Strictly dancers ‘face extreme lockdown measures ahead of October premiere’

Pro dancers will reportedly have to quarantine for six weeks.

Oti Mabuse (Getty)

The Strictly Come Dancing pro dancers and crew knew they were facing strict lockdown measures ahead of this year’s series, but it’s been reported they have to quarantine for six weeks.

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The Sun says the Strictly dancers will be cut off from their families and partners until early September as they stay in a hotel with crew who also need to quarantine. After isolating at home for two weeks, they will then have to form isolation bubbles with their celebrity partners.

BBC One bosses have gone to extreme lengths to ensure the long-running hit dance competition could go ahead in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to play havoc with TV productions.

A Strictly insider told The Sun: “The crew and dancers are still reeling at being told how extreme the measures have to be. They’ve left one lockdown for another. They’ve got girlfriends, boyfriends, wives, husbands, children and pets — it’s not going to be easy being separated for that length of time.”

The dancers and crew will stay in a London hotel from August to rehearse group dances and they’ll be transported each day to the studios in Elstree. In September they’ll then have to self-isolate at home before they meet their celebrity partners and form bubbles.

The Strictly dancers this year include Aljaž Škorjanec, Anton Du Beke, Giovanni Pernice, Gorka Marquez, Amy Dowden, Dianne Buswell, Janette Manrara, Karen Hauer, Katya Jones and Oti Mabuse (pictured, above), who won the 2019 Glitterball Trophy with Kelvin Fletcher.

As RadioTimes.com reported recently, Strictly has been cut from its usual 13 episodes and will run for a shorter series, with suggestions that a nine-episode run could kick off a month later than usual, on 24th October. Strictly bosses haven’t said whether the shows will be recorded in front of live audiences.

As usual, the celebrities won’t be announced until just before the series proper begins, but our entertainment team has been speculating about the most likely contestants for Strictly this year.

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We’ll bring you latest Strictly news as it happens. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV guide.