Strictly 2020 ‘scraps live music performances’ as BBC makes coronavirus changes

One-off performances from stars and the live band are reportedly up in the air.

Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special 2017 - Craig Revel Horwood, Darcey Bussell, Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli

Coronavirus is forcing studios to get creative about how they film while respecting new safety measures. Strictly Come Dancing will come back with a reduced run and is reportedly enforcing “extreme” lockdown measures for its pros.


And now, it’s possible that live music might be off the table too.

The show’s resident live band provides the tunes for the contestants to show off their dancing chops. Fronted by Dave Arch, it’s been a staple of the show since its inception. Strictly also features regular performances from stars, with last year’s edition welcoming the likes of Lewis Capaldi and Taylor Swift.

However, due to social distancing measures, Strictly could scrap these altogether and find another way to provide music for the dancers to ensure safety all round. A source reportedly told The Sun: “Dave Arch and his band will be returning to the show but their roles will be modified to ensure they can perform safely.

“Rehearsals will start next month for them but it’s still not known what shape their input will take. Everyone is hoping they will be able to play live in the studio. But as with everything, it’s totally up in the air.”

A representative from Strictly Come Dancing declined to comment when approached by

As well as the technical challenges the post-lockdown version of Strictly will undoubtedly face, there’s also the fact that judge Bruno Tonioli may be replaced this year due to his role on the Dancing with the Stars judging panel.

The judge usually flies between the UK and LA to appear on both shows but, due to travel restrictions, this might not be possible for Strictly 2020.


Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One later this year. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide