Strictly Come Dancing gave fans a first glimpse of their socially distant kick-off show when the twelve celebrities finally discover their professional partners.
At the recorded opener, which will be broadcast on Saturday, the professionals will shine with a sensational opening routine. Judges Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse and Craig Revel-Horwood are seated on separate podiums to ensure the program complies with COVID-19 safety guidelines.
This year's Strictly has been expected more than ever as the country is hit by the coronavirus crisis, and drastic changes have been made to ensure the series can continue, albeit with a shortened duration.
It's back! Strictly Come Dancing gave fans a first glimpse of their socially distant kick-off show when the twelve celebrities finally discover their professional partners
First insights from the hosts of the launch show, Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, who are reuniting. The couple ensures that they are at least two meters apart throughout the show.
As always, Tess looks sensational in a white and black spotted midi dress, while Claudia opts for a bronze sequin suit to showcase the program.
Tess and Claudia offer an insight into the strict measures that have been introduced due to the crisis and are separated from the orchestra by a plexiglass wall.
Two meters away! First insights into the reunification of the moderators Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, but at a distance of two meters in accordance with the COVID-19 guidelines
Watchful eye: Judges Craig Revel-Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse will also take their places on the jury. This year, however, they'll be sitting on separate desks to keep social distance
Competitive: This year 12 celebrities are fighting for the coveted Glitterball trophy
The start will be for the celebrities to discover their professional partners for the first time, although in a post-COVID switch they will instead be over-revealed. Video link.
This allows couples to create their own "bubbles" for training and performances, meaning the stars keep their distance from one another while filming.
The professional dancers will also take the stage to showcase their dance moves with a sensation opener and will also watch a stunning performance by Joel Corry and MNEK.
Judges Craig Revel-Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse will also take their places on the jury. This year, however, they'll be sitting on separate desks to keep social distance.
Bruno Tonioli was unable to perform in the studio due to travel restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, but will be visiting from his home in Los Angeles.
This year, 12 celebrities will have their say in the hope of winning the coveted Glitterball trophy, including British host of Good Morning Ranvir Singh, Maisie Smith from EastEnders, US soccer star Jason Bell and singer from The Wanted, Max George.
Wonderful: At the launch, the professionals will also come on stage with an outstanding group opener. Nadiya Bychkova and Graziano Di Prima form their own bubble to dance with singers and guest actors
Looks good: Neil Jones and Nanzy Xu – who won't get a celebrity partner – will also hit the dance floor together
Rules: This year, Strictly introduced tough new guidelines, including regular testing and restrictions on mixing celebrities and professionals
How's Strictly 2020 going during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Strictly Come Dancing has put in place a number of strict measures to ensure the new series can continue during the COVID-19 crisis.
Celebrity participants and their professional partners are tested regularly, with the cast and crew being instructed to isolate themselves in case they contract the virus.
The bosses have already confirmed that celebrities who tested positive at the beginning of the series will be banned from the show. According to reports, celebrities are on standby.
The professional dancers have already recorded their group performances after isolating themselves together in a hotel.
It has also been claimed that celebrities and professionals will be banned from the show if they are caught kissing while filming.
Strictly in 2020, the series was also shortened to just nine weeks, with 12 instead of the usual 15 celebrities taking part.
The show's annual trip to Blackpool has been canceled, along with this year's Halloween and Christmas specials.
Only three judges – Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse – will be in the studio with separate podiums after Bruno Tonioli was unable to show up due to travel concerns.
Senior judge Bruno has announced that he will be "remotely involved" and hopes to return to full-time work towards the end of the show while filming the US version of the show in Los Angeles.
With a limited studio crew, you may not be able to build large sets. Hence, producers use augmented reality which adds computer generated elements.
To ensure that the participants can work closely with their partners, they are "gushed" for training and tested regularly.
Strictly speaking, there will still be a live audience, but fans will sit in groups at separate tables and only participate if they come from the same household or bubble.
Rounding out the lineup are actress Caroline Quentin, former Home Secretary Jacquie Smith, Radio 1 DJ Clara Amfo, Made In Chelsea's Jamie Laing, boxer Nicola Adams, YouTube star Hrvy, comedian Bill Bailey, and medalist from Invictus Games , JJ Chalmers.
This year, Strictly will also be the first same-sex couple in the series to feature Nicola Adams starring pro Katya Jones after years of fanatic campaigns.
Strictly was already having a lot of anxiety before the start on Saturday after Hrvy tested positive for coronavirus just days before the scheduled filming for the start.
It has been questioned whether he could attend, but has since been declared COVID-free and can continue training for the show.
It has been reported that Stars and their professional partners may be forced to check for coronavirus daily after a former crew member tested positive days before the new series.
The Sun has also claimed that bosses have a list of "standby" stars for the show in case a star falls ill with relatives who are likely to be excluded from rehearsals.
This year, the pros have already recorded all of the group performances while isolated together in a hotel, and the couples have formed separate bubbles to train and perform together.
The series will continue to have a live audience, but fans will be seated in small groups and only allowed to attend if they come from the same household or bubble.
