James Jordan: Unvaccinated dancers don't deserve to be on 'Strictly'

James Jordan entering the Celebrity Big Brother house (PA)
James Jordan has said dancers who have not been vaccinated against COVID should not be on Strictly. (PA) (PA)

Former Strictly Come Dancing star James Jordan has said he believes dancers who have not been vaccinated against coronavirus do not deserve to take part in the show.

Jordan joined fellow professional dancer and ex-Strictly star Kristina Rihanoff on Good Morning Britain to discuss reports that some of the pro dance partners on this year's series have not had their COVID jabs.

He said: "I would normally protect the professional dancers until the cows come home but on this particular occasion I can’t, unfortunately.

Watch: How the world could be better after COVID

"I definitely believe they don’t deserve their right on the show and the celebrities have every right to refuse to dance with them."

Read more: Strictly dancer isolating after testing positive for COVID

Jordan, 43, added that infections always spread easily around the Strictly dancers and celebrity contestants because they work in close proximity with lowered immune systems.

He said: "I just think it's a really, really selfish thing to do. And also, what you have to remember, in previous years on Strictly, your immune system gets low, lots of people get sick anyway. This is way before coronavirus.

“If it does spread and the whole show comes down, or god forbid someone dies, because let's not forget 150,000 people have already died from this horrible virus."

Kristina Rihanoff has said she would not ask her dance partner about their vaccination status. (Getty Images)
Kristina Rihanoff has said she would not ask her dance partner about their vaccination status. (Getty Images) (WireImage)

But Rihanoff, 43, said she believed people should have the right to choose whether or not to accept the vaccine.

She said: "I know some instructors of mine can't have it for certain reasons because of health issues.

"It goes back to the BBC – have they done those checks before they even hired those professionals on the show?

"You don't hire someone, drag them from another country to the UK, give them the contract but then ask if they are double vaccinated and if you are not you are not allowed on the show.

"The BBC should have done their job prior to the actual shoot when hiring those dancers."

Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: 18/09/2021 - Episode: Strictly Come Dancing - Launch Show (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  The Strictly Come Dancing Professional Dancers - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy
This year's Strictly Come Dancing professional dancers. (BBC) (BBC/Guy Levy)

A Strictly spokesperson 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."

Last week it was reported that one of the professional dancers had contracted COVID and was isolating for 10 days ahead of the live shows.

Read more: Strictly's Tom Fletcher says his kids cringe when he dances with Giovanna

Jordan left the show in 2013. He was partnered with The One Show's Alex Jones and This Morning's Vanessa Feltz, and came second on the 10th series with actor and TV presenter Denise Van Outen.

Rihanoff left in 2015. She danced with political correspondent John Sergeant, boxer Joe Calzaghe, singer Jason Donovan and Blue's Simon Webbe.

Watch: Bake Off's John Whaite and Johannes Radebe are the first all-male couple on Strictly