By Emma Dooney
Strictly Come Dancing 2021 has been struck by a major setback this week after one of its pro dancers tested positive for COVID-19.
The participant, who remains unidentified, has since been placed in isolation—which means no rehearsals for 10 whole days. Their celebrity partner, who has also not be named, reportedly tested negative for the virus.
With just days to go until the Strictly Come Dancing launch show 2021, the news is said to have uprooted production on the 19th season of the popular BBC dance competition.
“This is proving to be a nightmare for producers, just as they prepare to bring back Strictly for its first full series since the pandemic,” a source told the Sun. The premiere episode has already been pre-recorded, but all subsequent shows will be broadcast live.
‘It means that Strictly viewers are likely to watch the pro paired with their celeb, then they could be separated by the time the first live show begins,” the insider added.
“That also means that the pro in question will probably end up only taking part in group dances throughout the new series, which will be particularly galling.”
Strictly Come Dancing executives are putting up a cool front in response to the news, despite its obvious hindrance to production. With so much excitement surrounding the upcoming series—the Strictly Come Dancing 2021 lineup is gearing up to be its best batch of contestants yet—they’re not about to make any rash decisions regarding the performers on this year’s season.
“‘A professional dancer has tested positive for COVID-19 however this didn’t affect the recording of the launch show which airs this Saturday,” a Strictly spokesperson informed Metro. “We are following government guidelines to ensure the safety of all on the show.”
It’s also important to note that a COVID-19 diagnosis does not automatically disqualify a person from the show, nor does it necessarily ruin their chances of winning.
“‘If a celebrity does receive a positive test, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are out of the competition,’ Strictly Come Dancing executive producer Sarah James said.
“It might mean they could miss a week and still get enough training in to return.”
Covid or not, the show must go on.
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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