The new series of Strictly Come Dancing has hit an obstacle following reports that some pros have refused Covid jabs.
his year’s edition is set to begin this evening, but it’sbeing claimed that two unnamed professional dancers are not vaccinated against Covid-19.
The Sun reports that the participating celebrities are now hesitant to be paired with them. However, employers can’t force workers to get vaccinated.
Strictly’s first episode is a pre-recorded launch show, in which the competitors will learn which professional they are paired with. The live shows then kick off next Saturday.
The 15 celebrities, who include Olympian Adam Peaty, rugby star Ugo Monye and TV presenter Judi Love, will make their debut on the dancefloor during a group number.
Also competing will be EastEnders actress Nina Wadia, TV presenter AJ Odudu, Dragons’ Den investor Sara Davies, McFly star Tom Fletcher, Coronation Street actress Katie McGlynn, BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker, TV presenter Tilly Ramsay, comedian Robert Webb, CBBC host Rhys Stephenson and actor Greg Wise.
EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis will be the first deaf contestant to appear in the series.
Former Bake Off winner John Whaite will take to the dancefloor as half of an all-male pairing, in another first for Strictly.
Anton Du Beke will swap his dance shoes for a full-time role on the judging panel.
The 55-year-old, who judged for a two-week stint during the 2020 series, will join Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Shirley Ballas on the panel.
He will take over from Bruno Tonioli, who remains unable to take part due to travel uncertainty caused by the pandemic, because he lives in the US and is a judge on American series Dancing With The Stars.
A spokesman for the BBC One series said: “We do not comment on speculation of somebody’s Covid vaccination status.
“Strictly Come Dancing production has, and will, continue to follow strict government guidelines to ensure the safety of all on the show.”
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