Strictly Come Dancing 2020: Boxer Nicola Adams makes history as she joins the line-up in FIRST same-sex pairing alongside GMB's Ranvir Singh and DJ Clara Amfo

  • Nicola will make history as part of the BBC show's first same-sex pairing, as she said in a statement: 'It's amazing to be a part of the movement for change'
  • The double Olympian approached Strictly with the idea for an all-female partnership, saying she would only sign up  if she could dance with a woman 
  •  ITV star Ranvir's signing was unveiled live on GMB on Wednesday morning
  • Radio 1 presenter Clara Amfo, 36, was confirmed to be taking part via an announcement on Greg James' Breakfast Show 
  • Caroline Quentin,  Max George and Jason Bell were announced as the first three contestants on Tuesday night 
  • The big reveal follows months of uncertainty amid the COVID-19 crisis as to whether Strictly would air at all this year
  • The series will follow strict protocols including 'bubbles' and no studio audience Olympic boxer Nicola Adams will make history as part of the first same-sex pairing on Strictly Come Dancing.
    The retired sportswomen was confirmed as the latest celeb to join the 2020 series of the prime time BBC show on Wednesday, along with Good Morning Britain presenter Ranvir Singh and Radio 1 DJ Clara Amfo.
    Nicola will make history as part of the BBC show's first same-sex pairing, as she said in a statement: 'It's amazing to be a part of the movement for change, diversity and breaking boundaries in the entertainment industry.' 
    Groundbreaking: Olympic boxer Nicola Adams has been confirmed to be taking part in the 2020 series of Strictly Come Dancing- as part of the show's first ever same-sex pairing
    Groundbreaking: Olympic boxer Nicola Adams has been confirmed to be taking part in the 2020 series of Strictly Come Dancing- as part of the show's first ever same-sex pairing
    Nicola, 37, added: 'I'm really excited to be joining this year's incredible line-up for Strictly Come Dancing. I'm a huge fan of the show and am thrilled to be part of something that holds such a special place in so many people's hearts.'
    'People might know me from work in the ring, but I'll be every bit as passionate and dedicated on the dance-floor too.''I also wanted to thank the BBC for supporting me and making me the first ever all female-pairing; and it's amazing to be a part of the movement for change, diversity and breaking boundaries in the entertainment industry.' 
    Speaking live from her home on BBC Breakfast, Nicola said of her groundbreaking all-female pairing: 'It's really important, it's a big step for the show as well. It's nice to see we've been able to move on and I just can't wait to get some dancing done really.'Groundbreaking! A report has emerged claiming that Nicola Adams, 37, is set to be in Strictly's FIRST same-sex pairing, in a move many are said to feel is 'well overdue'
    Groundbreaking! A report has emerged claiming that Nicola Adams, 37, is set to be in Strictly's FIRST same-sex pairing, in a move many are said to feel is 'well overdue'
    Revealing she approached Strictly with the idea for a same-sex pairing, Nicola explained: 'I asked the show about it. They wanted to know if I wanted to be on the show and I said "yeah I'll do it but I want to dance with another female dance partner.'"
    'It's definitely a time for change and time to move on and be more diverse. This is a brilliant step in the right direction. It will be nice for the LGBT community to be able to see that there are same sex couples on the show as well.' 
    Nicola became the first female amateur boxer to win an Olympic gold medal at London 2012 and became double Olympic champion following her second gold medal win in Rio 2016 as well as being the first boxer in history to retain an Olympic title. 
    Having also become World Amateur Champion in May 2016 she secured a grand slam of titles, and is the only female boxer in the history of the sport to have won every major title available to her; Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth.
    In recognition of her services to boxing and unprecedented achievement, Nicola was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 New Year’s Honours list. She was made an OBE in the 2016 New Year’s Honours list. Supporting the LGBTQ+ audience:  Nicola's same-sex pairing comes a year after Strictly pro dancer Johannes Radebe danced with Graziano Di Prima
    Supporting the LGBTQ+ audience:  Nicola's same-sex pairing comes a year after Strictly pro dancer Johannes Radebe danced with Graziano Di Prima
    She recently retired from the sport with an undefeated record and held the WBO female flyweight title in 2019. 
