|This years line up
Bill Bailey - Comedian, Actor, Musician (dance partner Oti Mabuse)
Caroline Quentin - Actress, Presenter, Singer (dance partner Johannes Radebe)
Clara Amfo - BBC Radio 1 DJ, Presenter (dance partner Aljaz Skorjanec)
HRVY - Singer, Social Media Personality (dance partner Janette Manrara)
Jacqui Smith - former politician (dance partner Anton Du Beke)
Jamie Laing - Reality Star, Actor (dance partner Karen Hauer)
Jason Bell - former NFL player, sports presenter (dance partner Luba Mushtuk)
JJ Chalmers - Invictus gamesAthlete, former Royal Commando (dance partner Amy Dowden)
Maisie Smith - Soap Actress, Singer (dance partner Gorka Marquez)
Max George - former The Wanted singer, Actor (dance partner Dianne Buswell)
Nicola Adams OBE - Olympic Boxer (dance partner Katya Jones)
Ranvir Singh - Good Morning Britain Presenter (dance partner Giovanni Pernice)
How are we making Strictly this year?
We are doing everything possible to protect our cast, crew and audience during the filming of Strictly Come Dancing 2020. To make it more manageable during these unprecedented times, we have a smaller crew, fewer episodes and less couples. We are using many creative solutions as well as recognised measures to be able to bring Strictly to your screens, including: isolation, testing, working from home when possible, increased cleaning, sanitizing, bubbles and cohorts. We are following the current Government advice, industry and BBC specific guidelines and are constantly reviewing and adapting our plans whenever needed.
How can the pros dance together?
This summer all our professional dancers and some crew isolated at home for 2 weeks and were tested twice for Covid-19 during this time. After their isolation and once all their tests had come back negative, they moved into a hotel near the Strictly Come Dancing studio and were able to safely live and work together as one household.
The hotel was exclusively taken over by our Strictly team and had strict Covid protocols of its own. Over the next few weeks the professional dancers successfully rehearsed and then filmed all the incredible group dances for this series.
How can the couples break social distancing by dancing together?
We are using two approaches to bring our 12 Strictly couples together.
The first is the creation of Bubbles. Each couple has formed a support bubble. Meaning, one half of the bubble is a single adult household living alone, while the other half may remain with their household. This means they are permitted to have close contact with one another. The bubbles are exclusive and the couples are not able to form other bubbles with anyone else whilst they are in the competition. Each couple will follow Government guidelines on social distancing with anyone who is not in their household or support bubble. They were all tested twice before forming their bubbles.
The second approach is the use of a TV industry protocol called Close Contact Cohorts. This industry protocol is similar to support bubbles however it includes regular and routine testing for COVID-19. Each couple is in an exclusive Close Contact Cohort which means they cannot form a cohort with anyone else while they are in the competition.
A few selected members of the team have also formed Close Contact Cohorts, in order to carry out their roles on the show. These include Nadiya and Graziano, and Neil and Nancy which allows them to perform together for the guest music acts. As pros exit the competition they may also form close contact cohorts in pairs.
How do we keep everyone safe during filming?
If someone develops symptoms on set they are immediately sent home to isolate and be tested. We will follow the government guidelines regarding isolation times and if a pro or celeb has symptoms, their dance partner must also isolate until we have the test result. Unfortunately due to the current length of the recommended isolation period, a positive Covid test result may mean a couple has to withdraw from the competition.
There are many measures and protocols that are being followed by everyone on the Strictly team. These measures are followed in all areas including: training rooms, offices, edit suites and the studio. Everyone is required to fill out a daily digital health declaration form stating that they have no symptoms, and everybody’s temperatures are taken before site entry. Everyone is required, where possible, to socially distance from each other and face coverings are encouraged to be worn at all times unless people are eating, drinking or they are on-screen talent about to perform or rehearse the show. The studio has improved ventilation systems, daily deep cleans and there is extra cleaning throughout the day. Sanitiser is available in every room and plastic screens separate many of the working areas. 2 –metre sticks are also on set and used during VT location filming too. Other methods of work such as fixed team groups and/or partners are also adopted in line with Government guidelines.
Job roles that require closer contact (such as hair, makeup, medics or physio teams) are following the Government’s Close Contact Services Guidelines, which include the requirement to wear additional PPE.
There isn’t quite enough room for Dave Arch and his band to all fit into the band area safely this year, so part of the band is pre-recorded during the week. Guest music acts will still be performing for our Sunday Results shows following all rules on distancing. Audience will be required to wear face coverings.
Just like our crew, our judges and celebrities are required to stay two metres apart from each other. The judges have their own individual podiums this year and Claudia will only have one couple with her at a time in her area. The couples will watch each other perform from the audience at individual distanced tables. We are supporting NHS Test and Trace by collecting relevant information from those attending each week.