Strictly set for ‘format shake-up’ to save series after Tom Fletcher Covid crisis

Tom Fletcher pulls out of remaining McFly tour due to covid

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Strictly Come Dancing was thrown into chaos when it emerged Tom Fletcher and Amy Dowden had both tested positive for Covid. On Sunday, the BBC confirmed the pair will miss Saturday’s show but will hopefully return to the dance floor the following week. However, it’s been reported BBC bosses are considering new measures to save the show from further disruption. 

A TV insider has revealed producers are thinking about whether to take additional steps to reduce the risk of contestants testing positive for Covid. 

“These would be radical steps to take to increase safety on the set,” the source said.

“But given the difficulties producers have had over the past two weeks, there’s nothing they aren’t willing to consider.

“But if they did have to go down this route, it would be a logistical nightmare and might leave some of the stars with a dilemma as many of them are juggling their dance training with their day jobs.”

Read more: Why is Zoe Ball not presenting It Takes Two?

Strictly allows a limited audience for the live shows following last year’s decision to scrap a studio audience. 

In 2020, the show started with an audience before getting rid of it when the UK went into a lockdown. 

This year limited audience members are socially distanced from each other.

Crew and talent including presenters Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman as well as judges Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse and Anton Du Beke are also socially distanced. 

Tom was due to perform with McFly at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro Arena on Sunday when it was announced he would be missing the performance to self-isolate. 

On Monday’s It Takes Two, Rylan Clark-Neal explained Strictly’s rules regarding isolation. 

He said: “Now, unfortunately, you may have heard that Tom Fletcher and Amy Dowden have tested positive for Covid-19.

“Now, the pair are self-isolating separately, and they are also following the latest government guidelines.”

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“While they both, unfortunately, will miss Saturday’s live show, Strictly Come Dancing protocols will mean all being well, they will return the following week guys,” he added. 

Following the announcement on Sunday, Amy shared an update with her Instagram followers. 

She wrote: “Unfortunately @tomfletcher and I have tested positive for Covid-19.

“I’m not suffering any symptoms but am now isolating at home. I have no doubt that over the next 10 days my mind will be going crazy with choreography ideas ready to get back on the Strictly dance floor for the live show in week three.

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“Thank you for all of the support and good luck to all of the couples this week. I will be cheering you all on! @bbcstrictly.”

Tom added: “Rest up partner. We’ve got to pull something special out of the bag for week three.”

Strictly fans will say goodbye to a 2021 pairing for the first time on Sunday after the couples perform their second routine of the series. 

Strictly Come Dancing continues on BBC One on Saturday at 7pm.

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