Strictly Come Dancing could be postponed until next year and broadcast without an audience over social distancing fears
- BBC bosses hold crisis meetings on how they will attract celebrity contestants
- Executives fear that Strictly may have to be postponed until early next year
- It has been suggested contestants could be quarantined together for the show
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
Corporation bosses fear the next series of Strictly may have to be postponed to early next year. Kelvin Fletcher is pictured above with Oti Mabuse on the show
Strictly Come Dancing fans could be bitterly disappointed this year as the coronavirus pandemic threatens to wreck the hit BBC show’s filming schedules.
Corporation bosses fear the next series of Strictly may have to be postponed to early next year.
The Mail on Sunday can reveal that BBC executives have held several crisis meetings over how they will attract a high standard of celebrity contestants, given that social distancing rules look set to remain for months.
It is also likely the show could go ahead without its lively studio audience that adds enormously to the high-energy spectacle.
As well as filming without a studio audience, it has also been suggested that contestants would be quarantined in a house together for its duration.
Strictly sources say it is becoming increasingly difficult to attract stars with families to consider joining the show when it could mean they have to live away for a prolonged period to avoid spreading Covid-19.
And with the so-called Curse of Strictly – blamed for causing relationship break-ups among contestants – becoming a consideration for married celebrities, many are believed to be turning down the opportunity to appear.
There are also fears the show’s professional dancers such as Anton Du Beke – who has three-year-old twins – and Nadiya Bychkova, who also has children, will struggle to take part.
One source said: ‘This is a logistical nightmare.
There are also fears the show’s professional dancers such as Anton Du Beke – above, who has three-year-old twins – and Nadiya Bychkova, who also has children, will struggle to take part
‘There have been many, many contingency meetings about what is going to happen.
‘The hope is that the scheduling will remain the same but people have been warned that postponing until early next year is a distinct possibility. The main priority for the BBC is that everyone is kept safe. It is a massive show but what’s more important right now is protecting lives.’
Strictly bosses have been looking overseas to see how other countries have managed to air their shows during the crisis, in the hope they can make adjustments to ensure the UK version is screened.
For the Australian version, some couples were asked to dance on the roof of a building and filmed by unmanned cameras to make sure that some of the more vulnerable stars weren’t exposed to the virus.
The BBC said: ‘We will continue to review all productions on a case-by-case basis and will continue to follow the latest news and advice from the Foreign Office, World Health Organisation and Public Health England.’
The Mail on Sunday can reveal that BBC executives have held several crisis meetings over how they will attract a high standard of celebrity contestants, given that social distancing rules look set to remain for months
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