Plans for Strictly Come Dancing‘s 2020 edition include no live studio audience and a skeleton backstage crew, it has been reported.
BBC bosses have been determined for the ratings hit to return in one form or another this year in spite of the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic – and although it looks like the show will go ahead, it seems there will be some pretty major changes.
According to The Sun, this includes a practically empty ballroom, with a source claiming that it would be “impossible to safely socially distance audience members” in the studio.
The source said, “The current plan is no audience, which will inevitably affect the show. They are the energy in the room, and dancing in an empty room is like dancing in a training room. It’s a different intensity and pressure.
“But Elstree is a very cosy set-up, where it will be impossible to safely socially distance audience members. So for now, with the current rules, it’s a ‘no’ to anyone watching.
“Everything in terms of people is being scaled back dramatically. There will be less security because there’s no audience to control. Anyone deemed non-essential is a goner.”
The source claimed only about 25 per cent of the usual crew would be working on the show, which could make the whole process take much longer than usual.
Meanwhile the judging panel – which is still unconfirmed amidst reports that Bruno Tonioli will not take part this year – will not be permitted their usual “entourages” of agents, friends or family members and hair and make-up artists.
Other rumoured changes to the usual format include an absence of big name music acts during the results show, all professional group dances being pre-recorded a month before the show and of course a later start date – although most measures are still subject to change based on how the situation develops.
The Strictly 2020 line-up hasn’t been confirmed yet but it is currently believed that the series will begin in September.
RadioTimes.com has contacted the BBC for comment on The Sun’s report.