Strictly Come Dancing likely to ditch live music performances from this year’s series due to coronavirus pandemic
TAYLOR Swfit, Andrea Bocelli and Lewis Capaldi have all performed live on Strictly Come Dancing as the show’s professional dancers strutted their stuff.
But live big-name music acts at the BBC hit’s studio could be a thing of the past because of the risk posed by Covid-19.
As part of safety precautions put in place, all of this year’s group dances have been pre-recorded – meaning the routines fans were treated to in front of a live musician are already a thing of the past.
But with lockdown lifting, bosses are considering whether live music could feature in the studio after all.
A telly insider said: “It’s seemingly impossible at this stage to recreate safely what has been a norm in previous years.
“Although live music from acts is still being considered, it’s unlikely to include any big international stars and could be filmed away from the studio because of safety concerns.
“In early meetings about the show when the lockdown was nationwide, the idea of having live musicians performing was totally thrown out.
“But now restrictions have lifted slightly, the Strictly team are trying to be inventive about how they could make it happen.
“Given the current restrictions, it’s a planning nightmare.
“Dave Arch and his band will be returning to the show but their roles will be modified to ensure they can perform safely.
“Rehearsals will start next month for them but it’s still not known what shape their input will take.
“Everyone is hoping they will be able to play live in the studio. But as with everything, it’s totally up in the air.”
Just getting this mammoth show off the ground is a big enough task . . . and I know fans will still be glued to their screens, no matter how much Strictly bosses are forced to strip things back.
WHAT? Cuba: Castro Vs The World, BBC2, 9pm.
WHY? First in a two-part look at Fidel Castro’s leadership of the island, starting with his rise to power in 1959 and his ties to the Soviet Union in the Cold War.
Queens have sun thing in common
THEY are both stunning queens of the I’m A Celeb jungle but Vicky Pattison and Georgia Toffolo were enjoying the summer sun in very different ways this weekend.
While Made In Chelsea’s Georgia chose to show off her midriff in a bikini, her Geordie Shore counterpart went the other way, donning high-waisted jeans despite the heat. But they both looked equally cool.
THE US crime comedy-drama Good Girls, with Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks and available to stream over here via Netflix, will be back for a fourth season.
The news was revealed in a video posted on the creators’ Twitter page.
Bake to school for Mel
IT’S always good to broaden your mind but going all the way back to GCSEs is a new one to me. Mel Giedroyc is doing just that, though.
The former Bake Off host said: “I’m going to learn a new language next. You have to keep your brain active.
“My dad was half-Polish and I was gutted I didn’t grow up bilingual.
“My plan is to start an online GCSE next month. I’m going to take a year or two over it but I’ll complete it.”
Mel, who with Sue Perkins opted not to follow the baking show to Channel 4 after its final run on the BBC in 2016, says she never watches old pal Paul Hollywood on it.
She told Prima magazine: “I haven’t watched since I left. That’s not sour grapes – I wish the show nothing but good.
“But I can’t go there. It’s too weird – I’m too close to it.
“I’ve never felt bad about the decision but I do have a little pang each year around April time.
“The daffodils and crocuses come out, the weather is a bit chilly and it makes me think of Mary Berry at 7am with her curlers in, just before we head over to the set in the tent . . . the anticipation of meeting our new bakers and wondering what they’ll be like.”
I reckon there’s a bit of regret in there too.
Eliza’s a must-see
CONGRATULATIONS to my brother David and sister-in-law Anna on the safe arrival of my little niece Eliza!
The gorgeous tot was born in the early hours of Saturday, August 1, weighing 9lb 1oz.
If it makes me your favourite uncle, I can sort you free Netflix . . .
Cheshire Chris to cash in
AFTER two years of trying her hand at reality TV, Christine McGuinness has turned her back on The Real Housewives Of Cheshire . . . with more lucrative telly opportunities coming her way.
The ITVBe show’s bosses asked her back to star as a full-time Housewife.
But Christine announced on an Instagram Live chat with Towie’s Bobby Norris that she has quit the programme and won’t be returning, as she has other irons in the fire.
She said: “I can’t believe I’m saying it but I’m not going to come back. Do you know what?
“It’s been an amazing two years and I’ve laughed so much and I’m so thankful.
“After lockdown, I have had so much time to reflect and I have got other exciting opportunities.
SOCCER Aid bosses have confirmed my report about the event returning in September – behind closed doors.
Organisers said funds raised would support Unicef as it fights to limit the impact of Covid on children’s lives globally.
SOMEONE LIKE NEW
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ITV Granada presenter Tony Morris dies after battle with kidney cancer
“But I’m still going to be about. You’re probably going to see more of me.”
Christine had appeared on the show for the past two years and filmed four seasons as a guest Housewife.
Perhaps she fancies not airing her dirty laundry in public any more.
- Glee’s Jenna Ushkowitz engaged
- Ashley James of Made In Chelsea reveals her coming baby is a boy
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