Strictly stars ‘are banned from going to parties over fears of another Covid outbreak’
This year’s Strictly Come Dancing stars have reportedly been banned from going to parties amid the BBC‘s ‘paranoia’ about another Covid outbreak on the show.
It comes after Tom Fletcher and Amy Dowden tested positive for coronavirus two weeks ago and were forced to miss last Saturday’s show to isolate.
Now The Mirror reports that the professionals and their celebrity partners have been advised not to socialise too much to avoid further disruption.
Drama: This year’s Strictly Come Dancing stars have reportedly been banned from going to parties amid the BBC’s ‘paranoia’ about another Covid outbreak on the show
A source told the publication: ‘Paranoia is swirling round the BBC studios – everyone is fearful of getting Covid and ruining their chances.
‘They’ve been advised to avoid big events or partying – anything that could see them testing positive for the virus.
‘Producers have been very clear that health and safety come first, which means contestants have had to forego painting the town red as was customary in previous years.’
A representative for Strictly told MailOnline in response to the claims: ‘We do not comment on speculation of somebody’s COVID vaccination status.
Rules: The Mirror reports that the professionals and their celebrity partners have been advised not to socialise too much to avoid further disruption
‘Strictly Come Dancing production continues to follow strict government and industry guidelines to ensure the safety of all on the show.’
Strictly stars would normally attend parties after the shows and are invited to the NTAs which take place on September 9.
However this year they were all in isolation ahead of the programme’s launch on September 18.
It Takes Two host Janette Manrara was sent to pick up their award for Best Talent Show at the ceremony.
Oh dear: It comes after Tom Fletcher and Amy Dowden tested positive for coronavirus two weeks ago and were forced to miss last Saturday’s show to isolate
She also attended the TRIC Awards on September 15 – where the rest of the Strictly team were missing yet again.
Olympic swimmer Adam Peaty is the only cast member to have been seen at a showbiz event – at the GQ Awards on September 1.
It comes after Tom and Amy were both forced to miss last week’s Strictly’s after announcing they’d tested positive for coronavirus.
Despite social distancing no longer being a legal requirement, Strictly have enforced their own measurements for cast and crew amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Replacement: It Takes Two host Janette Manrara was sent to pick up their award for Best Talent Show at the NTAs after none of the dancers attended due to be in isolation ahead of the series
Strictly bosses were reportedly considering ‘scrapping the show’s live audience and re-introducing quarantine bubbles for celebrities and their professional dancers,’ in the wake of Tom and Amy’s positive tests.
A crisis meeting is said to have been held after Tom and his partner Amy tested positive for Covid despite having been double-jabbed.
A source has revealed ‘there is nothing they aren’t willing to consider’ in order to keep the show rolling full steam ahead.
They told The Sun: ‘These would be radical steps to take to increase safety on the set, but given the difficulties producers have had over the past two weeks, there’s nothing they aren’t willing to consider.
Decisions: Strictly bosses were reportedly considering ‘scrapping the show’s live audience and re-introducing quarantine bubbles for celebrities and their professional dancers,’ in the wake of Tom and Amy’s positive tests (Judi and Graziano perform on Saturday night)
‘But if they did have to go down this route, it would be a logistical nightmare and might leave some of the stars with a dilemma as many of them are juggling their dance training with their day jobs.’
Strictly bosses previously admitted they ‘aren’t bulletproof’ to COVID-19 in the wake of Tom and Amy’s positive tests.
It’s understood that show producers were quietly ‘dismayed’ after hearing of their shock diagnosis two Sunday’s ago, with the pair ruled out of the following Saturday’s show while they recovered from the contagious respiratory bug.
Amy, who received her COVID-19 vaccination prior to contracting the illness, had previously accompanied Tom and his McFly bandmates during their current UK tour.
But the BBC told MailOnline there are no plans to increase testing because they are ‘satisfied’ the measures they currently have in place are as good as they can be.
‘Tom and Amy’s positive test was the worst possible news,’ an insider told MailOnline.
‘After days of negative headlines about dancers not getting the jab, producers had hoped the start of the show would see them turn a corner and put this story to bed.
They’re back! Tom and his partner Amy returned to the dance floor on Saturday night for the Strictly Come Dancing Movie Week special after missing last week’s show following their positive Covid tests
‘So for Amy and Tom to go down with COVID was absolutely crushing news and left everyone dismayed.
‘But BBC bosses are refusing to panic. They believe the measures in place are as good as they can be. They’ve always been clear that nothing is going to be bulletproof and producers can only follow Government guidelines.
‘They are now just hoping nobody else comes down with the virus because that would really put the show in danger of being cancelled.’
The new series of Strictly has already been embroiled in controversy over reports that three of the professional dancers are unvaccinated, although there is no suggestion that either Tom or Amy were among this number.
STRICTLY COME DANCING 2021: WHO ARE THE COUPLES?
TOM FLETCHER & AMY DOWDEN
Celebrity’s Age: 36
Profession: McFly musician
Tom says: ‘I’m so pleased the news is out it’s been so hard keeping it secret. Equal parts excited and terrified.’