    Nicola's same-sex pairing comes a year after Strictly pro dancer Johannes Radebe danced with Graziano Di Prima.
    According to the BBC the dance led to the most complaints they received at the time, as 189 viewers protested to the routine. 
    However, the channel embraced its LGBTQ+ audience, as they said in a statement: 'Strictly Come Dancing is an inclusive show and is proud to have been able to facilitate the dance between Johannes and Graziano during the Professionals' dance.
    'They are dancers first and foremost, and their sex had no bearing on their routine.' 
    Earlier this year singer Ian 'H' Watkins and professional skater Matt Evers made history by becoming ITV's first all-male skating duo on the 2020 series of Dancing On Ice. Hitting the floor: Good Morning Britain presenter Ranvir Singh was confirmed as the fourth celebrity to star on the 2020 series of Strictly Come Dancing on Wednesday morning
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    Hitting the floor: Good Morning Britain presenter Ranvir Singh was confirmed as the fourth celebrity to star on the 2020 series of Strictly Come Dancing on Wednesday morning
    Radio 1 presenter Clara Amfo, 36, was confirmed to be taking part via an announcement on Greg James' Breakfast Show, also on Wednesday morning, while GMB confirmed Ranvir Singh was hitting the floor live on their show.
    Caroline Quentin, Max George and Jason Bell were announced as the first three contestants on Tuesday night's The One Show. 
    Ranvir is a journalist and presenter, best known as the Political Editor for ITV's Good Morning Britain, anchor for ITV's Tonight and newsreader on ITN. 
    Piers Morgan couldn't resist teasing Ranvir live on GMB, pointing out that their co-star Charlotte Hawkins 'gave it the big one and we know what happened there.'
    Charlotte starred on the 2017 series of Strictly but was the third celeb to be eliminated. Susanna meanwhile reached the final in 2013 and Richard was eliminated in week 7 during the 2012 run.  Get the glitter ready! Radio and TV presnter Clara Amfo was the fifth celebrity contestant confirmed, with an announcement on Wednesday
    Get the glitter ready! Radio and TV presnter Clara Amfo was the fifth celebrity contestant confirmed, with an announcement on Wednesday
    'You're representing the show, you fail we all fail,' Piers quipped. 
    'I'm going to need to pick your brains,' Ranvir admitted to Susanna and Richard, pointing out she will continue her early starts at GMB during the show. 'I'm worried about energy levels,' she admitted.
    'I've been working throughout the whole pandemic, so I feel like I should have all the answers.'
    When asked if she had had to isolate amid reports celebrities will have to with their pro partners before the show, Ranvir said it wasn't possible for her. 
    'I can't isolate, I've got my mum in the house, the kids. They know my situation and they've accepted it.'  
    Piers was keen to ask her how she felt about the infamous Strictly curse, prompting Ranvir to declare 'well I'm single!' 
    Here we go! Ranvir was unveiled as the latest contestant live on GMB on Wednesday morning, with her co-stars Richard Arnold and Susanna Reid, who have previously starred on the BBC show, giving her tips
    Radio and TV presnter Clara Amfo was the fifth celebrity contestant confirmed as she called in to her colleague Greg James' Radio 1 Breakfast Show on Wednesday.
    Teasing her big announcement she told Greg: 'You know how when we do the Live Lounge, people always say I can't sit still? You know how at the Christmas party I'm usually the first one on the dance floor and the last one off?'
    'And you know, I love a short skirt to upset my mum so guess what I'm doing Strictly Come Dancing!' 
    The star added to the BBC: 'As we know this year has been a real challenge and escapism through dancing is something I know we all enjoy, so to be taught by a pro and live a fantasy is something that I can't wait to fully embrace, see you on the dancefloor!'
