Strictly bosses insist Nicola Adams WON'T return next series

Strictly bosses insist Nicola Adams WON’T return next series as she’ll have an ‘unfair advantage’ after being forced to pull out following Katya Jones’ positive COVID-19 test

  • A statement from show bosses was read out by Andrea McLean on Friday’s Loose Women, stating Nicola cannot return to the show ‘in the future’
  • The statement added that Nicola would have an ‘unfair advantage’ after spending several weeks training with Katya
  • On Thursday Strictly confirmed that Nicola and Katya had pulled out of the show after pro dancer tested positive for COVID  
  • Boxer Nicola will now need to self-isolate for two weeks in keeping with government guidelines
  • The Olympian said in a statement that she is ‘absolutely devastated’ to have to leave the competition and thanked Katya for ‘being the best dance partner’
  • The pair made history competing on the show as the first ever same-sex couple 
  • This year’s Strictly has seen the introduction of strict new measures to maintain the safety of its stars during the crisis, including regular testing, mandatory visors and the introduction of ‘couple bubbles’ for training 
  • Despite the ‘bubble’ system for training and performing, the couples are not limited from mixing with others in public spaces such as shops 
  • Sources have speculated if Katya caught it when she went to grab a coffee and sandwich   

Strictly Come Dancing bosses have confirmed that Nicola Adams cannot return to compete next series after being forced to pull out of this year’s show.

In a statement read out by Andrea McLean on Friday’s Loose Women, bosses explained that Nicola would be too far advanced in the competition to return in the future as she would have an ‘unfair advantage.’

It comes after Nicola was forced to pull out of Strictly after her professional partner Katya Jones tested positive for COVID-19.

Not going to happen: Strictly Come Dancing bosses have confirmed that Nicola Adams cannot return to compete next series after being forced to pull out of this year’s show

The statement read: ‘We announced before the series stated if anyone tested positive from COVID they’d be out of the competition. 

‘If someone has to miss a week it’s called a bye and everyone gets one bye. But contestants are not allowed to miss more than one week. 

‘They’re not allowed to re-enter the competition after they’ve taken part in the first episode. 

‘Jamie [Laing] was allowed back because he was injured before he began training and appeared on the show. 

‘Nicola can’t come back because she will have an unfair advantage in the future as she’s now had weeks of training.;

She’s done! Bosses explained that Nicola would be too far advanced in the competition to return in the future as she would have an ‘unfair advantage’

Andrea added that this also means Nicola will be unable to compete in the show’s Christmas Special, though it had been previously reported that the festive special had been replaced with a compilation show due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

On Thursday Strictly bosses confirmed that Nicola and Katya had pulled out of the show after the pro tested positive for COVID-19.

As Nicola will now have to isolate for two weeks, she could not be given a new partner and continue in the competition.

Katya, 31, was stunned to learn she’s tested positive as she didn’t display any symptoms, and is now convinced she must have caught the virus in a sandwich shop after telling bosses she hasn’t been mixing with others as she lives alone.

It’s over! On Thursday Strictly bosses confirmed that Nicola and Katya had pulled out of the show after the pro tested positive for COVID-19

Katya and Nicola trained together on Monday and Tuesday – and Katya tested positive that day, according to sources. 

A source close to Nicola told MailOnline: ‘She’s hoping her Strictly dream is not over. 

‘There’s lots of hurdles to overcome but if it’s possible she can compete with Katya in the 2021 series, Nicola will want to make it happen.’

While the Strictly cast have been in social bubbles, they are allowed to continue their daily business as normal, with insiders now claiming ‘furious’ BBC bosses have vowed to tighten the rules for the remaining celebs.

A Strictly representative confirmed to MailOnline that bosses are not launching an investigation into how Katya contracted the virus as there is no way to indicate where she may have caught it. 

‘My hero’: Shortly after Strictly confirmed news of the couple’s exit, Katya posted on Instagram that her ‘heart is broken’, before paying tribute to her partner

They added that as the dancer lives alone and has only been leaving her house to train, she hasn’t been socialising with others.  

This also means that the Strictly final next month will feature just four couples instead of the planned five.

