15/06/2020 10:57 BST

Strictly Come Dancing Reveals Plan To Save Group Dances As Show Navigates Coronavirus Pandemic

The virus has presented the BBC ballroom show with a number of challenges ahead of its new series.

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Strictly Come Dancing bosses have revealed plans to save this year’s group dances, as the show attempts to navigate the coronavirus pandemic. 

A spokesperson for the show has confirmed producers are considering isolating the cast of professional dancers so that they can continue to film the much-loved routines.

A report in The Sun suggested that the pros could be asked to isolate together in a hotel for two weeks, before pre-recording a batch of group dances in a small studio with skeleton crew to then be aired across the series. 

Strictly Come Dancing is due to return to our screens in September

Responding to the claims, a rep told the paper: “The BBC and the entire Strictly family are working hard to ensure everyone can enjoy some much needed Strictly sparkle later this year.

“Our professional dancers are set to start rehearsing remotely at the end of July. As we continue to follow the latest guidance from Public Health England and industry guidelines, we are considering isolating the dancers and key production members to enable our much-loved group numbers to continue.

“We’re incredibly proud of our professional dancers for their dedication to the show and their commitment to showcasing their love of dance to the nation.

“The safety of our cast and crew is of the utmost importance to us and further updates will be made in due course.”

BBC/Guy Levy
The group dances are a much-loved aspect of the show

The series is due to kick off in September, but the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing rules have presented the show with a number of challenges. 

The BBC’s entertainment boss Kate Phillips recently said that “inevitably things are going to change” on the show, with a question mark hanging over the live studio audience. 

“When you look at something like [RuPaul’s] Drag Race, which is a big shiny floor talent competition with all sorts of catwalks, singing, dancing, impressions – it never has an audience,” she said during her Edinburgh TV Festival talk.

“The audience is the four judges and I don’t think it suffers from that at all. I think it is a brilliant show.”

Charlotte Moore, the BBC’s director of content, did confirm to The Times (£) that bosses were considering various other safeguarding measures, including testing participants’ temperatures and installing glass divides inside the studio “so that people feel even more protected”.

Among the names rumoured for this year’s series include former Radio 1 DJ Maya Jama, ex-Coronation Street star Michelle Keegan and Made In Chelsea’s Jamie Laing, who was forced to withdraw from last year’s series after injuring himself during the launch show. 

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