    Clara is a broadcaster best known for her 10am – 1pm show on BBC Radio 1, home of the Live Lounge.
    She teased her involvement in the show in an interview with Cosmopolitan this week, telling the magazine: 'Look, Strictly is an amazing show.'
    Could it be Piers? Piers Morgan joked he was the latest GMB star to sign up to Strictly, only for Susanna Reid to joke 'they'd need a bigger budget'
    Could it be Piers? Piers Morgan joked he was the latest GMB star to sign up to Strictly, only for Susanna Reid to joke 'they'd need a bigger budget'
    Busy: 'I'm going to need to pick your brains,' Ranvir admitted to Susanna and Richard, pointing out she will continue her early starts at GMB during the show. 'I'm worried about energy levels'
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    Busy: 'I'm going to need to pick your brains,' Ranvir admitted to Susanna and Richard, pointing out she will continue her early starts at GMB during the show. 'I'm worried about energy levels''It's so sweet-spirited; nobody ever watches it with a bad intention and that's what I've always loved about it… I went to watch it [live] last season! The magic of it is so overwhelming.'
    Talking about her future, she said: 'I know that this is exactly where I'm supposed to be. My work, where I am now, I feel ready for it. I'm aware of who I want to fight for and what I want to lend my voice to. I feel supercharged, I feel ready.'   
    The first big Strictly reveal took place on Tuesday's instalment of The One Show - following months of uncertainty amid the COVID-19 crisis as to whether the show will air at all this year.
    Things were as cloak-and-dagger as always as the first contestants were announced, with Caroline. 60, and Jason, 42, beamed in via Skype, while Max, 31, was sent into the studio in person, sneaking in by producers through the basement to ensure secrecy.
    Hitting the dance floor! Caroline Quentin has been unveiled as the first celebrity to take part in Strictly Come Dancing 2020
    Taking part: She will be joined by Max George of former boy band The Wanted
    Hitting the dance floor! Caroline Quentin [L] was unveiled as the first celebrity to take part in Strictly, joined also by Max George [R] of former boy band The Wanted. NFL star Jason Bell is also set to compete
    Big reveal: The third star to be named is NFL player Jason Bell - who is the ex of Girls Aloud's Nadine Coyle, with whom he shares a daughter [pictured in 2009]
    Big reveal: The third star to be named is NFL player Jason Bell - who is the ex of Girls Aloud's Nadine Coyle, with whom he shares a daughter [pictured in 2009]Jonathan Creek actress Caroline explained that she used to do ballet as a girl, as well as tap and modern dance, but is worried her knees will let her down.
    'I've been keeping it very quiet and it's really difficult as I like a chat, as you well know, and it's been so hard to be quiet about it. I'm a bit scared, but quite excited,' the Men Behaving Badly actress told The One Show hosts Alex Jones and Amol Rajan. 
    She added: 'I do remember some of what I learned [dancing] but my knees are 50 years older than the last time I attempted any of it, and it's my knees and my undergarments that are troubling me most as a notion.
    'I hope my knees don't let me down and I hope the foundation garments live up to expectations when I start leaping about!'New challenge: Jonathan Creek actress Caroline explained that she used to do ballet as a girl, as well as tap and modern dance, but is worried her knees will let her down
    New challenge: Jonathan Creek actress Caroline explained that she used to do ballet as a girl, as well as tap and modern dance, but is worried her knees will let her down
    Caroline is perhaps best known for her role on sitcoms Men Behaving Badly - on which she played the long-suffering girlfriend of Martin Clunes - and Kiss Me Kate - starring as the titular character opposite the likes of Amanda Holden. 
    American football player Jason - who shares daughter Anaíya with Girls Aloud star Nadine Coyle, having been a couple for 11 years - said: 'I am thrilled. I'm a huge fan of the show, I've been watching it since I came to this country, so it's time for me to do something cool to impress my daughter, now that she can watch me perform!'