An insider has claimed to The Sun though that top bosses at the BBC have insisted the pro dancer ‘must have broken the strict guidelines’ and are furious that others are now at risk. 

The insider went on to say that at least four members of the show’s crew were now in isolation after coming into contact with Katya. 

A source said: ‘The BBC’s top brass are mutinous.  It’s been drummed into everyone that they need to follow protocol at all times – and some are saying that Katya has clearly broken the rules.

Making a comeback: The Olympian hopes to return next year alongside Katya, 31, and compete for the Glitterball as the show’s first same sex couple

‘Katya has been living alone at her flat and people have speculated whether she caught it when she went to grab a coffee and sandwich from shops during a break in training.

‘The BBC have since spoken to all the celebs and dancers and they’ve been told to bring in packed lunches from now on.’

‘Apparently they’re all really paranoid because Katya had no symptoms and it’s a miracle Nicola didn’t get it as they were dancing so closely.

‘The Celebs have also all asked their families to isolate as much as possible, and get supermarket deliveries.’

Devastated: Katya took to her Stories to share a video on a forest walk with Nicola

Shortly after Strictly confirmed news of the couple’s exit, Katya posted on Instagram that her ‘heart is broken’, before paying tribute to her partner.

Writing alongside a selfie of the pair, the dancer wrote: ‘My heart is broken I’m utterly gutted this Special journey had to end this way and you don’t get to give more .

You are a woman who didn’t need a hero, you became one. Definitely my hero.

To everyone, thank you for your tremendous support and we will keep dancing for you guys one way or another. 

Meanwhile, please stay safe everybody. And to all my friends who’re still in the show- go for it!’


Upset: She filmed the boxer walking and added a red love heart emoji

Nicola hopes to return next year alongside Katya after they made history by competing together for the Glitterball as the show’s first same sex pairing. 

If Nicola appears in next year’s series, she will be the second ever star to return, after Jamie Lang, who was allowed to a second chance to star in this year’s Strictly after injury ruled him out of the 2019 series. 

However, the Made In Chelsea favourite did not feature in any shows, unlike Nicola who has survived two vote offs.

Last Sunday, Nicola and Katya were in the bottom two but were saved after judges chose ex-NFL star Jason Bell to leave the competition. 

Strictly’s ‘bubble’ system 

Strictly introduced strict new measures to ensure filming could continue in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, including regular testing and placing the couples in separate ‘bubbles’ so they can train and perform together.

These ‘bubbles’ mean that any celebrity can openly mix, train and perform with their professional partner and vice versa, but they are prohibited from mixing with anyone from outside of their bubble during filming or training.

Despite these new restrictions, and some celebrities having to live alone while taking part in the series, they are not limited from going to public spaces such as shops and parks.

In some cases stars have been living alone while the other half of their pair can stay with their family or household. 

This series also became the first in the show’s history to air without a live audience after England was plunged into a month-long lockdown. 

This year has already seen the pros pre-record all of their group performances while isolating together in a hotel as one bubble, before being separated to join up with their celebrity partners, and thus forming their own separate bubbles. 

Tragic: Strictly bosses confirmed Nicola and Katya’s departure in a statement they posted on social media

A Strictly spokesperson confirmed to MailOnline that Katya is asymptomatic and the pair are now self-isolating separately following the latest government guidelines.  

Nicola said in a statement: ‘Hey guys! I’m absolutely devastated my Strictly journey has come to an end so soon. I had so much more to give and so many people to win this for! 

‘But I just want to say a huge thank you to Katya for being the best dance partner anyone could ask for. She pushed me way out of my comfort zone and it’s been an incredible experience. 

Gutted: Nicola shared a montage of her favourite moments during her time on Strictly

Sad: ‘I’m gutted to be out of the competition but in these unprecedented times and as frustrating as it is, the COVID measures in place are to keep everyone safe’

‘You made history’: Claudia Winkleman and It Takes Two’s Zoe Ball shared their condolences 

‘I’m gutted to be out of the competition but in these unprecedented times and as frustrating as it is, the COVID measures in place are to keep everyone safe, and I’m doing what I can to help. 

