Series 18 of Strictly Come Dancing is now finally underway, with this year’s line-up set to perform their second dances on Saturday night.
While we’re two shows in already, some viewers may have noticed that the current series looks a little different – that’s unsurprisingly down to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and Strictly’s efforts to stick to the government’s safety guidelines.
If you’re wondering which exact changes have been made the live shows this year – we’ve broken them down for you below.
As they watch the Strictly Come Dancing line-up on the floor, all audience members are required to wear a face mask, provided by the show, when in the studio, BBC’s Newsround reports, and those wanting to watch the contestants perform live must apply in “family groups of four people from the same household/social bubble” to be sat at cabaret tables and in balcony seating.
These measures are in place so that the show can follow the government’s COVID-19 guidelines.
You may have noticed that Strictly’s hosts – Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman – as well as the judges, Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse and Craig Revel Horwood, aren’t wearing masks. This is because they are appropriately socially-distanced from one another.
In terms of Tess and Claudia, when appearing together on the Strictly stage, they are stood at least two-metres apart.
Similarly with the judges, instead of sitting behind one shared panel, they have been given their own individual podiums to hit behind, which are separated by two metres in order to comply with the government’s COVID-19 guidelines.
Contestants and professional dancers are not required to wear masks, or socially distance from each other, as each celebrity and the professional they’re paired with are within one another’s isolation bubble to allow close contact routines.
The contestants and professionals therefore stay two-metres apart from other members of the cast and crew to ensure that COVID-19 measures are followed.
Additionally, all professional group numbers are all pre-recorded, having been filmed before the show started. The Strictly Come Dancing professionals isolated in one big bubble for two weeks in the summer in order to rehearse and film the group numbers.
“Earlier in the year our dedicated professional dancers isolated at home before moving into a hotel together and becoming a household,” Tess explained during the launch show.
“Because of this, they were able to perform their group dances together,” Claudia added.