Strictly Come Dancing will be delayed until mid October and return with shorter series and fewer celebrities and dancers


THIS year’s series of Strictly Come Dancing will be delayed by nearly a month because of the Covid-19 crisis.

BBC bosses have pushed back the start date to October — meaning the biggest programme on TV will have a shorter run.

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It is likely to consist of nine or ten shows — compared to 13 last year, when actor Kelvin Fletcher won the title with partner Oti Mabuse.

As a result, producers are planning to have fewer celebrities and professional dancers taking part.

The decision came a day after we revealed that BBC chiefs had axed The Apprentice this year because lockdown measures made it impossible to film.

Strictly bigwigs felt a delay was the only way to safely shoot their 2020 edition and leave enough gaps for social distancing.

They are pre-recording the professionals’ group dances months in advance.

A source said: “BBC bosses were adamant they would do anything to keep their biggest show on air, and this proves that.

“But they’ve decided that pushing it back gives them more time to get stuff pre-recorded safely, and more time to iron out any other issues.”

A BBC spokesman said: “To ensure we deliver the high standards audiences know and love, and in light of ongoing considerations around Covid-19, this year’s series of Strictly will have a slightly shorter run than usual. 

“The safety of our cast and crew is of the utmost importance to us.”

The Sun previously re­vealed how the pros will have to isolate with their celeb partners before the show starts.

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