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Strictly speaking: Maisie Smith, Jamie Laing and Clara Amfo in group photos


Radio 1 host Clara Amfo, Made In Chelsea's Jamie Laing and EastEnders' Maisie Williams lead the class of Strictly Come Dancing 2020 in the first official group photo posted on Friday.

In the kick-off show, which airs on BBC One on Saturday, hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman pair each celebrity with their professional partner before the cast attend a group performance.

YouTuber HRVY joined the cast for the group shot and got a glittery makeover after testing negative for coronavirus last week, eight days after testing positive.

Wow: The Strictly Come Dancing class poses in the first group photo L-R above Max George, Nicola Adams, Caroline Quentin, Bill Bailey, Jamie Laing, JJ Chalmers, Clara Amfo, Ranvir Singh Below below Caroline Quentin, HRVY, Jason Bell, Maisie Smith

This year's cast will include actress Caroline Quentin, comedian Bill Bailey, singer Max George, former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, BBC expert and former NFL star Jason Bell, former Royal Marine and Invictus Games medalist JJ Chalmers, the Olympian Nicola Adams and the Briton Ranvir from Good Morning completes Singh.

HRVY (Harvey Leigh Cantwell) appearance in the group will undoubtedly delight fans after failing to appear in the first official photos posted last week.

The 21-year-old YouTuber will now take part in the launch show after isolating his negative test result and two weeks.

However, a source previously said his positive test was "the worst-case scenario for Strictly as they went to extreme lengths to keep the show safe up to that point".

I am back! YouTuber HRVY joined the cast and got a glittery makeover after testing negative for coronavirus last week, eight days after testing positive

I am back! YouTuber HRVY joined the cast and got a glittery makeover after testing negative for coronavirus last week, eight days after testing positive

Hit the ground: Comedian Bill Bailey already shows his movements in his official portrait, while looking elegant in a blue satin vest and matching trousers

Hit the ground: Comedian Bill Bailey already shows his movements in his official portrait, while looking elegant in a blue satin vest and matching trousers

A spokesperson for the show insisted that all celebrities on the show be "regularly tested", claiming that the positive test had "minimal production impact".

The first live show of a reduced nine-week run will be broadcast on October 24, one week after the start on Saturday.

It's going to be an exciting year as 37-year-old boxer Nicola will make history when she participates in the show's first same-sex partnership.

Nicola has said pairing up with another woman, allegedly Katya Jones, is a "brilliant step in the right direction, especially on the diversity side".

"And women actually dance with women in professional settings all the time. I think it just shows people that it is possible."

Back on the screens: Men Behaving Badly and Jonathan Creek star Caroline Quentin look amazing in their sparkly blue number

Back on the screens: Men Behaving Badly and Jonathan Creek star Caroline Quentin look amazing in their sparkly blue number

Nicola revealed that she was strictly approaching the idea of ​​same-sex pairing, stating, “I asked the show about it. "They wanted to know if I wanted to be on the show and I said," Yeah, I will, but I want to dance with another female dance partner. "

It was announced in August that producers are determining the pairings of celebrities and professionals by size. Katya measures at 5ft 5ins while former professional boxer Nicola stands at 5ft 4ins.

Earlier this year, Katya told the Sunday Mirror, “I would love to dance with a woman on the show. I think it would be really interesting to be creative and I love to come up with new ideas for things. & # 39;

Action man: Former Royal Marine and Invictus Games medalist JJ Chalmers wears a purple suit for his dance floor debut

Action man: Former Royal Marine and Invictus Games medalist JJ Chalmers wears a purple suit for his dance floor debut

Following the news of Nicola appearing in a female partnership on the show, the BBC defended a same-sex couple after more than 100 people complained.

In a statement, the company said the competition was an "inclusive show" and they were "proud" to have had same-sex numbers in previous series.

In the meantime, it will be Made In Chelsea star Jamie’s second opening show as he was originally part of the 2019 cast before being forced to drop out after a leg injury before the first live show.

Radio star: Radio 1 DJ Clara Amfo is the beauty of the ballroom in her stunning golden tassel dress

Radio star: Radio 1 DJ Clara Amfo is the beauty of the ballroom in her stunning golden tassel dress

Making History: A big change in the 2020 series is the first same-sex partnership to see boxer Nicole Adams work with a professional woman

Jacqui Smith follows in the footsteps of politicians who became stars Anne Widdecombe and Ed Balls

Making History: A big change in the 2020 series is the first same-sex partnership, where boxer Nicole Adams works with a professional woman while Jacqui Smith follows in the footsteps of politicians Anne Widdecombe and Ed Balls

Jamie has admitted that if he gets injured again this year, it will be the infamous Strictly Curse.

Other stars were busy getting tips from previous competitors on the series. Ex-Home Secretary Jacqui Smith revealed she was talking to Strictly legend Ed Balls.

"I was lucky that Ed Balls spoke to me and gave me some advice. I'm not sure I would ever be able to match his Gangnam style," the politician joked.

