Strictly Come Dancing 2020 guide | From when it’s back to latest news

Here's everything you need to know as the show returns for another series

strictly-come-dancing

We’re feeling the Strictly fever and after a super 2019 series, we can’t wait to get reacquainted with the ballroom floor.

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The fate of Strictly Come Dancing 2020, like many other shows, has been under threat on account of the coronavirus pandemic.

But with great efforts, we can reveal that the show will be going ahead this year – although with a few minor changes.

So what can we expect from the 18th series of the BBC show? And will it be the same as usual, given the current circumstances?

Here’s everything we know so far…

When does Strictly Come Dancing start?

Emma Barton and Anton du Beke Strictly Come Dancing 2019
Anton and his dance partner Emma Barton on Strictly 2019

Good news all you Strictly fans! The BBC have revealed that Strictly Come Dancing 2020 is set to return later this year, although with a few minor changes.

But when does it start?

It’s been reported that the show will miss its usual start date in September for a later premiere on Saturday 24th October and continue until 19th December, the weekend before Christmas.

If true, this means that Strictly 2020 will clock in at just nine weeks in length, a significant reduction from the usual 13, with the special Halloween and Blackpool episodes both airing within the first month.

RadioTimes.com understands the new social distancing guidelines – which will take place from July 4, allowing one metre distancing and people from two households to meet –  has meant it’s possible for Strictly to go ahead as normal.

The professional dancers have been confirmed to be starting rehearsals in July for their group performances – to make this happen, they will isolate in one big bubble for two weeks.

After that, there will be further isolation with the professionals and the celebrities in order to create more isolation bubbles.

As a result of this, acts will be able to have close contact routines, meaning no dances will be off limits – horray!

The BBC’s Charlotte Moore previously revealed that there was “a lot of work” being done behind the scenes to make the show possible.

She told The Times: “We’re looking at how that would work. Could you quarantine people? Can we test everyone before filming? There’s a lot of work being done. It’s a big task.”

And with the new changes, it sounds like it’s finally coming to life. We can’t wait!

Strictly Come Dancing judges
Strictly Come Dancing judges

Is Bruno leaving?

Rumours have been swirling that Bruno Tonioli will be giving up his seat on the panel this year.

The judge is currently in the US – where he lives and was working on Dancing with The Stars – and it’s unclear whether he’ll be able to travel back due to the restrictions.

As a result, a series of celebrities have been tipped to replace him, including Stacey Dooley and Cheryl.

However, according to his fellow judge ,Shirley Ballas, Bruno will be on the upcoming series, so long as travel guidelines permit it.

“They are again rumours, so it will be according to the flights,” she recently said on TalkRadio.

“If he can get backwards and forwards safely but knowing Bruno and he’s such an amazing man, he will do everything in his power not to let the British public down.”

When is Strictly Come Dancing 2020’s air date?

The official air date hasn’t yet been confirmed.

Normally we’d suggest a start date of around September, as we tend to  get the line-up delivered over the course of an exciting two weeks in August. A launch show then airs early September, before the series starts properly later that month.

The show usually runs for 13 weeks, during which the dancers perform to different themes including Movies, Musicals and Blackpool, before ending with the Grand Final in December.

However, with the new changes and contestants having to isolate, it’s likely Strictly will start later this year and have a shorter run time to wrap up just in time for Christmas.

Where will Strictly Come Dancing 2020 be filmed?

Since 2013, Strictly come Dancing has been filmed in Elstree Studios, following the closure of BBC Television Centre.

There’s one week every year we all look forward to – Blackpool – where the cast and crew pack their bags and head north to the seaside town for a glitter-filled special.

It’s currently unknown whether this will change on account of the pandemic, but we have already heard rumours that Blackpool Week could be axed to aid with social distancing guidelines.

Strictly Come Dancing 2020 contestants – the potential line-up

The Strictly Come Dancing 2020 line-up is a closely-guarded secret right now and we can expect to hear who will be taking part around August.

However, some rumours have started to emerge as we get closer to the all-important launch.

Here’s a list of some of the names we could be seeing on the Strictly Come Dancing 2020 line-up:

  • Former BBC Radio 1 DJ, Maja Jama
  • Our Girl and former Coronation Street actress, Michelle Keegan
  • Zara Tindall, Olympian and member of the Royal Family
  • Reality star and author, Katie Price
  • Made In Chelsea cast member, Miles Nazaire
  • Loose Woman Stacey Solomon
  • Musician Toyah Wilcox
  • Coronation Street’s Jack P Shepherd
  • Lorraine Kelly, ITV presenter
  • Dancing On Ice 2020 star Radzi Chinyanganya
  • Jane McDonald, personality and singer
  • Former Doctor Who star, Alex Kingston
  • Comedy actress, Sarah Hadland
Jamie Laing Strictly (BBC)
Will Jamie Laing join Strictly 2020?

All eyes are on whether Jamie Laing will be returning to Strictly for season 18. He injured himself in the 2019 launch show and had to withdraw from the show. Although his space was filled by Kelvin Fletcher, many think he should be allowed another go, hopefully one where he gets a little bit further this time!

Check back with RadioTimes.com to see more rumours and the confirmed line-up.

Strictly Come Dancing 2020 judges

There hasn’t yet been any official word on who will be on the panel for 2020, but it would be safe to assume the 2019 panel will be back.

With that being said, we can expect to see Shirley Ballas resume her role as Head Judge. She will probably be joined by Craig Revel-Horwood and Bruno Tonioli, who have judged since the very beginning.

Last year, Motsi Mabuse joined the judging line-up and after making her mark, it looks like she will be going nowhere.

A couple of times a season, Bruno has been replaced by Alfonso Ribeiro while he fulfils other duties in the States.

Long-running host Tess Daly and co-host Claudia Winkleman are likely to return to host the show for series 18, while Zoe Ball and Rylan Clark-Neal are also likely to be back on spin-off show Strictly: It Takes Two.

Who won Strictly Come Dancing last year?

There has been a whopping 17 winners of Strictly come Dancing, and every year we get more and more surprised by the talented celebrities.

Last year was no different, as Kelvin Fletcher stormed to victory with professional partner, Motsi Mabuse. The former Emmerdale star had to replace Jamie Laing last minute and impressed the judges and viewers alike.

Strictly, Kelvin and Oti (BBC)
Strictly Come Dancing 2019 winners, Kelvin and Oti

Who are the professionals returning for Strictly 2020?

We now know who the Strictly Come Dancing 2020 professionals will be this year. Surprisingly, there’s been a couple of big names missing following Kevin Clifton’s exit and AJ Pritchard’s last-minute departure. It’s currently unknown whether they will be replaced.

However, Oti Mabuse’s husband, Romanian dancer Marius Lepure, has reportedly joined the cast as one of the professional backing dancers, who will take part in the group performances only.

This year, the professionals are as follows:

  • Aljaž Škorjanec
  • Anton Du Beke
  • Giovanni Pernice
  • Graziano Di Prima
  • Gorka Marquez
  • Johannes Radebe
  • Amy Dowden
  • Dianne Buswell
  • Janette Manrara
  • Karen Hauer
  • Katya Jones
  • Luba Mushtuk
  • Nadiya Bychkova
  • Nancy Xu
  • Oti Mabuse

Read more about Strictly Come Dancing

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Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One in Autumn. To find out what else is on in the meantime, check out our TV Guide.