‘I’ll be spending the next 14 days isolating so I’d like to apologise in advance for the ridiculous amount of TikToks I’ll be posting, in my new found free time when I’m not gaming!’

Katya said: ‘Dancing with Nicola has been an absolute inspiration. She’s given her all each and every week and we were so excited to create more dances in the competition. 

‘Of course, I’m devastated to leave this way but I’ve made a friend for life and loved every moment of this special journey. I’d like to wish good luck to all the remaining couples!’

Near miss: Last Sunday Nicola and Katya were in the bottom two but were saved after judges chose ex-NFL star Jason Bell to leave the competition

Sarah James, Strictly Come Dancing Executive Producer added: ‘We are incredibly sad that these unfortunate circumstances mean that Nicola and Katya are unable to continue on Strictly. 

‘They are a brilliant partnership and had already achieved so much during their time on the show. 

‘We’d like to thank them for their commitment and although their time in the competition has sadly come to an end we are hopeful that there will be opportunities for them to dance again in the future.’ 

Nicola and Katya’s pairing made history as it was the first time in the show’s 16-year history a celebrity and professional partner of the same gender would be competing together.

It was announced in September that Nicola would be in the first same-sex pairing on the BBC show, as she said in a statement: ‘It’s amazing to be a part of the movement for change, diversity and breaking boundaries in the entertainment industry.’

Speaking live from her home on BBC Breakfast, Nicola said of her groundbreaking all-female pairing: ‘It’s really important, it’s a big step for the show as well.

‘It’s nice to see we’ve been able to move on and I just can’t wait to get some dancing done really.’

Revealing she approached Strictly with the idea for a same-sex pairing, Nicola explained: ‘I asked the show about it.

‘They wanted to know if I wanted to be on the show and I said ‘yeah I’ll do it but I want to dance with another female dance partner.”

‘It’s definitely a time for change and time to move on and be more diverse. This is a brilliant step in the right direction.

‘It will be nice for the LGBT community to be able to see that there are same sex couples on the show as well.’ 

Following the news about Nicola appearing on the show in a female partnership, the BBC defended having a same-sex pairing after more than 100 people complained.

Controversial: The decision to include a same-sex pairing led to 100 complaints from viewers, which led BBC to defend the decision 

Nicola and Katya’s Best Moments 

Nicola Adams and Katya Jones made history when they became the show’s first ever same-sex pairing.

Their partnership was announced during the launch show last month, with Katya gushing: ‘I think the beauty of this partnership is… it’s never been done before on Strictly. So, basically, we’re free to do what we want, there’s not really any set rules!’

For their first dance Nicola and Katya danced the quickstep to Get Happy by Ella Fitzgerald, earning a solid score of 21 points out of 30.

The duo were praised as ‘absolute dynamite’ and a ‘fantastic partnership,’ with many viewers moved to tears at the sight of a same-sex pairing on the show.

Week Two saw Nicola and Katya dance a Couples’ Choice to Shine by Years & Years, which documented the sports star’s journey to boxing success.

They scored 24 points out of 30, with the performance praised for ‘letting go’ and telling the story of Nicola’s life.

Nicola and Katya’s final dance came during Movie Week, with the pair dancing a Jive to Greased Lightnin from Grease, scoring just 19 points out of 30.

The score left them second-bottom on the leaderboard, and they were forced to compete with Jason Bell and Luba Mushtuk in the dance-off, but they were saved by the judges after performing their jive for the second time.

In a statement the corporation said the competition is an ‘inclusive show’ and they are ‘proud’ to have had same-sex numbers in previous series.

The BBC said: ‘Strictly Come Dancing is an inclusive show and is proud to have featured same sex dancing amongst the professional dancers in group numbers in previous series.

‘We have stated, in the past, that we are open to the prospect of including same sex pairings between our celebrities and professional dancers, should the opportunity arise.’

‘Nicola Adams requested an all-female pairing, which we are happy to facilitate. The show is first and foremost about dance, the sex of each partner within a coupling should have no bearing on their routine.’

Last year male professional dancers Johannes Radebe and Graziano Di Prima performed a same sex routine during the show’s seventeenth series.

