Entertainment

Strictly Come Dancing to return – but with shorter series

The show has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Strictly Come Dancing will return to television later this year, but with a shorter series than usual, the BBC has confirmed.

The show would usually be due to return at the end of September but its launch is expected to be slightly delayed because of coronavirus precautions.

The corporation previously confirmed that the professional dancers are poised to start rehearsing remotely at the end of July and could be isolated along with key production members to enable group numbers to still go ahead.

A statement said: “The Strictly Come Dancing team are doing everything they can to bring the nation plenty of Strictly magic later this year.

“To ensure we deliver the high standards audiences know and love, and in light of the 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 and further updates will be made in due course.”

The line-up of professionals will remain unchanged in 2020, following the departure of Kevin Clifton.

Strictly winners
Last year’s winners Kelvin Fletcher and Oti Mabuse (Guy Levy/BBC)

The professional dancer quit the show in March, saying “the time has come to move on and focus on other areas of my life and career”.

BBC One bosses have not added any new dancers to the roster.

Male dancers Aljaz Skorjanec, Anton Du Beke, Giovanni Pernice, Gorka Marquez, Graziano Di Prima, Johannes Radebe and Neil Jones will all return.

Du Beke, who is the show’s longest-serving professional, will celebrate his 18th series of Strictly.

And female professionals Amy Dowden, Dianne Buswell, Janette Manrara, Karen Hauer, Katya Jones, Luba Mushtuk, Nancy Xu, Nadiya Bychkova and Oti Mabuse will also feature.

Strictly judges
Judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli are all expected to return (Guy Levy/BBC)

Latin specialist Xu, who was not given a celebrity partner in 2019, will make her second appearance under the Glitterball.

Judges Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli are also expected to return.

Mabuse, who also appears on Let’s Dance, the German version of Strictly, has said quarantining dancers together was a technique that worked well there.

Meanwhile, Revel Horwood, who is also a judge on Australia’s version of the show, Dancing With The Stars, said they went ahead with the show without a studio audience and quarantined dancers performed live from a hotel roof top.

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Entertainment