    He added: 'I've always, as an athlete, liked to lock into the present moment you know, be in the zone, and I think this show will give me the opportunity to do the same thing I did when I was playing - perform at a high level and learn from the best.'
    Ex: Jason met Nadine - who proved popular on last year's I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! - in 2008 and they were engaged between 2010 and 2011 [pictured in 2008]
    Ex: Jason met Nadine - who proved popular on last year's I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! - in 2008 and they were engaged between 2010 and 2011 [pictured in 2008] 
    Jason met Nadine - who proved popular on last year's I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! - in 2008 and they were engaged between 2010 and 2011.
    They split briefly, but reconciled for several more years, welcoming their daughter in 2014. They then split for good in 2019. 
    'Although Nadine and Jason were never married, they lived as a close family unit and remain good friends as they co-parent their young daughter. They still care for one another, but are no longer in a romantic relationship,' a source told The Sun at the time. 
    Max made his entrance via a basement lift, bedecked in red streamers, and told Alex that he'd already informed his former The Wanted star Jay McGuiness, who has also taken part on the BBC dance show.
    Hush hush! ¿I¿ve been keeping it very quiet and it¿s really difficult as I like a chat, as you well know, and it¿s been so hard to be quiet about it. I¿m a bit scared, but quite excited,' the Men Behaving Badly actress told The One Show hosts Alex Jones and Amol Rajan
    Hush hush! 'I've been keeping it very quiet and it's really difficult as I like a chat, as you well know, and it's been so hard to be quiet about it. I'm a bit scared, but quite excited,' the Men Behaving Badly actress told The One Show hosts Alex Jones and Amol Rajan
    American football player Jason said: 'I am thrilled. I¿m a huge fan of the show, I¿ve been watching it since I came to this country, so it¿s time for me to do something cool to impress my daughter, now that she can watch me perform!'
    American football player Jason said: 'I am thrilled. I'm a huge fan of the show, I've been watching it since I came to this country, so it's time for me to do something cool to impress my daughter, now that she can watch me perform!'
    He added: 'I¿ve always, as an athlete, liked to lock into the present moment you know, be in the zone, and I think this show will give me the opportunity to do the same thing I did when I was playing - perform at a high level and learn from the best'
    He added: 'I've always, as an athlete, liked to lock into the present moment you know, be in the zone, and I think this show will give me the opportunity to do the same thing I did when I was playing - perform at a high level and learn from the best'
    'I spoke to Jay earlier, he left me a couple of voice notes,' Max explained, as Alex asked how he thinks he'll measure up to Jay.
    'Oh no chance, there's no comparison, but he might be able to mentor me maybe through Zoom, he may be able to help me out. He did say he can imagine me like a little schoolboy, nervous,' he replied.
    Max rose to fame in 2009 with the group - completed by Siva Kaneswaran, Tom Parker and Nathan Sykes - known best for hit song All Time Low.
    Jay, 30, took part in the BBC dance show in 2015, taking home the Glitterball Trophy with professional dancer Aliona Vilani. In person: Max made his entrance via a basement lift, bedecked in red streamers, and told Alex that he'd already informed his former The Wanted star Jay McGuiness, who has also taken part on the BBC dance show
    In person: Max made his entrance via a basement lift, bedecked in red streamers, and told Alex that he'd already informed his former The Wanted star Jay McGuiness, who has also taken part on the BBC dance show
    Fans will be delighted to hear the Strictly news - after worries the series would be axed this year thanks to the pandemic.
    The intimate nature of the series means social distancing is impossible - but the pros have started rehearsals, with their celebrity counterparts slowly being unveiled over the coming days.
    Other stars rumoured to be taking part are Denise Van Outen and Bill Bailey.
    A source told The Sun, of comedian Bill, 55, that: 'It's a hard time for live performers so it seemed a good chance for Bill to commit to the show.' 
