Strictly start date revealed as Blackpool set to go ahead during shorter series

The show must go on, albeit for less time than usual.

Kelvin Fletcher and Oti Mabuse

Fan favourite Strictly Come Dancing will return to BBC One this winter but for a shorter series than usual, according to recent reports.

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The popular dancing competition has been the topic of much speculation recently, with fans previously awaiting confirmation as to whether it will proceed amid the coronavirus pandemic – and what form it could take.

Strictly bosses are working hard to keep the show on the air, confirming it will go ahead for a shorter series than usual to ensure the safety of all involved.

Now, a new report from The Sun, states the series 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.

A source told the publication: “BBC bosses are doing everything in their power to give the public as much Strictly as they possibly can and safely.

“A heavily reduced schedule gives them a lot longer to pre-record certain segments to minimise risk. It does mean it will be starting much later in the year, and will finish very close to Christmas with the final currently scheduled for December 19.”

RadioTimes.com has reached out to the BBC for comment.

Logistically, this looks set to be the most challenging series of Strictly Come Dancing in the show’s 16-year history, as the professional dancers and the contestants may be required to isolate for the duration of the contest.

In addition, it is uncertain whether Strictly judge Bruno Tonioli will be able to return this year, due to commitments to the US edition Dancing with the Stars and possible complications with international travel in the wake of the pandemic.

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