In a recent Q&A, executive producer Sarah James shed light on the show's contingency plans in the face of the pandemic and insisted she was "confident" that the competitive series will continue even if current coronavirus restrictions change.
While the nation waits to see what the stars will do, Strictly bosses have drawn up strict plans to deal with anyone who gets sick.
Sarah said, "If you get a positive test, government guidelines require you to isolate for two weeks, which, unfortunately, would remove them from the show."
This year's streak will be a scaled-down nine-week run with an entirely different look. The 12 partnerships – three less than usual – will not be revealed in the studio but via video link, and the annual trip to the Blackpool Tower Ballroom is also planned.
Explaining the use of the bladder system to ensure couples can exercise and perform, she added, “Close contact cohorts (CCC) are for people who need to work closely together and violate social distancing rules to get their jobs done. It just has to be with one person and you will be tested regularly.
"We ask the celebrities to be part of an exclusive support bubble with their dancers, which means that half of the group has to live alone."
Amazing: Joel Corry and MNEK (pictured) will also perform at the launch, accompanied by some professional dancers
Keep dancing The Strictly class is pictured (L-R top): Max George, Nicola Adams, Caroline Quentin, Bill Bailey, Jamie Laing, JJ Chalmers, Clara Amfo, Ranvir Singh, (bottom) Caroline Quentin, HRVY, Jason Bell, Maisie Smith
The pros spent two weeks in September isolating themselves at a Buckinghamshire hotel to rehearse the group numbers.
Sarah also discussed how hairdressers and makeup artists had to adapt to the new guidelines, adding, “Hair, makeup and costumes are all allowed under government guidelines.
“After hairdressers and other facilities reopened, we were able to have our hair and make-up team work with full PPE and disinfection.
"Hair and makeup could work with as many different performers as they wanted or had to, but this year we're going to have specific makeup teams for specific couples to make sure people don't mix as much."
Nadiya Bychkova, Neil Jones and Graziano Di Prima have been removed from the main cast and will not be paired with celebrities for this year's edition, but instead form their own CCCs to jointly support the guest singers on the show.
Strictly Come Dancing returns on BBC One on Saturday at 7:50 p.m.
Coming back soon: Strictly Come Dancing 2020 will return to BBC One on Saturday October 17th at 7:50 p.m.
Strictly Come Dancing Contestants 2020
Job: Actress known for roles in Men Behaving Badly and Jonathan Creek
Caroline says: "I hope my knees won't let me down and I hope the basics will meet expectations when I start jumping around!"
Fun fact: She met her husband, Sam Farmer, on the set of Men Behaving Badly in 1998 when he was one of the studio runners.
Job: Singer – from the former boy band The Wanted
Max says: "Nan – I'm doing it strictly this year!" when he vowed to make his superfan grandmother proud
Fun fact: Max & # 39; colleague The Wanted bandmate Jay McGuiness was at Strictlby Come Dancing in 2015 – and won it!
Job: Radio 1 presenter
Clara says: "As we know, this year has been a real challenge and I know we all enjoy escaping by dancing."
Fun fact: Clara has some experience with celebrity game shows after attending Celebrity Masterchef in 2018
Job: Comedian and TV personality
Clara says: "I am not the master of the dance, but rather a kind of caretaker of the dance."
Fun fact: Bill is a classically trained musician and multi-instrumentalist
Job: EastEnders actress
Maisie says: "Get me into those sequins, I can't wait to dive into the Strictly Fancy Dress Box this winter!"
Fun fact: Maisie won the Strictly Children In Need Special with Kevin Clifton in 2019
Job: YouTube star
HRVY says: "Being strict is going to be an amazing experience and I'm so grateful to be able to participate this year."
Fun fact: HRVY follows in the footsteps of former internet star contestants Joe Sugg and Saffron Barker, the latter of whom he is close friends
Job: Retired American Football Player – Now an Expert
Jason says: & # 39; I'm thrilled. I'm a huge fan of the show, I've seen 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! & # 39;
Fun fact: Jason is the father of Nadine Coyle's daughter. The couple dated for 11 years and only recently split in 2019
Job: ITV broadcaster, political editor for GMB
Ranvir says: "It feels like I'm on a roller coaster … Hopefully after the first dance I'll feel more excited than sick!"
Fun fact: Ranvir is the fourth GMB star after Susanna Reid, Richard Arnold and Charlotte Hawkins.
Job: Double Olympic gold medalist boxer
Nicola says: "I'm a huge fan of the show and I'm excited to be part of something that holds such a special place in the hearts of so many people."
Fun fact: Nicola will form the series' first same-sex pairing as she works with a professional woman.
Job: Ex Royal Marine and Invictus Games medalist
JJ says: "Strictly speaking, it's a completely different ball game in terms of the challenges I face, but I'm ready for an adventure."
Fun fact: JJ is close friends with Prince Harry after working together on the Invictus Games
Job: Made In Chelsea Star
Jamie says: “I'm over the moon that I can actually come back and dance again. It will be incredibly amazing! & # 39;
Fun fact: Jamie was forced to retire from the 2019 Strictly series after suffering a foot injury
RT HON JACQUI SMITH
Jacqui says: "I was speechless with excitement when I was 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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