New 'Covid-friendly' Strictly Come Dancing rules revealed ahead of this year's show

(Image credit: Christopher Furlong)

BBC bosses are putting extreme measures in place to ensure Strictly Come Dancing can return in the autumn, despite the global pandemic.

With the ever-changing nature of the covid-19 pandemic, producers are having to plan over 100 different formats of the show to ensure restrictions are adhered to.

While we know the BBC show will start later than normal - in October, not September - and run for a shorter time, The Sun has since revealed even more extreme measures that are being put in place to protect the show.

A BBC source said, “Preparing for this year’s show is a huge headache. The goalposts keep moving, so the big decisions are being left to the last minute so we’re as up to date as possible.

READ MORE: Strictly's Shirley Ballas rushed to hospital

“But any concrete things we can decide on now, we are doing. Making one hit series is hard enough. As things stand, we are having to plan for hundreds.

“The slightest change to the rules could have a massive impact on how the show is filmed.

“But everyone is determined to get this thing on screen and in a way that is as close to the normal version as possible.”

For the first time in 16 years the show will be filmed with no audience and minimal backstage staff to keep risk of infection at a low. But insiders are concerned that this will have an impact on the atmosphere.

READ MORE: James Jordan reveals why he'll never return to Strictly

“The current plan is no audience, which will inevitably affect the show," a source told The Sun. "They are the energy in the room, and dancing in an empty room is like dancing in a training room. It’s a different intensity and pressure.

“But Elstree is a very cosy set-up, where it will be impossible to safely socially distance audience members. So for now, with the current rules, it’s a ‘no’ to anyone watching."

And, in a bid to keep numbers to a minimum, celebrity entourages are being banned. Which means judges, Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse and Bruno Tonioli (if he returns from America) will have a scaled-back team.

"There will be no entourages for the judges, no agents hanging around, no friends or family members, no hair and make-up people waiting on them hand and foot."

It's all change then!