    Big shoes to fill: 'I spoke to Jay earlier, he left me a couple of voice notes,' Max explained, as Alex asked how he thinks he'll measure up to Jay
    Big shoes to fill: 'I spoke to Jay earlier, he left me a couple of voice notes,' Max explained, as Alex asked how he thinks he'll measure up to JayAutumn is here! Fans will be delighted to hear the Strictly news - after worries the series would be axed this year thanks to the pandemic
    Autumn is here! Fans will be delighted to hear the Strictly news - after worries the series would be axed this year thanks to the pandemic
    According to the publication, Caroline has wanted to be part of Strictly for years but always had other work commitments.
    Whereas in 2018 Bill revealed that he has been asked to do the dancing series several times but was put off by the 'judgemental' nature of the show.
    The professional dancers are pre-recording their big numbers — and they are quarantining in a hotel in Elstree, Herts, before the official launch of the show at the end of this month.
    The celebrity contestants will be asked to 'bubble' with their dance partners for the duration of the series, which is set to be shorter - nine weeks instead of the normal 13 - and quieter, with no live audience to clap and boo.
    Funny girl: Caroline is perhaps best known for her role on sitcoms Men Behaving Badly - on which she played the long-suffering girlfriend of Martin Clunes
    Funny girl: Caroline is perhaps best known for her role on sitcoms Men Behaving Badly - on which she played the long-suffering girlfriend of Martin Clunes
    Sportsman: Cornerback Jason Bell is pictured playing for the New York Giants against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field in September 2006
    Sportsman: Cornerback Jason Bell is pictured playing for the New York Giants against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field in September 2006
    Judge Bruno Tonioli will be dialling in from Los Angeles for the first five weeks, unable to travel back and forth from his duties at Dancing With The Stars due to the pandemic's travel rules.
    The BBC's head of entertainment, Kate Phillips, said: 'Strictly is a slightly shorter run but, apart from that, I don't think it will be a lesser show at all. If anything, I think this series will be rather special.' 
    THE £275,000 HOOFERS' QUARANTINE
    Strictly dancers including reigning champ Oti Mabuse have been seen arriving at The Manor in Elstree, Hertfordshire, a historic hotel which stands on the site of an old Tudor house dating back to 1540.
    Friendly competition: Max's bandmate Jay McGuiness took part in the BBC dance show in 2015, taking home the Glitterball Trophy with professional dancer Aliona Vilani
    Friendly competition: Max's bandmate Jay McGuiness took part in the BBC dance show in 2015, taking home the Glitterball Trophy with professional dancer Aliona Vilani
    The hotel is set in ten acres of gardens and was a private country club in the Thirties. 
    The front door was previously part of the dungeons in Lewes Castle, and some of the wood in the entrance hall is said to come from ships involved in the battle of the Spanish Armada.
    Previous guests include actors Tom Cruise, Peter Sellers and John Cleese.

    Strictly Come Dancing Contestants 2020

    CAROLINE QUENTIN
    Age: 60
    Profession: Actress, known for roles in Men Behaving Badly and Jonathan Creek
    Caroline says: 'I hope my knees don't let me down and I hope the foundation garments live up to expectations when I start leaping about!'
    Fun fact: She met her now-husband, Sam Farmer in 1998 on the set of Men Behaving Badly when he was one of the studio runners.
    MAX GEORGE 
     Age: 31
    Profession: Singer - from former boy band The Wanted
    Max says: 'Nan - I'm doing Strictly this year!' as he vowed to make his superfan grandmother proud
    Fun Fact: Max's fellow The Wanted bandmate Jay McGuiness was on Strictlby Come Dancing in 2015 - and won it!  

    CLARA AMFO
     Age: 36
    Profession: Radio 1 presenter
    Clara says: 'As we know this year has been a real challenge and escapism through dancing is something I know we all enjoy'
    Fun fact:  Clara has some experience of celeb gameshows, having taken part on Celebrity Masterchef in 2018
    JASON BELL
    Age: 42
    Profession: Retired American Football player - now a pundit
     Jason says: 'I am thrilled. I'm a huge fan of the show, I've been watching it since I came to this country, so it's time for me to do something cool to impress my daughter, now that she can watch me perform!'
