Here’s how the new Strictly Come Dancing series will work this year - and the stars confirmed so far
Strictly Come Dancing fans can look forward to the show returning to screens despite the challenges faced by the ongoing pandemic.
The future of the hit ballroom show was in doubt over fears social distancing rules could have prevented it from running, but the BBC is working to ensure the programme appears as close to normal as possible.
How will Strictly work this year?
Due to social distancing regulations, the upcoming series will be slightly different to the usual format.
There is expected to be no live studio audience allowed for the new show to comply with rules around large group gatherings, and no live music acts are to be featured.
However, there have been reports that audience members may be permitted to sit at cabaret style tables and must be from the same household, but this is yet to be confirmed.
The Strictly professionals started rehearsals for their group performances back in July, with the dancers required to isolate in one large bubble for two weeks to ensure the safety of the cast.
It is also expected that all the professional dancers will be recorded a month before the show airs.
After this, there will be further isolation with both the professionals and celebrities to allow more bubbles to be created.
This will allow duos to practice together and return to their families in the evening, while also allowing acts to have close contact routines as normal.
Additionally, the upcoming series will run for a reduced number of episodes due to a later start date than usual.
When will the series start?
The new series will have a slightly later start date this year, kicking off on 24 October and running until 19 December.
As such it will be a shorter series than usual, lasting just nine weeks instead of the usual 13.The delayed start date was decided as BBC bosses felt this was the only safe way to film and leave enough gaps to allow for social distancing.
The popular Halloween and Blackpool episodes will both air within the first month.
Will the judges be the same?
Currently only three judges are confirmed for the whole of the 2020 series, with the line-up including Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse.
Bruno Tonioli will miss the beginning of the series as he is currently in the US filming Dancing With The Stars.
He is expected to appear back on Strictly towards the end of the series and his replacement is yet to be announced.
The judges table will also be extended this year to allow for social distancing.
What about the hosts?
Hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman are both returning for the 2020 series and will present the show at a safe distance from one another.
Which contestants have been confirmed?
Several celebrities have been confirmed for this year’s show so far, including stars from the world of sport, music and radio.
Here’s who is on the line-up so far:
- Olympic boxer Nicola Adams
- TV presenter and journalist Ranvir Singh
- Radio DJ Clara Amfo
- Actress Caroline Quentin
- NFL star Jason Bell
- The Wanted’s Max George