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.