    Fun Fact: Jason is the father of Girls Aloud star Nadine Coyle's daughter. The couple were together for 11 years, only splitting recently in 2019
     RANVIR SINGH 
     Age: 43
    Profession: ITV broadcaster, Political Editor for GMB
    Ranvir says:  'It feels like I'm on a rollercoaster... Hopefully after the first dance I will feel exhilarated rather than sick!'
    Fun fact: Ranvir is the fourth GMB star to star following Susanna Reid, Richard Arnold and Charlotte Hawkins.
    NICOLA ADAMS  
     Age: 37
    Profession: Double Olympic gold medallist boxer
    Nicola says: 'I’m a huge fan of the show and am thrilled to be part of something that holds such a special place in so many people’s hearts'
    Fun fact:  Nicola will form the show's first ever same-sex pairing as she is parterned with a female professional. 

    There are 49 rooms, and the hotel has been block booked — a notice on its website says: 'The hotel will be closed for an exclusive booking from Monday, August 24 until Sunday, September, 20, 2020. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.'
    The dancers — Aljaž Škorjanec, Amy Dowden, Anton Du Beke, Dianne Buswell, Giovanni Pernice, Gorka Márquez, Graziano Di Prima, Janette Manrara, Johannes Radebe, Karen Hauer, Katya Jones, Luba Mushtuk, Nadiya Bychkova, Nancy Xu, Neil Jones and Oti Mabuse — will quarantine here for two weeks before pre-recording all their group dance routines for the entire nine-week series.
    A source said: 'The dancers are isolating so that they will count as one house- hold. They are rehearsing in a huge marquee space where the hotel often holds weddings.
    Ready to hit the floor? Comedian Bill Bailey, 55, and Men Behaving Badly actress Caroline Quentin, 60, are also rumoured to have signed up
    Will he, won't he? Comedian Bill Bailey, 55, is rumoured to have signed up 
    It's back! Strictly Come Dancing rehearsals have started and the dancers are pre-recording their big numbers before the official launch of the show in late September
    It's back! Strictly Come Dancing rehearsals have started and the dancers are pre-recording their big numbers before the official launch of the show in late September
    'After 14 days, they will be able to go to Elstree studios and film the group dances.'
    A physiotherapist and a couple of choreographers are also staying at the Manor, but not the hair and make-up team or the rest of the production crew.
    Bed and breakfast plus dinner costs from £200 a night, meaning that it may be costing the Beeb £9,800 a day, or £275,000 over the required period.
    Sources indicate that once the dancers have finished and gone home, the hotel will be used to do recorded segments, promotional shoots with celebrities and for costume fittings, too.

    A bubble of trust 

    Executives investigated the possibility of quarantining all dancers, celebs, judges, presenters and crew in a hotel 'biosphere' together .
    This is what The Great British Bake Off did earlier this summer, with 120 cast, crew and bakers all holing up together at an Essex hotel.
    The BBC team are thought to have considered the idea, but shelved it due to the prohibitive cost — up to £5 million for 12 weeks — probably to the relief of spouses, worried about the opportunities for illicit liaisons.
    Instead, each pairing of a dancer and a celebrity will 'bubble' together. 
    'They will bubble as if they are a household and will dance and practise together during the day and then go back to their homes or to a hotel, depending on where they are from,' says a source.
    Every judge and dancer will be tested frequently and they've been told not to mix with anyone who has not been Covid-19 checked. 
    Judge Bruno Tonioli says: 'We have to take responsibility for our own actions.'
    MOTSI'S BIG COMMUTE
    Last year, new judge Motsi Mabuse decided to commute to London each week from her home in Germany, where she lives with husband Evgenij Voznyuk. 
    She said at the time: 'I have to travel because I have a little baby and I really don't want to stress her, so it's better to stress me.'
    She will continue to commute but plans to move to London if there is a realistic prospect of Germany going into lockdown.
    MASKS, SCREENS . . . OR NEITHER?
    The German version of Strictly — Let's Dance — was filmed when the pandemic was raging this spring. Motsi is also a judge on that show. 
    There was no audience and the judges sat behind a desk with Perspex screens between them.
    The professional dancers and celebrities danced in hold without face masks, as is the plan for the British series.
    However, a BBC source says it is possible that a screen could be used for the judges — Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Shirley Ballas — but that the set is still being designed.
    No one on camera will wear a mask: not the judges, presenters, celebrities or dancers.
    Presenters Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman will keep a distance from each other and the competitors.
    This week, Daly, 51, shared a photograph on Instagram of her and co-star Winkleman recording a 'Best of Strictly' special show — seated some way from each other. 
    She wrote: 'Dreamy being reunited with @claudiawinkle today for some (socially distanced) filming for our 'Best Of' Strictly shows — on TV in September.'
    Digs: Strictly dancers have been seen arriving at The Manor in Elstree, Hertfordshire, a historic hotel which stands on the site of an old Tudor house dating back to 1540
    Digs: Strictly dancers have been seen arriving at The Manor in Elstree, Hertfordshire, a historic hotel which stands on the site of an old Tudor house dating back to 1540
    For the first five weeks: Bruno Tonioli will film comments from Los Angeles to be shown in the results show and not deliver a mark for the contestants, before returning to the UK
    For the first five weeks: Bruno Tonioli will film comments from Los Angeles to be shown in the results show and not deliver a mark for the contestants, before returning to the UK 
    STILL DANCING CHEEK TO CHEEK
    Because the dancers and celebs are 'bubbling' together, they will still partner as normal — without the need for masks — sequinned or otherwise.
    Judge Bruno said: 'The hold is a huge part of the routine. No one will wear masks because everyone will be tested regularly.'
    BBC boss Kate Phillips said: 'I'd say Strictly is probably the hardest show to do in the current circumstances — a live weekly show that relies on body contact.
    'Having said that, I think studios have really risen to the challenge and there's that old line, necessity is the mother of invention.
    'I would say that across all the entertainment shows, we're seeing constant good ideas and surprising ways of working to overcome the challenges.'
    Distanced: Judge Motsi Mabuse will still commute from Germany
    Distanced: Judge Motsi Mabuse will still commute from GermanySO WILL IT BE MAKE-UP IN PPE?
    Kate Phillips said the corporation is having to 'look at how hair, make-up and costume will work backstage'.
    Sources say dancers and contestants will have access to professional make-up artists, led by Ant McPartlin's ex-wife, Lisa Armstrong. 
    The make-up artists will, though, have to wear PPE. Bruno says he is ready to do his own make-up, though he won't be in London initially.
    LET THE MUSIC PLAY, DAVE
    It wouldn't be Strictly without director of music Dave Arch and his band playing live for the performances, as they have done since 2006. The band features up to 15 musicians, including three trumpets, two trombones and three woodwind/saxophones, as well as four vocalists.
    Hosts: Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman will keep a distance from each other and the competitors during filming
    Hosts: Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman will keep a distance from each other and the competitors during filming
    There are strict social distancing regulations for indoor musical performances.
    Sources say Arch will be 'pretty much in the same place' as normal in the studio, as will the band, but that his singers will probably have to stand further apart from each other, or be separated by screens.
    BARE-BONES CREW AND NO ENTOURAGE
    There will be a smaller crew than usual, and less elaborate staging and sets. It's said the aim is to have 75 per cent fewer people on set than usual. 

    Bruno's on his own 

    Bruno Tonioli, 64, generally flies to Los Angeles and back every week for eight weeks during the Strictly run as he is also a judge on the U.S. version of the show (where he is paid £1.5 million a series, compared with £250,000 from the BBC, making the permanent jet lag worth it).
