BBC bosses hopeful 'Strictly' will air as normal this autumn

Danny Thompson
Contributor
Motsi Mabuse, Oti Mabuse, Claudia Winkleman, Tess Daly, Michelle Visage, Aljaz Skorjanec, Giovanni Pernice, Gorka Marquez, Anton du Beke and Nadiya Bychkova, accepting the Best Talent Show for "Strictly Come Dancing", pose in the winners room at the National Television Awards 2020 at The O2 Arena on January 28, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Strictly Come Dancing fans can live in hope they will see the show on screens this autumn as BBC bosses say the network is “doing everything it can” to see it go ahead as normal.

The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on television schedules and several shows have fallen by the wayside or had to change the way they are filmed.

But with the Strictly’s pre-production set to begin in August, it is hoped the current situation will be passed and the dancing contest can go on as normal.

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Speaking in an interview with Emma Bullimore, the BBC’s Controller of Programming Dan McGolpin said they are keeping “fingers crossed” the show will be aired.

He said: “It wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t have Strictly in the autumn, would it? So no of course the BBC is doing everything it can, and I know that everyone involved in that production team would absolutely love that to happen this Autumn.”

The dancing competition usually launches late summer with the celebrity line-up reveal. Live shows then start in October, running until December.

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McGolpin added: “So we’ve really just got to keep watching the government advice, thinking about what’s possible. And if there’s any way of bringing Strictly back this autumn, then we absolutely will. That’s very much our intentions, so yeah fingers crossed.”

He isn’t the only one keeping fingers crossed.

Appearing via video link on This Morning judge Shirley Ballas told hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield: “I spoke to Sarah, the executive producer, throughout the week, and of course you definitely don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, but I know they will definitely do everything in their power, if it’s conceivably possible, they will get that show on the air by September.

'Strictly Come Dancing' Head Judge Shirly Ballas dances with 'Strictly Come Dancing' professional dancer Anton du Beke hosted by Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, President of the National Osteoporosis Society, to highlight the benefits for older people of staying active, at Buckingham Palace on November 22, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Gareth Fuller - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

“So, it’s fingers crossed, let’s see how we go day to day. But I know they understand it’s an important show for the nation, and I think people will ready for that come the winter months.

“If everyone self-isolates and we all do what we’re supposed to do then there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be up and running by the end of the year.”

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Professional dancer Anton Du Beke has also had his say.

On Channel 4′s The Steph Show last week, he said: “I should think the pre-production of it should be going ahead as normal.

“It’s when we get into the studio - the pros get into the studio in August ... so hopefully we will be out of it [lockdown] by then, so hopefully we can get back into the studio.”