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Strictly Come Dancing

Every year as the Summer draws to a close, the leaves start to change and the weather cools down, we can't help but feel the buzz of excitement which means that Strictly Come Dancing is just around the corner. 

However, with COVID-19 restrictions and social-distancing guidelines in place, what will that mean for our beloved celebs, destined to learn the art of dance? According to The Sun, quite a few new changes are going to be made in order to ensure that the show is following all of the recommended guidelines.

One of the more obvious changes, and one we're sadly used to seeing on late-night-talk-shows, is that there will be no studio audience. They're also planning on reducing the crew and security, scaling back to only 25% of their usual team. This means that contestants will have to waltz, jive and tango to a relatively empty room, a complete shift from the rounds of applause and standing ovations they would have experienced in previous years. 

Another part of the show being scrapped is the sultry chemistry circle, which helps show producers decide which celebs look best with which professional. This is now being decided purely on height. There is also the question of group numbers, and how will they work given the circumstances, if at all.

The contestants aren't the only ones who will have to go without though. Our Strictly judges, Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Bruno Tonioli will have to forgo their entourage, including the likes of makeup and hair stylists, managers, and friends and family, in order to keep the number of people on set at an absolute minimum.  

However, not all hope is lost. Professional Strictly Come Dancing dancer, Janette Manrara commented on the situation when she spoke to The Sun. "They have been looking at a lot of Dancing With The Stars around the world to see how they have been doing it and how they got on. Motsi was telling me how the show functioned in Germany, with everyone wearing masks and gloves and there was no audience," she said.

"You can teach someone steps, you can teach someone side-by-side routines and not have to touch someone, so there is always that possibility. And masks — let’s do a beautiful rumba with a sparkly mask on. We could make it a fashion thing. We all just want the show to go on," she continued.

Even though the specifics of what the show will look like are still largely up in the air, at least we can sleep soundly knowing that some version of the show will go ahead, especially as Claudia and Tess have already started filming.


Huge congratulations are in order for Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev who have welcomed their first child together.

The Strictly couple welcomed a beautiful baby girl two weeks after her due date.


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Rachel shared a series of photos of her stunning family to announce the news this morning.

She revealed that their daughter is called Maven Aria. 

The mum explained the meaning behind her daughter’s name, “Miss Maven (one who understands) Aria (lioness) Riley Kovaleva arrived on Sunday morning weighing in at 7lbs 4.”


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The new mum continued, “After keeping us waiting she came so quickly that we didn’t have a chance to get to the hospital and was born in our bathroom with our amazing doula and wonderful St Mary’s midwives rushing over to be with us in to be nick of time!”

The Countdown host gushed, “She’s absolutely perfect and Pasha and I are in newborn bliss. Couldn’t be more in love.”

Rachel and Pasha, who met on Strictly Come Dancing, revealed they were expecting their first child together in May. The new parents got married in Las Vegas earlier this year.

We are delighted for them and are utterly obsessed with their little girl’s name.


Strictly Come Dancing fans were stunned to see Alex Scott and Neil Jones leave the show last night, with many claiming it was a fix.

The couple just missed out on a place in the semi-finals but they’re holding their heads up high following last night’s elimination.


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Professional dancer Neil penned the sweetest tribute to his partner Alex after the results show.

The dancer couldn’t help but gush about his partner, who he has definitely grown close to over the past few months.


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Neil wrote, “Joyful joyful was the perfect song to end our @bbcstrictly journey together because from the first moment we started together that’s how you have made me feel.”

“From day 1 I have taken my time to get to know you @alexscott2 MBE as I really wanted to make sure that you enjoyed every moment. All I can say is that the nation has seen the real you. I’ve said it a million times that you have made me proud and you have made me smile.


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“Of course I was there to teach you how to dance but you taught me so much more and the biggest lesson I learnt was to always be myself and never change,” he continued.

“You have warmed the hearts and inspired so many people around the country on a daily basis because you always worked hard and I never heard you complain plus you did all of this with a smile on your face.


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“I will walk away from all of this with my head held high knowing that we did everything we could do and without a single regret and loving every moment. I really want to thank everyone that has supported us both with your messages, posts, votes and just spreading the positivity of #teamred” Neil added.

The dancer joked that there’s so much he could say about Alex that he could write a book, “I’m just sad I’m not teaching you a new dance in the morning unless we could just dance together for fun and giggles.


The current series of Strictly Come Dancing is reaching one of the most exciting stages of the competition with Blackpool just around the corner, but we’re already dreading the end of the 2019 show.

Luckily, the series will return for a once off Christmas special and we’re feeling awfully excited about it since Strictly revealed the stellar line up.

Plenty of familiar faces are set to return to the ballroom this Christmas, including the wonderful Gemma Atkinson. The new mum ended up falling in love with Strictly professional dancer Gorka Marquez and gave birth to their first child earlier this year.


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“The sequins really are going back on for Christmas. Back to being out of my comfort zone, out of my trackies and into high heels! Wish me luck!” the mum wrote.

As well as Gemma Atkinson, Joe Sugg will also return to Strictly. The Internet star will be joined by former TOWIE star Mark Wright, actress Chizzy Akudolu, journalist Richard Arnold and Debbie McGee.


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Fans of the show were overjoyed with the lineup. They expressed their delight online.

“Woohoo, so happy to see all these faces back on the dance floor,” one said.

Another added, “Amazing line up – hope Gemma and Gorka dance together!”


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One shared, “Best Christmas line-up ever.”

What do you think of this year’s Strictly Christmas line-up?


Strictly Come Dancing fans were left heartbroken when Will Bayley and Janette Manrara confirmed their departure from the show. The paralympian has been forced to quit the show due to an injury he sustained in rehearsals last week.

The dancing duo appeared on It Takes Two to reveal the devastating news.

Both Will and Janette couldn’t help but express their heartache over their early exit from the show.


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The World Table Tennis Paralympic champion looked completely heartbroken to be leaving the show.

Will said, “To me, it meant more than just a show. I wanted to try and help people as well." The 31-year-old has undoubtedly inspired many with his performances, including his partner Janette who had nothing but praise for him.


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The professional dancer wrote, “I had to post this photo again because it represents everything that I feel right now. @willbayleytt will always be my champion!”

“He came on this show to share a very special message and every single week through his hard work and determination he did exactly that.”


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She continued, “In my eyes, that is truly winning! You inspired so many and most of all me! Thank you for being so incredible every week and giving your absolute EVERYTHING! I’m sending all the positive energy your way now for a speedy recovery. And a HUGE thank you to everyone that has supported us and sent such lovely messages! I love you Will, & forever and always….. #WeGotThisChamp” Janette concluded.

We are gutted to see Will and Janette leave the competition so soon.


Almost every couple on Strictly Come Dancing are forced to face rumours in some way, shape or form.

The show has only been on air for a handful of weeks but people are already gossiping about which couples have paired up off the dance floor.

AJ Pritchard and Saffron Barker are one of the couples who have been hit with romance rumours, but the professional dancer swiftly shut them down in an interview with OK! Magazine.


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AJ, who has been dating fellow dancer Abbie since the summer, said: “Everyone wants to know about my relationship status, but I'm very happy with Abbie.

"You know you're going to be asked certain questions, even when you say you don't want to answer. When it comes to that sort of thing it doesn't really bother me because I know who I am, so does Abbie,” he explained.

Abbie said that some of the routines can look intimate, but since she’s a professional dancer, she completely understands that it is just work for her beau.


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Abbie even hopes Saffron stays in touch with AJ: "I hope AJ stays friends with her, and I get to know her more. They're so good together.

"As I'm a dancer, too, I understand that things can look a bit dodgy – I have to dance with guys all the time as well."


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AJ and Saffron topped the judges leaderboard this weekend and are becoming firm favourites with the public. The dancer praised Saffron’s hard work, "Saffron is a great partner – so hard working and a genuine fan of Strictly. This is probably my favourite year on the show."


Kelvin Fletcher may have been the last minute replacement on Strictly Come Dancing but the former Emmerdale star has swiftly become one of the top contenders for this year’s glitter ball trophy.

Viewers were stunned by his saucy Samba and mesmerised by his wonderful Waltz in the first two episodes and now we can look forward to the dad’s cheeky Charleston.

Kelvin and his dance partner, Oti Mabuse have been rehearsing their new routine all week but the dad enlisted the help of one very adorable family member and the video is bound to melt your heart.

Proving that he has been squeezing dance practice into every second of the day, the dad danced around with his adorable son Milo in his arms.


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Kelvin and his baby boy pranced around their kitchen to the Mary Poppins Returns soundtrack and they really do make the cutest duo.

Watch out, Oti!

The actor wrote, “Little Milo has been helping me with rehearsals for this weekend’s #MarryPoppinsReturns Charleston!


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“This soundtrack and this song especially has been on loop in our house for the last few months since taking Marnie to the cinema (her first cinema trip) to watch it. So I’ll be doing my best and making sure I don’t disappoint!” the dad-of-two added.

Kelvin couldn’t help but gush about the Strictly experience, “I’m absolutely LOVING this #strictly experience I feel so lucky.”


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It looks like little Milo is enjoying the Strictly experience just as much as his dad is. 

Kelvin and Oti will perform a Charleston to Trip A Little Light Fantasti' by Lin-Manuel Miranda.


Kevin Clifton isn't holding his opinions back about his Strictly Come Dancing co-star AJ Pritchard, suggesting that the fellow professional dancer tried to steal Stacey Dooley for himself last year.

Appearing on a one-off Strictly special, which will air on Saturday night, Kevin speaks about the process of the dancers and contestants testing their compatibility with a 'speed dance'.

The dance features the celebrities and professionals dance briefly with each other, before they're placed in their various partnerships.


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According to The Sun, Kevin claims he was ‘going for it’ with Stacey while they were dancing in a salsa circle, but AJ later swooped in and tried to pull Stacey away for a one-on-one talk.

"Last year with Stacey in the salsa circle, I was going for it… overdoing it," Kevin says.

"At one point, we were on a coffee break and AJ interrupted us in the middle of us talking and took her away," he added. "He wanted to get to know her and see what she was about."


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"I was like, “It’s not Love Island mate!”‘ Kevin managed to fend off AJ's advances and he was picked to be Stacey's partner for last years show.

The duo went on to win the Glitterball trophy, before confirming their romance three months later following Stacey's split from ex-boyfriend Sam Tucknott.

The pair insist on remaining tight-lipped about their private life.


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In an interview with The Guardian, Stacey said:

"Kev and I agreed not to go into too much detail about our private lives because you can’t really indulge that and then ask for privacy. What I am happy to say is Kev’s amazing. I’m happy, life happens. I’ve got an amazing career and I’m very lucky."

Kevin is partnered with Anneka Rice on this year's Strictly, but was recently forced to deny claims that he’s "fuming" with the pairing and insisted he’s having a "wicked time" with Anneka in rehearsals.

Feature image: Instagram/@strictlycomesaffron/@aj_pritchard.fans


Strictly Come Dancing winner Kevin Clifton is apparently 'fuming' over his partnership with 60-year-old TV veteran Anneka Rice, according to The Sun.

Show insiders claim that the Grimsby-born dancer sees his celebrity dance pairing as a 'punishment' from BBC bosses for his relationship with Stacey Dooley.

Kevin and now-girlfriend Stacey had chemistry to burn last year, going on to win the entire competition in December before going public with their romance in March.


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Stacey had been in a long-term relationship while she was competing on the show, and both herself and Kevin deny that any romance sparked before they took home the Glitterball trophy.

36-year-old Kevin believes bosses are 'putting the boot in' for the media furore following their romance and says they've 'sabotaged his dream' of winning wo years in a row, a source told The Sun;

"Kevin has told pals he would have preferred someone like Catherine Tyldesley or Alex Scott. He calls himself King Kevin and wanted to make Strictly history by winning back to back titles."


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They added; "But although Anneka is willing, her age and agility means he won’t be able to throw her around like he did previous partners."

Kevin and Anneka paired up on Saturday's launch, and The Challenge star admitted that she's never danced in public and was ruled out of a group dance after injuring herself during rehearsal.

The noticeable height difference between them was also commented on by viewers.


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Kevin has a great track record on the massively popular BBC dance contest, making the finals with every partner except Susan Calman.

Himself and Susanna Reid came in second during their time on the show, followed by Frankie Bridge, Kellie Bright and runner-up Louise Redknapp.

Kevin came in seventh place when partnered with comedian Susan two years ago, before winning the show with Stacey Dooley in 2018.

Feature image: Instagram/@editingstrictly


Jamie Laing has been forced to drop out of Strictly Come Dancing. The Made In Chelsea star suffered an injury during rehearsals which has prevented him from continuing her Strictly journey.

The show confirmed the devastating news this afternoon. They stated, "Sadly due to an injury, Jamie Laing will no longer be able to take part in this year's series of Strictly Come Dancing. As the Strictly launch show is pre-recorded, Jamie will still feature in this programme which airs Saturday 7th September."


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Executive producer, Sarah James said, "We are so sad that Jamie won't be able to take part in the series, he had already lit up the ballroom during the launch show with his boundless energy and enthusiasm. We all wish him a full and speedy recovery."

The reality star was spotted on crutches earlier this week. There's no doubt fans are going to be heartbroken by this news as Jamie was a firm favourite since Strictly announced this year's lineup.


Strictly Come Dancing professional Kevin Clifton has revealed that he used alcohol to cope with his break-up from Karen Hauer, and received help from none other than Russell Brand.

The 36-year-old relied on Brand for support when he realised that his drinking had gone too far after he split from the fellow dancer last year.

Speaking on his podcast The Kevin Clifton Show, he said:

"I didn't know how to deal with it. It was affecting my work, it was affecting mine and Karen's relationship. I didn't know how to function as a person."


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"It's as close as I can imagine to what might be like depression. I fell into a real tough spot. I started drinking a lot. I was going out and drinking all the time.

"I talked to some of the people on Strictly about it," he added. "I was constantly stressed out, constantly emotional, constantly sad. It got to a point, and then me and Karen ended up breaking up."

Russell has battled numerous addictions from alcohol to drugs, and reached out to Kevin when he saw he had a problem, advising him to quit booze for two months.


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Since quitting alcohol, Kevin's life has improved drastically and he's found happiness with Stacey Dooley after the pair met on Strictly, winning the 2018 series together.

He said on his podcast: "My life over the past year has gone from darkness, despair and self hatred to everything going so much better.

"I'm so much happier now than I was a year ago." Kevin and Karen got married in 2015 but split up only three years later.

Feature image: Instagram/@davenelsonphotographer



Attention to all the "lovely young ladies" in Ireland; Love Island's Curtis Pritchard is hosting a meet-and-greet in Dublin next month. Now's your chance to meet the professional dancer.

If you're a big fan of Maura Higgins' man and want to get up close and personal with him, he's jetting to Ireland for a special appearance to meet fans.

The ex-Dancing with the Stars Ireland professional and current The Greatest Dancer judge will be the special guest at an event in Wrights Cafe Bar, Swords on Friday September, 6.


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Announcing the news on Facebook, organisers said: "Meet & Greet Love Island's Curtis Pritchard at Wrights Cafe Bar!

"Join us 6th September from 8pm until late for the best late bar and DJ in town and Love Island's very own Curtis Pritchard! Get your photo with Curtis and party the night away."

Wrights Cafe Bar also told fans to book a table at the venue ASAP before they're booked up;  "Tables will go FAST!"


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Love Island 2019 winner Amber Gill travelled to Ireland over the weekend to meet Greg O'Shea's family and friends, just two weeks after the pair won the ITV reality show.

They seemed as loved up and as ever, staying in the luxurious Dromoland Castle before visiting the Cliffs of Moher in county Clare .

The couple were also spotted at the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Final watching Tipperary beat Kilkenny in Croke Park on Sunday.

Feature image: Instagram/@curtispritchard12