Fun fact: Tom’s McFly bandmate Harry Judd won Strictly Come Dancing in 2011. Tom’s wife Giovanna Fletcher is the reigning champion of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
ROBERT WEBB & DIANNE BUSWELL
Celebrity’s Age: 48
Profession: Actor and comedian
Robert says: ‘It’s very exciting but with a slight undertone of quivering terror.’
Fun Fact: Robert squeezed into a shiny leotard to take the title of Let’s Dance For Comic Relief in 2009, performing What A Feeling from ’80s film Flashdance, beating the likes of Keith Lemon and Paddy McGuinness to the title.
RHYS STEPHENSON & NANCY XU
Celebrity’s Age: 27
Profession: CBBC presenter
Rhys says: ‘I have dreamt about being on this show, and I know for a fact that it is going to exceed every expectation’
Fun fact: Rhys has been an actor since the age of ten, performing alongside Matt Smith and Hugh Bonneville.
KATIE MCGLYNN & GORKA MARQUEZ
Celebrity’s Age: 28
Katie says: ‘I’m really not a dancer, but I’m so excited to learn a new skill on this crazy journey and cannot wait to slip into some sequins along the way.’
Fun fact: Katie, who played Sinead Tinker in Corrie, won a NTA for Best Serial Drama Performance in 2020.
TILLY RAMSAY & NIKITA KUZMIN
Celebrity’s Age: 19
Profession: CBBC presenter
Tilly says: ’I’m going to put my heart and soul into this and can’t wait to get my dancing shoes on!’
Fun fact: Tilly’s father is celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay and the pair often star in dancing TikTok videos.
NINA WADIA & NEIL JONES
Celebrity’s Age: 52
Nina says: ‘I think I should do this before I’m too old and can’t walk anymore. I just want to grab life by the horns and just enjoy it.’
Fun fact: Nina is a JDRF Ambassador and was awarded an OBE in the 2021 New Year’s Honours List.
ADAM PEATY & KATYA JONES
Celebrity’s Age: 26
Adam says: ‘I’m really looking forward to doing something totally different and challenging myself away from the pool.’
Fun fact: Adam becoming the first British swimmer to defend an Olympic title at Tokyo 2020.
UGO MONYE & OTI MABUSE
Celebrity’s Age: 38
Profession: Rugby player and sports pundit
Ugo says: ‘What a dream come true! Strictly is the biggest entertainment show on TV and I can’t wait to show everyone I’ve got more than just dad dancing moves.
Fun fact: Beginning his rugby career at Harlequins in 2002, Ugo went on to make 241 appearances for the club where he scored 89 tries, won a Premiership and made his England debut in 2008.
AJ says: ‘I think it’s going to be really challenging. I can’t wait for the sequins, the wigs, the glitz and the glamour.’
Fun Fact: Apocalypse Wow hosts AJ has featured on a whopping 14 TV shows this year, competing in the likes oF Cooking With The Stars and Celebrity Karaoke Club. She has appeared as a panelist on Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two in the past, too.
JOHN WHAITE & JOHANNES RADEBE
Celebrity’s Age: 33
Profession: Great British Bake Off Winner and TV chef
John says: ‘I’m so grateful, excited, and nervous to be joining the Strictly 2021 family… I’ve been wearing sequins and jazzy attire since I was three years old and can’t wait to hurl myself, full throttle, around the most glamorous dance floor on earth’
Fun Fact: The duo are the first ever all-male partnering – the first in 17 years of the show.
SARA DAVIES & ALJAZ SKORJANEC
Celebrity’s Age: 37
Sarasays: ‘I’m really nervous because so far the producers keep asking me if I can dance… Truth be told – I haven’t got a clue! I’ve not danced since I did ballet lessons when I was little.’
Fun fact: Sara was the youngest ever dragon on BBC show Dragons’ Den.
DAN WALKER & NADIYA BYCHKOVA
Celebrity’s Age: 44
Dan says: ‘I’m enjoying the experience when it starts of learning to dance. I’ll be honest I’m not making room on any shelves in my house for the glitterball.’
Fun fact: Dan recently quit Football Focus after 12 years at the helm and has been covering Tokyo Olympics.
GREG WISE & KAREN HAUER
Celebrity’s Age: 55
Greg says: ‘It’s about being out there and exposing yourself as someone who can’t dance, and learning.’
Fun fact: Greg is married to the actress Emma Thompson who he met while filming Sense and Sensibility.
ROSE AYLING-ELLIS & GIOVANNI PERNICE
Celebrity’s Age: 30
Rose says: ‘I hope I will do the deaf community proud and break down more barriers. I am also very excited to learn an incredible new skill.’
Fun fact: Rose will make history as Strictly’s first deaf contestant.
JUDI LOVE & GRAZIANO DI PRIMA
Celebrity’s Age: 41
Judi says: ‘I’m truly looking forward to pushing myself in something that I could have only dreamed of doing and now it’s actually coming true!’
Fun fact: Judi began comedy when she performed a set in front of her class for a degree module.