While the dance – conducted during a performance by pop star Emeli Sande – was met with an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response on social media, it prompted 200 complaints with TV regulator Ofcom.

Strictly introduced strict new measures to ensure filming could continue in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, including regular testing and placing the couples in separate ‘bubbles’ so they can train and perform together.

These ‘bubbles’ mean that any celebrity can openly mix, train and perform with their professional partner and vice versa, but they are prohibited from mixing with anyone from outside of their bubble during filming or training.

Despite these new restrictions, and some celebrities having to live alone while taking part in the series, they are not limited from going to public spaces such as shops and parks.

In some cases stars have been living alone while the other half of their pair can stay with their family or household. 

This series also became the first in the show’s history to air without a live audience after England was plunged into a month-long lockdown. 

This year has already seen the pros pre-record all of their group performances while isolating together in a hotel as one bubble, before being separated to join up with their celebrity partners, and thus forming their own separate bubbles.

Keeping a low profile? The pair were last seen after Tuesday’s episode of It Takes Two, attempting to hide away 

Celebrity contestants and their professional partners are tested regularly, with cast and crew told to isolate should they contract the virus.

It was confirmed before the series began that if any celebrity tested positive once the series began they would be dropped from the show, with reports saying there are celebrities on stand-by. 

How is Strictly 2020 going ahead during the COVID-19 pandemic? 

Strictly Come Dancing has introduced an array of strict measures to ensure the new series can go ahead during the COVID-19 crisis.

Celebrity contestants and their professional partners are tested regularly, with cast and crew told to isolate should they contract the virus.

Bosses have already confirmed any celebrity that tests positive once the series begins will be dropped from the show, with reports saying there are celebrities on stand-by.

The professional dancers have already pre-recorded their group performances after isolating together in a hotel.

It’s also been claimed that celebrities and pros will be axed from the show if they are caught kissing during filming.

Strictly 2020 has also seen the series run shortened to just nine weeks, with 12 celebrities taking part instead of the usual 15.

The show’s annual trip to Blackpool has been cancelled, along with this year’s Halloween and Christmas specials.

Only three judges – Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse – will be in the studio with separate rostrums, after Bruno Tonioli was unable to appear due to travel concerns. 

Veteran judge Bruno has said he will be ‘involved remotely’ and hopes to return full-time towards the end of the series as he is filming the US version of the show in Los Angeles. 

With limited studio crew, big sets may not be built – so producers will use augmented reality, which adds computer-generated elements.

To ensure the contestants can work closely with their partners, they will ‘bubble up’ to train, along with being tested regularly. 

Strictly will still feature a live audience, however fans will sit in groups on separate tables, and will only attend if from the same household or bubble.

It’s also been claimed that celebrities and pros will be axed from the show if they are caught kissing during filming.

Strictly 2020 has also seen the series run shortened to just nine weeks, with 12 celebrities taking part instead of the usual 15.

The show’s annual trip to Blackpool has been cancelled, along with this year’s Halloween and Christmas specials.

Only three judges – Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse – will be in the studio with separate rostrums, after Bruno Tonioli was unable to appear due to travel concerns.

Veteran judge Bruno has said he will be ‘involved remotely’ and hopes to return full-time towards the end of the series as he is filming the US version of the show in Los Angeles.

With limited studio crew, big sets may not be built – so producers will use augmented reality, which adds computer-generated elements. 

This isn’t the first time, the show has been blighted with coronavirus concerns. 

Days before the series began, there had been doubts over whether singer HRVY would be able to compete, as he tested positive for coronavirus.  

A source previously said his positive test was ‘the worst-case scenario for Strictly, as they’ve gone to extreme lengths to make the show safe up to this point’.

A spokesman for the show insisted all celebrities on the show are ‘tested regularly’ and claimed that the positive test has had ‘minimal impact on production’.

After it was announced HRVY had coronavirus, he tweeted: ‘Morning guys, just a little thought. I’m only 21 and in good health so it just shows that being young doesn’t make you invincible, so make sure you wear a mask please, have a good day.’

Weeks before, a crew member also contracted coronavirus.

A spokesman for Strictly told MailOnline : ‘We can confirm that a member of the Strictly team has tested positive for coronavirus and they are now self-isolating at home following the latest government guidelines.