    This year, travel is impossible, so for the first five weeks Bruno will film comments to be shown in the results show and not deliver a mark for the contestants.
    He said: 'I won't be part of the main show giving scores as I'm not in the studio. That would be unfair — you have to be there to do that.
    'They are sending me a link featuring all the dances which I'll watch and then give my opinions for the results show.
    'I'll leave the scores for the three other judges — they know what they're doing.'
    He will then fly to the UK and return to the panel for the semi-finals and final after quarantining for two weeks. The judges will all sit a socially distanced two metres apart, just as the Loose Women panellists do.
    Celebrities — including pop singers who record a performance for the Sunday results show — will be told they cannot bring an entourage.
    Some singers may pre-record their performances several weeks in advance, as setting up the stage for them will take longer with fewer crew. 
    A source said: 'There will be no agents hanging around, no friends or family members. It will be basic crew and talent on set.' 
    As for the live audience, the BBC has said it is 'impossible' to have an audience, but this week Kate Phillips said she is hoping to have a small audience in the studio. 
    A final decision will be taken nearer the time.
    WHY LESS WILL MEAN MORE
    There will be fewer episodes of the show than usual. 
    Last year, Strictly started airing on September 21, but this year it won't come to the screens until October 24. 
    The final will be on December 19 after an overall nine-week run, rather than the usual 13.
    As a result there will be fewer celebrity contestants, and the two landmarks of Halloween and Blackpool will come earlier in the run. 
    There was talk that Blackpool, which is filmed at the legendary Tower Ballroom, may be scrapped due to the pandemic, but at the moment — local lockdowns permitting — the plan is to go ahead as normal.
    The shorter run is partly in order to minimise risks and quarantining, and partly to allow for as much as possible to be pre-recorded in order to keep the Elstree studio working.

    Strictly Come Dancing 2020: Who are the pros?

    ALJAŽ ŠKORJANEC
    Joined the show: Series 11 (2013)
    Celebrity Partners include: Alison Hammond, Helen George, Daisy Lowe, and Viscountess Emma Weymouth
    Best Result: Won with Abbey Clancy in 2013  
    AMY DOWDEN
    Joined the show: Series 15 (2017)
    Celebrity Partners: Brian Conley, Danny John-Jules and Karim Zeroual
    Best Result: 2nd Place with Karim Zeroual in 2019 
    ANTON DU BEKE
    Joined the show: Series 1 (2004)
    Celebrity Partners include: Ann Widdecombe, Nancy Dell’Olio, Judy Murray and Ruth Langsford
    Best result: 2nd Place with Emma Barton in 2019 
    DIANNE BUSWELL
    Joined the show: Series 15 (2017)
    Celebrity Partners: Rev Richard Coles, Joe Sugg and Dev Griffin
    Best Result: 2nd Place with Joe Sugg in 2018 
    GIOVANNI PERNICE
    Joined the show: Series 13 (2015)
    Celebrity Partners: Georgia May Foote, Laura Whitmore Debbie McGee, Faye Tozer and Michelle Visage
    Best Results: 2nd Place with Georgia May Foote (2015), Debbie McGee (2017) and Faye Tozer (2018) 
    GORKA MARQUEZ 
    Joined the show: Series 14 (2016)
    Celebrity Partners: Tameka Empson, Alexandra Burke and Katie Piper
    Best Result: 2nd Place With Alexandra Burke in 2017  
    GRAZIANO DI PRIMA  
    Joined the show: Series 16 (2018)
    Celebrity Partners: Vick Hope
    Best Result: 12th Place with Vick Hope in 2018 
    JANETTE MANRARA
    Joined the show: Series 11 (2013) 
    Celebrity Partners Include: Jake Wood, Peter Andre and Aston Merrygold
    Best Result: 5th Place with Jake Wood in 2014

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