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 fever is well and truly here, with a new series of the BBC One show expected to begin in October.


Despite the producers having to go to great lengths in order to meet government guidelines  the BBC recently confirmed this year’s show will have a studio audience.

A “reduced audience” will be welcomed back to the studio for the competition and Strictly Come Dancing tickets have been allocated to groups of four to allow fans to come along as a family bubble or household group.

One change that has been confirmed for the new series is that Bruno Tonioli will be absent from the live show panel.  However, he will be playing some part in the series.

The Strictly judge recently explained the role he’d be playing this year, saying: “I will watch the show and then we’ll do a segment which will be shown on the results show – it’s like another view.”

All 12 celebrities have now been confirmed for the Strictly Come Dancing 202o line-up, and it’s looking like it’s going to be a very exciting year.

Some of the stars stepping onto the dance floor this year are: Good Morning Britain’s Ranvir Singh, singer and former children’s TV presenter HRVY,  returning star Jamie Laing, and boxer Nicola Adams – who’ll be part of the show’s first ever same sex pairing.

So, as we wait for the new series to start, here’s everything you need to know about the glitziest show on TV, Strictly Come Dancing!

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

The Strictly Come Dancing professionals 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 – hooray!

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 Strictly Come Dancing?

Well, not really. Earlier this year, it was revealed Bruno Tonioli wouldn’t be taking part in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing in the same way he usually does.

What that means is that he will be absent from the Saturday night live shows as he currently resides in America and the travel restrictions in place mean he couldn’t pop between countries as he has done before.

However, that doesn’t mean we’ll be completely Bruno-less this year. We’ve been told by the BBC he will be Zooming in for a chat on a Sunday evening for the results show.

And the best news of all? Strictly are currently planning on his return to wards the end of the show. All is not lost!

But will Bruno be replaced? Though no official announcement has been made, we’ve had rumours along the lines of Cheryl and Stacey Dooley.

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.

Recent rumours have suggested we could be looking at an air date of October 24th, but that’s yet to be confirmed.

How will the show be different this year?

Reports have suggested thus year’s show will be a little different to previous years, with lots of tweaks being made to ensure the show goes ahead safely.

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.”

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 – though as of August 2020, Blackpool will still be going ahead.

Strictly Come Dancing 2020 contestants – the potential line-up

The Strictly Come Dancing 2020 line-up is now complete, with all 12 dancers confirmed go take part.

Here’s a list of the stars for the 18th series:

Jamie Laing Strictly (BBC)
Jamie Laing will be returning to Strictly for season 18

All eyes were on Jamie Laing, after he pulled out of the competition early last year. During the 2019 launch show, he injured himself and had to withdraw from the show.

Although his space was filled by Kelvin Fletcher, many suspected he’d be given another shot on the show.

The Made In Chelsea star has now been confirmed for the 18th series, and he’s hoping to make this one a success!

Speaking of his Strictly signing, he said: “Here we go again, hopefully this time I can last long enough so my mum can see me dance.”

He added: “The reason I’m doing it, is to make my mum proud but all I did last year was make her even more disappointed. Let’s change that this year, can’t wait!!”

Former boxer Nicola Adams will be part of the show’s first ever same sex pairing.

The 36-year-old confirmed the news, after she was announced as the sixth celeb to join the show.

She said: “I also wanted to thank the BBC for supporting me and making me the first ever all female-pairing; and it’s amazing to be a part of the movement for change, diversity and breaking boundaries in the entertainment industry.”

Karen Hauer previously suggested she would like to be in a same-sex couple. She told The Sun on Sunday: “It’s a beautiful way to showcase emotion on stage and I’d definitely like to do it. I’ve danced with women a lot over the years, so I feel very comfortable about it.”

Strictly Come Dancing 2020 judges

There hasn’t yet been any official word on who will be part of the Strictly Come Dancing 2020 judges panel, 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 Strictly Come Dancing winners, 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
  • Neil Jones

Read more about Strictly Come Dancing


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