The Strictly Come Dancing tour is in danger of not happening ‘after celebrities said their fee was too low compared to the risk of touring’ after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Traditionally after each series of the hit BBC show, the final six stars and a selection of professional dancers hit the road to dazzle live audiences around the UK.
Cancelled? The Strictly Come Dancing tour is in danger of not happening ‘due to coronavirus concerns from celebrities’ (2019 tour pictured)
A source said: ‘The fee for taking part is around £40,000 and many of the stars are saying it’s too small for the risk of being out on the road.
‘On the flip side, the organisers are facing the issue of putting on the tour in a world ruled by social distancing.
‘There’s a question mark over whether venues will even be open in early 2021 and that’s before trying to work out how they put on such a big production safely and securely.
The source added that opinion is divided at the moment over what to do, with some saying it may be best to just cancel the whole thing.
Claims: A source said: ‘The fee for taking part is around £40,000 and many of the stars are saying it’s too small for the risk of being out on the road’ (dancers pictured on the 2020 tour)
A tour spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘There are on-going internal discussions about the status of the 2021 arena tour because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Once concluded, we will make an announcement to update all the fans.’
The possibility of the tour not going ahead comes as Strictly revealed more details about its plans to deal with Covid-19 on the upcoming shows.
It was revealed on Monday that all contestants and professional dancers face being disqualified from the show if they test positive for coronavirus in a strict one-strike rule.
In a recent industry Q&A, executive producer Sarah James detailed the new Covid-friendly format, which also includes a socially distanced judging panel and contestant ‘bubbles’, with one party being required to live alone.
Decisions: A tour spokesperson confirmed there ‘are on-going internal discussions about the status of the 2021 arena tour because of the Covid-19 pandemic’ (2020 tour pictured)
Sarah also shed light on the show’s contingency plans in light of the pandemic and insisted she’s ‘confident’ the competition series will go ahead even if the current coronavirus restrictions change from October 17.
As the nation waits to see how the pairs will fare with their dance partners, Strictly bosses have drawn up tough plans to deal with anyone – celebrity or professional – who falls ill.
Sarah said: ‘Obviously according to government guidelines if you receive a positive test you have to isolate for two weeks and that would unfortunately rule them out of the show.’
This year’s series will be a pared down nine-week run with a very different look. The 12 partnerships – three less than usual – will be unveiled via video link rather than in the studio and the annual trip to the Blackpool Tower ballroom is also off the cards.
Shake-up: It comes as executive producer Sarah James detailed the new Covid-friendly format which will be used for the show (studio pictured)
Changes: Only three judges – Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse – will be in the studio, while Bruno Tonioli has said he will be ‘involved remotely’
Only three judges – Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse – will be in the studio with separate rostrums, and the dancers will sit in the audience rather than go upstairs to get their scores.
Veteran judge Bruno Tonioli has said he will be ‘involved remotely’ and hopes to return full-time towards the end of the series as he is filming the US version of the show in Los Angeles.
To ensure the contestants can work closely with their partners, they will get tested regularly and ‘bubble up’.
‘Close contact cohorts (CCC) apply to people who need to work closely and break social distancing rules to do their jobs. It has to only be with one person and you are regularly tested.
‘We are asking the celebrity contestants to be part of an exclusive support bubble with their dancers, which means that one half of the party has to live alone.’
One strike and you’re out! Strictly contestants and professional dancers (pictured) face being disqualified from the show if they test positive for coronavirus under the new rules
The professionals spent two weeks in September isolating in a Buckinghamshire hotel so they could rehearse the group numbers.
Sarah also discussed how hairdressers and make-up artist have had to adjust to the new guidelines as she added: ‘Hair and make-up and costume are all allowed in accordance with government guidelines.
‘We were able to have our hair and make-up team working with full PPE and sanitising once hairdressers and other facilities opened.
‘Hair and make-up were able to work with as many of the different cast as they wanted or needed to, but this year we’ll have specific makeup teams assigned to specific couples to ensure people don’t mix as much.’
Earlier this month, a former crew member was reported to have Covid-19, but the producer revealed there was ‘minimal impact’ on the series as the worker in question was removed from set and had two more tests which came back as negative.
Going ahead: Executive Sarah insisted she’s ‘confident’ the competition series will go ahead even if the current coronavirus restrictions change from October 17 (2019 tour pictured)
She shared: ‘He had a test when working on another show and it came back positive, which meant all of our contingencies kicked in. I was really impressed with how brilliantly the team responded.
‘The person in question had two more tests which both came back as negative. Although it was a false alarm, it was a great dry run for us.
‘We have contingency plan for every eventuality. We have changed things regularly, but we are confident we’ll still be able to put the show on.’
Nadiya Bychkova, Neil Jones and Graziano Di Prima have been axed from the main line-up and won’t be coupled up with celebrity contestants for this year’s edition.
The Ukrainian-Slovenian beauty, 31, choreographer Neil, 38, and Italian dance expert Graziano, 26, will form CCCs with fellow pro Nancy Xu.
The BBC employee explained: ‘Nadiya Bychkova, Neil Jones, Graziano Di Prima and Nancy Xu. So we have two males and two females, and they will appear in a CCC so that are able to dance.’
MailOnline has contacted representatives for Nadiya, Neil and Graziano for further comment.
Bring on the dazzle: Despite the news rules and no trip to Blackpool, Strictly will be returning to screens in October