By Emma Dooney
Strictly Come Dancing's James Jordan has condemned the reported refusal of three of its dancers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, calling their actions 'selfish' to their fellow castmates.
Insiders on the popular BBC dance competition have said that three professional dancers on this year's show have taken an anti-vax stance and turned down the opportunity to receive the potentially lifesaving jab. The news comes just a few days after it was revealed that a Strictly Come Dancing 2021 dancer has contracted COVID-19.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain on Tuesday, James Jordan called the dancers' behavior "selfish" and even suggested that they should quit the show.
"I normally would protect the professional dancers until the cows come home but on this particular occasion, I can’t unfortunately," the former pro told hosts Susanna Reid and Richard Madeley. "I definitely believe that they don’t deserve their right on the show and the celebrities have every right to refuse to dance with them."
Two Strictly pros have reportedly refused the Covid jab.So should you know your colleagues' vaccine status? Can you refuse to work with people who haven’t been vaccinated?@The_JamesJordan says those who haven't been jabbed 'don't deserve their right on the show.' pic.twitter.com/643gT77ugLSeptember 21, 2021
"If the celebrities don’t want to dance with the professionals who haven’t been double vaccinated, that makes their job obsolete," James added. "There are loads of professional dancers who would love to do Strictly, get them on there."
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Which Strictly Come Dancing professional dancers refuse to be vaccinated?
While there's been much talk online about which dancers have refused the COVID-19 vaccine, their identities have remained protected by Strictly bosses.
"We do not comment on speculation of somebody’s Covid vaccination status," a Strictly spokesperson said.
Strictly Come Dancing 2021's lineup features a star-studded cast of British talent, with entertainment heavyweights like Sam Webb, Judi Love and Tom Fletcher all signed up for its 19th season. The show will also see its first-ever same-sex male couple, after seventeen years of representing only heteronormative relationships.
Unfortunately, with so much chaos behind the scenes, it looks like this year's show could already be one of its most stressful yet.
An inside source has told the Sun that, despite implementing all the available safety protocols, "producers are dreading an outbreak of Covid on the new series."
With the studio audience set to return for the first live show on 25 September, the pressure is on to ensure all available protections are utilized.
James, who worked as a professional on Strictly between 2006 and 2013, also reminded Susanna and Richard that the dancers who refuse the vaccine are jeopardizing the health of the show's more vulnerable participants.
"We don’t know the health issues of some of the celebrities," he said. "You have different age groups on the show, you’ve got more mature people that are more at risk than young professional dancers," he said. "I just think it’s a really selfish thing to do."
Emma is a news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life. She covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health or lifestyle story. When she's not reporting on the British monarchy and A-list celebs, you can find her whipping up vegan treats and running the roads to cheesy '90s pop music...but not at the same time, obviously.
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