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'Strictly Come Dancing' professional tests positive for Covid ahead of launch show

Professional Dancers Strictly Come Dancing 2021
Strictly Come Dancing professionals have faced a busy week of training and filming. (Image credit: BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing has been impacted due to Covid after one of their professional dancers has tested positive for the virus. The BBC has not revealed which dancer it is, but they had already filmed the pre-recorded launch show set to air this Saturday.

The dancer in question was partnered with one of the 15 celebrities, however, their celebrity partner did not test positive for the virus and thankfully doesn't have to drop out of this year's competition. 

A BBC spokesperson told Metro (opens in new tab): “A professional dancer has tested positive for Covid-19, however, this didn’t affect the recording of the launch show which airs this Saturday.

“We are following government guidelines to ensure the safety of all on the show.”

2021 celebrity lineup Strictly Come Dancing

Strictly celebrities have already filmed the launch episode, which airs this Saturday.  (Image credit: BBC)

In addition to this, it was also revealed to Metro that the virus might not impact a celebrity's chances of winning the competition, provided they're able to get enough training done in time to perform.

Strictly’s executive producer Sarah James explained: "If a celebrity does receive a positive test, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are out of the competition. It might mean they could miss a week and still get enough training in to return [after 10 days of self-isolating]."

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With just three days until the highly anticipated launch show, we can't wait to see who's partnered with who this year. We already know there'll be an all-male partnership this year featuring John Waithe, but the exact pairings have been kept secret.

The live shows will begin on Saturday 25th September, a week after the pre-recorded launch show where we'll learn who'll be dancing together. 

This year, they'll be judged by Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse, Craig Revel Horwood and Anton du Beke, who will not be a professional dancer this series. He's standing in for Bruno Tonioli, who is unable to travel to the UK for judging duties. 

Strictly Come Dancing 2021 starts on Saturday 18th September at 7.45pm on BBC1.

Lucy Buglass
Lucy Buglass

Lucy joined the WhatToWatch.com team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.


She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress