TV personality Clara says: ‘I’m not Lord of the Dance, more a sort of caretaker of the dance’ Fun fact: Bill is a classically trained musician and multi-instrumentalist

Age: 33

Profession: Ex Royal Marine and Invictus Games medallist

JJ says: ‘Strictly is a whole different ball game in respect to the challenges I will face but I’m up for an adventure’

Fun fact:  JJ is close friends with Prince Harry after they worked together on the Invictus Games

 

 JAMIE LAING 

 Age: 31

Profession: Made In Chelsea star

Jamie says: ‘I’m over the moon I actually get to come back and dance again. It’s going to be unbelievably amazing!’

Fun fact:  Jamie was forced to pull out of the 2019 series of Strictly after a foot injury 

 

RT HON JACQUI  SMITH

 Age: 57

Profession: Politician

Jacqui says: ‘I was speechless with excitement at being asked to join Strictly – and that’s very rare for me…!’

Fun fact:  Fifty years ago, she received a bronze medal for Scottish Highland Dancing 

 

  

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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