Strictly Come Dancing will return despite coronavirus pandemic, confirms Anton Du Beke – The Sun

THE show will go on for Strictly Come Dancing even in the face of the global coronavirus pandemic.

Anton Du Beke promised the BBC ballroom dancing competition show will come back for another series.

Anton's reassurances came after two of its biggest stars, AJ Pritchard and Kevin Clifton, quit the show within weeks of each other and leaving many wondering if Strictly would still have the legs to keep going.

The 53-year-old professional dancer made the comments on Friday's The Steph Show.

Anton said:  "They're carrying on with it for now, the whole pre production will be going on as normal."

The dance star also shut down any suggestions that producers were having trouble recruiting celebrities because of the coronavirus lockdown.

He said: “It’s the sort of thing that can be a bit fluid, they might have double eliminations, they might have a
bigger final.

“You’ve got to be adaptable to the situation really. Nobody can stay the same.”

He added: “I don’t think lockdown will make any difference to recruiting for the show, people either want to do it or they don’t.”

Anton suggested the BBC1 show might be pushed back to begin in October and by then people will be keen to start watching in again.

He said: “To be honest, by the time we get round to Strictly, everybody will be ready for it, won’t they?"

The show will have to go on without AJ and Kevin who's sudden departures sent shockwaves through the Strictly family.

A source close to the show told The Sun Online: "It's terrible timing, AJ was a big part of the show's future and nobody saw this coming at all.

"Things are really tough at the moment. The show doesn't come back until the Autumn but, by now, the programme would have liked to have one or two big celeb names signed up.

"So far there is nobody on the books. Everything has been put on hold because of the Covid-19 pandemic."

AJ explained he left the show because it was time for him to pursue other projects.

He told Lorraine on her morning show: "I've had four fantastic years, it's the best show on the telly."

AJ added: "I will definitely miss the first day, when you meet the celebrities. You as the professional are usually pretty chill but the celebrities will forget their name. We usually have to shoot it a couple of times."

Anton joined Strictly in its first season in 2004 and finished second in the most recent season with partner Emma Barton.

He and his wife Hannah are parents to three-year-old twins, George and Henrietta.


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