Craig Revel Horwood has revealed that professional dancers on this year’s Strictly Come Dancing have had to isolate themselves since August to take part in the show.
The outspoken judge, 56, told Kate Thornton that famous contestants are ‘not allowed’ to visit anyone outside of their family for the entire show – despite the lockdown restrictions easing completely in England.
The star compared the Covid restrictions to “jail time”, saying: “It’s a bit of a jail sentence but at least it’s fun!”
Strict precautions: Craig Revel Horwood revealed how professional Strictly Come Dancing dancers have had to isolate themselves since August to take part in the show
Craig spoke to Kate Thornton on her White Wine Question Time podcast, about how the BBC has adapted to life after Covid in order to broadcast the scintillating dance competition.
Craig told Kate: “They make it work, even though it’s a major, major lockdown situation, they make it work.”
He revealed that TV bosses are “keeping a similar format” this year on the show to last year’s.
Life after lockdown: Frank judge spoke with Kate Thornton on her White Wine Question Time podcast, about how the BBC has adjusted to life after coronavirus
“Keeping a similar format of course this year, isolating the dancers for August in a hotel so that they all learn and rehearse together, learning all the things and material that they are going to film for the group acts.
“They’re going to do group acts because they’ve all been isolated, they haven’t seen anyone for months so it’s like jail time but at least it’s fun!”
He continued, “They start dancing together, see each other and have fun and they’re all in the same hotel so they’re isolated at the moment and then in September we pre-record all the group numbers which is unusual.
Reveal it all: Judge Strictly also admitted famous contestants are “not allowed” to visit anyone outside of their family for the duration of the show
Covid restrictions: The star likened the Covid restrictions to “jail time”, saying: “It’s a bit of a jail sentence but at least it’s fun”
“We normally do these parts live or pre-record and do the second part live because of the costume changes, etc., so they all pre-record so they’re good to go.”
But the increased restrictions on the show don’t just affect the pros, they also affect the contestants, according to Craig.
“So of course bubbles for the fame and the professional dancer and they can perform together and then go back to their families, but they are not allowed to visit anyone else during this whole strict period which is going to be difficult.
“Make it work”: Craig told Kate, “They make it work, even though it’s a major, major lockdown situation, they make it work”
“But you have to remember that they have a lot of work to do and a lot to learn, so this year I think I’ll be spending a lot of time learning dance routines rather than the usual” oh, here we go in a nightclub to film this VT or we have interviews here ‘instead it will be very focused on their dancing.
“I think it’s going to work better to be honest.”
His candid interview comes as the show was immersed in a “no jab, no jive” argument on Saturday over the refusal of two of its dancers to be vaccinated.
“No jab, no jive”: his candid interview comes as the show was immersed in a “no jab, no jive” argument on Saturday over the refusal of two of its dancers to be vaccinated
Personalities in medicine and entertainment have urged professionals to “reconsider their positions” as the row threatened to eclipse the opening show of the new series on Saturday night.
An anonymous professional dancer is already isolating himself after a positive Covid-19 test, with reports that their famous partner could be associated with another dancer.
There are fears that an epidemic could jeopardize the BBC’s flagship show, which is set to once again welcome hundreds of people to its studio audience.
‘Reconsider’: Leaders in medicine and entertainment urged professionals to ‘reconsider their positions’ as row threatens to eclipse opening night
A source said: “Dancers who won’t get vaccinated have been a topic of conversation with cast and crew for weeks – even before testing positive.”
Fifteen celebrities were matched with professionals, with the lineup including the first all-male match and the first Deaf contestant.
Eighteen professional dancers were chosen for the latest series, and it’s unclear whether the two anonymous and unvaccinated people are among those vying for the sparkle ball.
Anonymous: Eighteen professional dancers were chosen for the final series, and it is not clear if the two anonymous and unvaccinated people are among those vying for the award