Soap star: Maisie Smith is the youngest of this year's celebrity competitors at just 19

Soap star: Maisie Smith is the youngest of this year's celebrity competitors at just 19

Ready for Rhumba: Bill and JJ both leave their comfort zones with a strict stint

Ready for Rhumba: Bill and JJ both leave their comfort zones with a strict stint

Ready for Rhumba: Bill and JJ both leave their comfort zones with a strict stint

Hunks of the Ballroom: Max George hopes to mimic bandmate Jay McGuinness' success on the show

NFL star Jason Bell will swap the soccer field for the Strictly Ballroom

Hunks of the Ballroom: Max George hopes to mimic bandmate Jay McGuinness' success on the show, while NFL star Jason Bell will swap the soccer field for the Strictly Ballroom

Learn their movements: At the opening show on October 17th, Ranvir, Caroline and Co will work together with their professional partners a week later before the first live show

Learn their movements: At the opening show on October 17th, Ranvir, Caroline and Co will work together with their professional partners a week later before the first live show

Learn their movements: At the kick-off show on Saturday, Ranvir, Caroline and Co will work with their professional partners a week later before the first live show

Meanwhile, NFL star Jason Bell has used the skills of his ex Nadine Coyle, the mother of his young daughter. The athlete admitted that the Girls Aloud star was the first person he shared about Strictly and explained her reaction: “She only looked at me for a minute. She doesn't tell you her opinion very quickly, she listens to all the facts. "

“When I told her she just said, are you sure your back can do that? I talk to her all the time about preparing for dance routines and the like and how long it takes and what you need to do. She's an expert, so I'm lucky. "

And actress Caroline Quentin has revealed an unlikely Stictly Superfan with her friend Elizabeth Hurley. Caroline explained the best reactions she's had to her new venture: "Until you're in the eye of the storm, you don't really know how much people love something."

"I've worked with Elizabeth Hurley and she's more excited about it than anyone I've ever met. She told me so much information about the program that in the past few years and with the winners, I didn't know what happened and how to proceed. & # 39;

& # 39; She and her son Damien gave us tremendous support. I got applause at my local grocery store when buying fruit! & # 39;

Back for more! It will be Made In Chelsea star Jamie’s second opening show as he was originally part of the 2019 cast before being forced out after a leg injury before the first live show

Back for more! It will be Made In Chelsea star Jamie’s second opening show as he was originally part of the 2019 cast before being forced out after a leg injury before the first live show

In a recent industry Q&A, executive producer Sarah James explained the new Covid-friendly format, which also includes a socially distant jury and candidate bubbles, with one party having to live alone.

Sarah also shed light on the show's contingency plans in the face of the pandemic, insisting she was "confident" that the contest series will continue even if current coronavirus restrictions change from Oct. 17.

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.

With a limited studio crew, you may not be able to build large sets. Hence, producers use augmented reality which adds computer generated elements.

And to ensure that the participants can work closely with their partners, they are regularly tested and "gushing".

Only three judges – Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse – will be in the studio with separate podiums, and the dancers will sit in the audience instead of going upstairs to get their scores.

Senior judge Bruno Tonioli said he would be "involved remotely" and hopes to return to full-time work towards the end of the series while filming the US version of the show in Los Angeles.

In addition to Bruno's absence, it was confirmed last week that pros Nadiya Bychkova, Neil Jones, Graziano Di Prima and Nancy Xu are not prominent partners for this year's series.

The BBC show's executive producer confirmed that the quartet was not assigned a celebrity candidate for the main show this year, as there are only 12 pairings instead of 15 and nine live shows instead of the usual 12.

This year's series will also have a greatly reduced live audience. People applying for tickets are also instructed to wear face coverings, preferably black, throughout the recording and on-site at the studios in Elstree.

According to guidelines on the BBC's "Shows and Tours" website, tickets are limited this year and family groups of "four people from the same household / social bubble at cabaret tables and balcony seats" will also be accommodated.

The website states that the company will also support the NHS Test and Trace program and urges people not to participate in records if they develop any of the symptoms of the coronavirus or if they are in close contact with someone who tested positive for Coronavirus & # 39 ;.

Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One for the October 17th launch show.

Dancing Queen: Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly will once again host judges Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas and Craig Revel-Horwood

Dancing Queen: Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly will again host judges Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas and Craig Revel-Horwood

Strictly Come Dancing Contestants 2020

CAROLINE QUENTIN

Age: 60

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.

MAX GEORGE

Age: 31

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!

CLARA AMFO

Age: 36

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

BILL BAILEY

Age: 55

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

MAISIE SMITH

Age: 19th

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

HRVY

Age: 21

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

JASON BELL

Age: 42

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

RANVIR SINGH

Age: 43

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.

NICOLA ADAMS

Age: 37

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.

JJ CHALMERS

Age: 55 Occupation: Comedian and TV personality Clara says: "I am not the master of the dance, but rather a kind of manager of the dance." Fun fact: Bill is a classically trained musician and multi-instrumentalist

Age: 33

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

JAMIE LAING

Age: 31

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

Age: 57

Job: Politician

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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