Strictly 2021 suffers huge blow as pro dancer tests positive for Covid days before launch

Katya Jones packs her bag ready for Strictly Come Dancing training

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The BBC have confirmed an unnamed dancer has tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the show’s highly anticipated return this Saturday. Strictly Come Dancing will still be going ahead, but the unfortunate update could cause chaos for the show’s lineup going forward.

A pro dancer for the 19th series of Strictly Come Dancing has tested positive for Covid-19, it was confirmed on Tuesday.

The unknown star had already been paired with their celebrity partner.

Their first pre-recorded show will be released this Saturday, but the dancer tested positive the day after filming.

This means the celebrity contestant may have to find another partner as the pro will have to isolate for ten days.

Swapping over would give them just enough training time before the series’ first new live show on Saturday, September 25.

It has also been confirmed the celebrity dancer has tested negative.

An insider source said: “This is proving to be a nightmare for producers, just as they prepare to bring back Strictly for its first full series since the pandemic.

“It means that Strictly viewers are likely to watch the pro paired with their celeb, then they could be separated by the time the first live show begins.”

“That also means that the pro in question will probably end up only taking part in group dances throughout the new series, which will be particularly galling.”

Strictly was put on hold for a month and reduced to just nine weeks instead of the usual 13 due to the pandemic last year.

Producers have confirmed the 2021 outing will be a ‘full-length’ series, complete with themed weeks, group dances and a Christmas special.

However, the series will once again go ahead without its signature Blackpool Tower Ballroom special.

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The BBC are now facing a tense few months as they wait to see if any further contestants will have to pull out of the running.

Bosses have assured viewers they will be going to every length to ensure Strictly goes ahead as safely as possible.

Craig Revel Horwood has also stressed the so-called ‘Strictly curse’, which frequently sees celebrity guests and their partners coupling up, won’t be stopped by the show’s Covid measures.

Although the series has put a coronavirus ban on kissing on the dancefloor, Horwood admitted this probably won’t affect the show’s notorious reputation.

He said: “I agree with it, only because kissing passes on disease and we’re still living in a Covid world, darling – we’ve got to protect the show.

“There’s still scope for the Strictly ‘curse’, which I don’t believe is a curse.”

“Let people be blessed with love, and flirting,” Horwood added.

Strictly Come Dancing 2021 starts on BBC One on Saturday, September 18.


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