Monday, September 20, 2021

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Shirley Ballas confirms Strictly Come Dancing launch date

Shirley Ballas has confirmed ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ will return on October 17.

The 60-year-old judge has revealed plans for the BBC’s Latin and ballroom competition’s launch, with the first live show of the series set to air the following week on October 24.

Appearing on ‘The One Show’ on Thursday evening (01.10.20), she said. "Our launch show is the 17th, and I believe our first live show is the 24th of October!

"We’re all ready to go, everything’s in place, we’ve got a great cast.

"It’s very, very exciting and we’ll be going into these cold winter months with baubles, bangles and beads and lots of joy."

Earlier this week, the programme’s executive producer Sarah James confirmed that pro dancers Nadiya Bychkova, Neil Jones, Graziano Di Prima and Nancy Xu are without celebrity partners for this year’s series.

The quartet have not been assigned a celeb contestant for the main show this year, as there are only 12 pairings rather than 15, with the programme set for a run of just nine live shows instead of 12, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, Nadiya, Neil, Graziano and Nancy will be able to dance in guest music acts.

Sarah said: "We have four professional dancers who won’t be partnering celebrities this year – they are Nadiya Bychkova, Neil Jones, Graziano di Prima and Nancy Xu.

"So we have two males and two females who perform CCCs [close contact cohorts] together and they’ll be able to dance in the guest music acts."

The dancers and celebrities on this year’s series will be in a close contact cohort.

A BBC document recently confirmed a CCC on a TV production is "as small a number of people as possible who unavoidably need to be in close contact with each other".

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