Strictly Come Dancing ‘will have smaller line-up’ when it returns for shorter series

We're returning to the ballroom, but it's going to be a bit different...

Strictly Come Dancing

Last night, Strictly Come Dancing announced the news we were all waiting for – the BBC were confident they could get it back on air.

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As a result of the coronavirus pandemic , this would mean a slightly shorter series.

RadioTimes.com understands the delay in getting it on air will be because of how long it takes to form isolation “bubbles”.

And on account of the extra time needed in the run up to the launch, that could have an impact on the line-up.

While the final line-up is still in the making, the shorter series would inevitably mean a smaller batch of celebrities.

As to how many celebrities we will lose, that’s still up in the air.

At the moment, it looks likely we’ll lose a couple of names, which would mean we go from around 15 in the line-up to 13.

What seems to be convenient now, is that we’re also two pros short following the departure of Kevin Clifton and AJ Pritchard.

Their replacements were never announced and with the need to keep numbers as tight as possible, it seems unlikely we’ll see two new faces this year.

What that could mean though, is that we turn out to have an imbalance of male and female professionals.

Strictly Come Dancing couples
We could have fewer Strictly Come Dancing couples (BBC)

In the confirmed professional line-up, we have nine women and seven men – of course, we know not all of them will be paired up – Strictly normally holds three or four reserves and those dancers normally take part in the group numbers.

At the moment, Graziano Di Prima, Gorka Marquez and Nancy Xu are those back-ups – it seems likely at least one of the men will get a partner to help counter the imbalance. Perhaps another female professional will not be partnered up which would leave us with a potential of seven females and six males – a total of 13 pairings – with three reserves.

A representative of Strictly Come Dancing told us last night: “The Strictly Come Dancing team are doing everything they can to bring the nation plenty of Strictly magic later this year.

“To ensure we deliver the high standards audiences know and love, and in light of the ongoing considerations around COVID-19, this year’s series of Strictly will have a slightly shorter run than usual.

“The safety of our cast and crew is of the utmost importance to us and further updates will be made in due course.”

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Strictly Come Dancing will return later this year. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide