Strictly Come Dancing's Shirley Ballas Offers Assurances Over New Series Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

The 18th series of the BBC ballroom show is due to launch in September.

Shirley Ballas has insisted Strictly Come Dancing bosses will do “everything in their power” to get the show back on our screens in September.

In recent times, there have been question marks over this year’s series of the BBC ballroom competition amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Tabloid reports have claimed the show was “under serious threat” due to the outbreak, with no celebrities reported to have yet signed up for the series.

However, while the TV industry has been massively impacted by the virus – while shows like EastEnders and Coronation Street suspending production – Strictly’s head judge is hopeful the show will return as usual in the autumn.

Shirley Ballas
Shirley Ballas
PA

Speaking on Monday’s This Morning via video link, Shirley told hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield: “I spoke to Sarah, the executive producer, throughout the week, and of course you definitely don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, but I know they will definitely do everything in their power, if it’s conceivably possible, they will get that show on the air by September.

“So, it’s fingers crossed, let’s see how we go day to day. But I know they understand it’s an important show for the nation, and I think people will ready for that come the winter months.

“If everyone self-isolates and we all do what we’re supposed to do then there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be up and running by the end of the year.”

Shirley appeared live from her home on This Morning
Shirley appeared live from her home on This Morning
ITV/Shutterstock

Shirley also praised departing pro dancers Kevin Clifton and AJ Pritchard, who have both announced they will not return for the next series.

“They’ve been a great part of the show. We love them, we wish them well, they’ve chosen to go onto other things, but the show will continue,” she said.

“I know they’ve got people to replace, so let’s just watch this space.”

Professional dancer Anton Du Beke recently said he hopes the show will be able to air as normal.

Appearing on Channel 4′s The Steph Show last week, he said: “I should think the pre-production of it should be going ahead as normal.

“It’s when we get into the studio - the pros get into the studio in August ... so hopefully we will be out of it [lockdown] by then, so hopefully we can get back into the studio.”

This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV.

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