Strictly Come Dancing stars to ‘move in’ with professional dancers in huge shake-up

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The BBC dance extravaganza has been on-screen since 2004, having seen 17 different couples lift the coveted Glitterball Trophy. However, with the outbreak of coronavirus ongoing, the show is yet to reveal how exactly things will be going ahead later this year. With many suggestions as to how the show will be forced to change as a result, it’s now been suggested celebrity stars may have to live with their soon-to-be professional partners throughout the process as producers look for ways to keep contestants and crew safe.

Strictly has become a household name in recent years and has continued to pull in millions of viewers. 

Last year’s final was one of the closest-ever and saw former Emmerdale star Kelvin Fletcher lift the trophy with Oti Mabuse.

However, with this year’s series set to begin in just a few months, there has been much uncertainty cast over the traditional format of the programme. 

Many popular TV shows have been impacted by the coronavirus after they were forced to stop filming when the initial lockdown rules were introduced. 

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Last month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed members of the public would be allowed to meet in groups of up to six people from outside their households. 

This was on the basis social distancing rules – which recommends people stay two metres apart from others – continue to be followed. 

The slight ease in lockdown meant TV shows were given the green light to return to filming as long as they put measures in place to follow the new guidelines.

However, many live TV programmes such as Strictly have further issues due to factors such as live studio audiences and large production teams.

Another issue with Strictly is the fact contestants get up close and personal with celebrity partners during their performances – something which is hard to avoid.

Although some stars most-closely linked with the show have suggested it is possible to dance in a distanced way, it would hugely limit the routines which could be performed on-air.

With multiple ideas having been speculated as to how things could change, it’s now been suggested contestants could have to temporarily live with their professional partners whilst competing on the programme but a source told The Sun the idea is “the worst-case scenario”.

The insider said: “There is a plan to move in the stars with their pro dance partner to reduce the risk of anyone falling ill – it’s the worst-case scenario.

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One suggestion was to keep them together along with a crew member in a bid to avoid the Strictly curse — because everyone is worried about the prospect of that happening again.

“It caused a lot of panic at the top of the chain as they hate any scandal being linked to the show, which is a household family favourite.”

The curse has been synonymous with the programme as it has continued through the years and refers to relationships and marriages from stars and professional dancers which have broken down after the competition. 

It’s not the first time the concept of those taking part in the show has been suggested with it recently having been reported contestants could all end up staying in the same hotel or living space to ensure safety. 

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Earlier this month, the Prime Minister announced a new step towards the lockdown easing further, with the concept of bubbles.

This allows single people to join members of one other household, something which was aimed to help combat loneliness and those who have been apart from partners and friends for weeks. 

However, the insider noted how this doesn’t completely solve the issue of, adding: “Social bubbling still poses a bit of a headache. For example, married couple Janette Manrara and Aljaz Skorjanec – would have to spend the competition apart unless restrictions are relaxed again.

“And Anton Du Beke, who is normally partnered with an older celebrity, may have to spend the competition apart from his family unless his show partner is single.”

Strictly Come Dancing is due to return later this year to BBC One. 

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