Strictly Come Dancing launch date ‘revealed’ as series runtime is slashed by a MONTH

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Strictly Come Dancing’s run time has been slashed by a month as less contestants have been signed up and more precautions are being taken amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

According to The Mirror, the dancing show will premiere on Saturday 24th October, far later than the typical September launch. 

The series will then conclude on 19 December, meaning it will only have a nine week run instead of the typical 13.   

Less airtime: Strictly Come Dancing's run time has been slashed by a month as less contestants have been signed up and more precautions are being taken amid the coronavirus pandemic (pictured: contestant Maisie Smith)

Less airtime: Strictly Come Dancing’s run time has been slashed by a month as less contestants have been signed up and more precautions are being taken amid the coronavirus pandemic (pictured: contestant Maisie Smith) 

However, the series is still set to allow the contestants equal time to shine, as the shorter run time coincides with the fact that only 12 celebrities have signed up for the series this year, instead of the typical 15.  

A Strictly spokesperson declined to comment when approached by MailOnline. 

Just last week, the final line-up of celebrities taking part in the upcoming series were revealed. 

Hold off: According to The Mirror , the dancing show will premiere on Saturday 24th October, far later than the typical September launch (pictured: contestant Jamie Laing)

Hold off: According to The Mirror , the dancing show will premiere on Saturday 24th October, far later than the typical September launch (pictured: contestant Jamie Laing) 

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, 57, and YouTube star HRVY were confirmed as the final contestants this year’s Strictly Come Dancing.  

They joined Jason Bell, Ranvir Singh, Clara Amfo, Caroline Quentin, Jamie Laing, Bill Bailey, JJ Chalmers, Max George, Maisie Smith and Nicola Adams on the line-up. 

The reports come after it was claimed the show has been left in crisis as a crew member tested positive for coronavirus. 

Crisis: The reports come after it was claimed the show has been left in crisis as a crew member tested positive for coronavirus (Pictured: professional dancer Janette Manrara)

Crisis: The reports come after it was claimed the show has been left in crisis as a crew member tested positive for coronavirus (Pictured: professional dancer Janette Manrara)

As a result ‘everyone was told to leave,’ according to a source, who also claimed that the set was given a powerful deep clean as show bosses await the results of a third medical test on the lighting expert. 

According to The Sun, the lighting expert spent a week working on the dance contest’s set.

Following his positive test result, at least five staff who were in close contact with him were sent home and told to self-isolate and await tests of their own, according to the report.

Additionally, a deep clean of the set using powerful electrostatic sprayers, was apparently ordered. 

The report also claims that a third test on the worker is anxiously being waited for, after a second medical check on his Covid-19 status came back as ‘inconclusive.’  

The publication’s source also claimed that panic spread quickly among the professional dancers who were due to start filming in the studios tomorrow. 

Precautions! 'Everyone was told to leave,' according to a source, who also claimed that the set was given a powerful deep clean as show bosses await a third test result

Precautions! ‘Everyone was told to leave,’ according to a source, who also claimed that the set was given a powerful deep clean as show bosses await a third test result

A source told The Sun that the crew member would have been in close contact with ‘dozens of others’ on the set of Strictly.

The insider said: ‘They were hours away from starting filming for the pre-­recorded professional group dances when they got a call to say that one of the crew members had tested positive when turning up for another job.

‘Everything juddered to a halt while worried bosses worked out what to do. This is the worst-case scenario for Strictly, as they’ve gone to extreme lengths to make the show safe up to this point.

‘Starting a show then stopping mid-production is the most expensive thing that could happen, so they’re praying it’s not more serious than just one person potentially having it.’ 

The source also insisted that filming in the studio needs to begin this week if the show is going to be able to film the group dances ahead of the series’ scheduled start date, admitting that it’s already ‘a race against time.’.  

A source told MailOnline: ‘the crew member is no longer on the production and has had a negative NHS test result.

‘Procedures were followed and stringent protocols have been put in place just in case, but recording isn’t due to happen until later this week so there is minimal impact.’  

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

BILL BAILEY 

 Age: 55

Profession: Comedian and TV personality

Clara says: ‘I’m not Lord of the Dance, more a sort of caretaker of the dance’

Fun fact:  Bill is a classically trained musician and multi-instrumentalist

 

 MAISIE SMITH 

 Age: 19

Profession: EastEnders actress

Maisie says: ‘Get me in those sequins, I can’t wait to dive into the Strictly fancy dress box this winter!’

Fun fact:  Maisie won the 2019 Children In Need special of Strictly with Kevin Clifton 

 

 HRVY

 

 Age: 21

Profession: YouTube star 

HRVY says: ‘Being on Strictly is going to be such an amazing experience and I’m so thankful to be taking part this year.’

Fun fact:  HRVY follows in the footsteps of former internet star contestants Joe Sugg and Saffron Barker – the latter of whom is close friends with him 

 

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. 

   

  JJ CHALMERS

Age: 55 Profession: Comedian and TV personality Clara says: 'I'm not Lord of the Dance, more a sort of caretaker of the dance' Fun fact: Bill is a classically trained musician and multi-instrumentalist

 Age: 55 Profession: Comedian and TV personality Clara says: ‘I’m not Lord of the Dance, more a sort of caretaker of the dance’ Fun fact: Bill is a classically trained musician and multi-instrumentalist

Age: 33

Profession: Ex Royal Marine and Invictus Games medallist

JJ says: ‘Strictly is a whole different ball game in respect to the challenges I will face but I’m up for an adventure’

Fun fact:  JJ is close friends with Prince Harry after they worked together on the Invictus Games

 

 JAMIE LAING 

 Age: 31

Profession: Made In Chelsea star

Jamie says: ‘I’m over the moon I actually get to come back and dance again. It’s going to be unbelievably amazing!’

Fun fact:  Jamie was forced to pull out of the 2019 series of Strictly after a foot injury 

 

RT HON JACQUI  SMITH

 Age: 57

Profession: Politician

Jacqui says: ‘I was speechless with excitement at being asked to join Strictly – and that’s very rare for me…!’

Fun fact:  Fifty years ago, she received a bronze medal for Scottish Highland Dancing 

 

  

 

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