‘We have rigorous protocols in place to manage Covid-19 as the safety of all those involved in the production is paramount.

‘We briefed that we are still in pre-production and all celebs are tested regularly. We said we would not reveal the name of individual for private health reasons but they are feeling well.

‘We also briefed that the celeb will be taking part in the launch show (pending a negative test result) and that they only came into contact with a handful of production crew, who were then isolated and tested, therefore minimal impact on production.’ 

Recovered: Days before the series began, there had been doubts over whether singer HRVY would be able to compete, as he tested positive for coronavirus

In a recent Q and A, executive producer Sarah James shed light on the show’s contingency plans in light of the pandemic and insisted she’s ‘confident’ the competition series will go ahead even if the current coronavirus restrictions change. 

Sarah said: ‘Obviously according to government guidelines if you receive a positive test you have to isolate for two weeks and that would unfortunately rule them out of the show.’

Explaining their use of the bubble system to ensure couples can train and perform, she added: ‘Close contact cohorts (CCC) apply to people who need to work closely and break social distancing rules to do their jobs. It has to only be with one person and you are regularly tested.

‘We are asking the celebrity contestants to be part of an exclusive support bubble with their dancers, which means that one half of the party has to live alone.’

The professionals spent two weeks in September isolating in a Buckinghamshire hotel so they could rehearse the group numbers.  

Comeback king: The only other star to ever return to the show is Jamie Lang, who was allowed to a second chance to star in this year’s Strictly after injury ruled him out of the 2019 series

The news of Katya’s positive test comes hours after Rylan Clark-Neal revealed he’ll miss filming for Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two for two weeks after being forced to self-isolate.

The presenter, 32, tweeted a statement telling fans he’d come into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, and after seeking a test has tested negative himself. 

Rylan has co-hosted It Takes Two with Zoe Ball on alternate days this series, with the pair unable to host the show together due to strict social distancing measures.

He posted: ‘I found out this week that someone I have been in recent contact with outside of work has tested positive for coronavirus. I am therefore now following the government guidelines and having to self isolate. 

‘I have sought a COVID test and thankfully that has returned a negative result. 

‘That does mean I will miss the next two weeks of Strictly It Takes Two and my BBC Radio 2 Saturday show. 

‘I look forward to being back soon and wish all the couples good luck for this weekend.’

Rylan later clarified that he paid to have a test done privately to ensure there was ‘no immediate risk’ to anyone in his work bubble during Strictly filming.

The star’s isolation also means he’ll be unable to present his Saturday show on BBC Radio 2.

Government guidelines state anyone who has come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 must self-isolate for 14 days. 

Rylan has been presenting It Takes Two with Zoe on various days, with the pair unable to host together this series due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Zoe would host the show Mondays through Wednesdays, with Rylan taking over the duties on Thursdays and Fridays.  

Break: Rylan Clark-Neal has revealed he’ll miss filming for Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two for two weeks after being forced to self-isolate

Rylan had previously praised Strictly bosses for breaking boundaries by introduced the show’s first ever same-sex pairing with Nicola Adams and Katya Jones.

He described how the show’s inclusive approach is a great step towards embracing the LGBTQ community.

He told MailOnline: ‘It’s really exciting, but I think it will be like Dancing On Ice with Ian ‘H’ Watkins and Matt Evers, in the sense that they were a great addition, but after the first week, their same-sex pairing became the norm. 

All is well: The presenter tweeted a statement telling fans he’d come into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19

‘It’s never been done before on Strictly so it’s going to be a big deal and I think it’s a really good step towards normalising it.

‘There are female couples all over Britain, there are male couples all over Britain. I think it’s just reflecting society and I think it’s a great thing to be doing, so good luck to the pair of them!

‘She [Nicola] will be treated like every other contestant and that’s how it should be. I think it’s a really massive step forward.’ 

The rest of the Strictly cast are unaffected and the show will continue this Saturday night on BBC One. 

Dynamic duo: Rylan has been presenting It Takes Two with Zoe Ball on various days, with the pair unable to host together this series due to the COVID-19 pandemic

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