Will Strictly Come Dancing 2020 be going ahead in lockdown and how will it be different?

Strictly Come Dancing will be experiencing a big change in this second lockdown.

Strictly Come Dancing 2020
(Image credit: (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy)

Strictly Come Dancing 2020 might have only just kicked off it’s run in spectacular style, but now it has once more been plunged into uncertainty. With England now experiencing its second lockdown, the question of whether Strictly Come Dancing’s new series will go ahead has been on many people’s minds. 

And with the celebrities and their professional partners only just getting to grips with the Strictly ballroom, many believe it would be a crying shame to lose them now.

Will Strictly 2020 still be on?

This Saturday will see Strictly return to our screens, albeit with some dramatic changes. 

We have only just got used to the judges sitting at their own individual desks. And whilst the audience was limited and wearing full protective equipment, it was just lovely to hear the sounds of a genuine audience. 

Sadly this Saturday 7 November this will not be the case. Lockdown rules have meant that the popular dance show will no longer be having a live studio audience at all.

Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse

(Image credit: (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy)

What will the changes mean?

This weekend’s broadcast will make history as the first time Strictly will be without a live audience. This will certainly bring a change of atmosphere in the glittering ballroom. Not least for the contestants who will be performing solely for the judges, without the added uplift from the audience reaction.

Clara Amfo

(Image credit: Photo by Darren Gerrish/WireImage for Mercedes-Benz and Lena Waithe/Getty Images)

Earlier this week contestant Clara Amfo talked to Morning Live about her reaction to the news. “I won’t lie, we were all a little bit gutted,” she said. She then added, "Having your friends and family to cheer you on really adds to the experience, but I think the main thing is that the show itself is still on.”

How long will these changes be in place?

The current restrictions are in place until at least 2 December. In response, a notice was posted on the BBC studio audience website, stating: ‘We’re sad to announce that we won’t be able to have a live studio audience for Strictly Come Dancing during November.’

They added that, ‘No tickets will be sent out for December shows until we are sure it will be safe and compliant to welcome audiences back. We understand how disappointing this will be, but we very much hope we will see some of you later in the series.’

A report by Digital Spy has also suggested that producers are considering the possibility of virtual audiences. Similar virtual audiences, complete with virtual clapping and cheering sounds, have been used to great effect in everything from Britain’s Got Talent to The Voice UK.

When is Strictly Come Dancing on?

It might not be quite the same as normal, but Saturday will see Strictly’s Movie Week hit our screens. Last week reportedly more than 10 million people watched Strictly following on from the lockdown briefing. 

This week with England now in a second lockdown, we will be needing our weekly dose of dancing, smiles and sequins even more. 

Strictly Come Dancing will be broadcast on BBC One Saturday 7 November at 7:25pm. 

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!