Strictly Come Dancing 2020: Everything we know so far

This year has been a whirlwind full of change, but one thing we can always rely on for a touch of familiarity and comfort is Strictly Come Dancing. Luckily, the show will go ahead for 2020 but not without certain changes to its set-up. Here’s everything we know so far, from the celebrities taking part to the series length. 

Strictly Come Dancing 2020
Rex Features

Which celebrities are confirmed for Strictly Come Dancing 2020?

The following celebrities have been confirmed for the show: actress Caroline Quentin, former American footballer Jason Bell, The Wanted singer Max George, Good Morning Britain journalist and presenter Ranvir Singh, Radio 1 DJ Clara Amfo, Olympic boxer Nicola Adams OBE, comedian Billy Bailey, Made in Chelsea‘s Jamie Laing, former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, EastEnders’ Maisie Smith, Invictus Games winner JJ Chalmers, and YouTube star and singer HRVY.

Nicola will make history as the first contestant to be part of Strictly’s first same-sex pairing. Speaking of the news, Nicola said: ‘I wanted to thank the BBC for supporting me and making me the first ever all female-pairing; and it’s amazing to be a part of the movement for change, diversity and breaking boundaries in the entertainment industry.’

Will the judges stay the same? 

As well as the return of regular hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, it’s expected that Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse and Craig Revel Horwood will all be returning to their seats on the judging panel this year. But there may be bad news for fans of Bruno Tonioli (which is, essentially, all of us!). 

strictly come dancing judges 2020
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While Bruno has reassured viewers he is absolutely determined to be a part of the series, his role may take on a different form this year due to Covid travel restrictions. The judge is based in LA, and usually travels between LA and London during filming to take part. This year, it is so far undetermined whether he will be able to travel over to take his seat at the judging panel, but a statement from Strictly has confirmed:

‘Bruno will be keeping a close eye on the series throughout the run and will be involved remotely in the Sunday night Results show each week, from across the pond. Plus, Bruno will be making his grand return to the show full time towards the end of the series.’ Phew!

What about the pro dancers?

The pro dancers this year will largely stay the same, but there are a couple of names noticeably absent from the list. Both Kevin Clifton and AJ Pritchard announced recently they were leaving the show, after 7 and 4 years respectively. 

 

This leaves the following pro dancers: Aljaž Škorjanec, Amy Dowden, Anton Du Beke, Dianne Buswell, Giovanni Pernice, Gorka Marquez, Graziano Di Prima, Janette Manrara, Johannes Radebe, Karen Hauer, Katya Jones, Luba Mushtuk, Nadiya Bychkova, Nancy Xu, Neil Jones, and Oti Mabuse.

How will Strictly Come Dancing 2020 work with social distancing? 

The BBC’s Charlotte Moore has explained that she thinks ‘inevitably things are going to change’ given the circumstances. 

So far, it is largely unclear how the dancers’ lives will be affected due to Covid-19 precautions, but certain measures, such as quarantining away from families, have been discussed. Anton Du Beke has explained how being away from his family would be understandably ‘difficult,’ but that it may need to happen. 

“Potentially we will end up in a hotel for a couple of weeks or a month,’ he told HELLO!. ‘That’s what has been spoken about and has been provisionally pencilled in. Everything else is contingencies but we’re waiting for instructions and the situation is massively fluid at the moment so we will see what happens.’

Another precaution that may well take place is the removal of a studio audience. Despite seeming like an important part of Strictly, those involved have expressed how this could absolutely work, and have minimal impact on the show as a whole. 

‘When you look at something like Drag Race, which is a big shiny floor talent competition with all sorts of catwalks, singing, dancing, impressions – it never has an audience,’ explained Moore. 

‘The audience is the four judges and I don’t think it suffers from that at all. I think it is a brilliant show!’

What is the Strictly Come Dancing 2020 start date?

The dates so far have not been confirmed, but it is thought the show will run from around late October to December, and will have a slightly shorter run-time due to Covid precautions.