'Strictly Come Dancing' delays series start until after Queen's funeral

Strictly Come Dancing logo (BBC)
Strictly Come Dancing has announced its new launch date. (BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing's launch date has been postponed by nearly a week to air after the Queen's funeral has taken place.

TV schedules have been subject to last minute changes across all broadcasters since the Queen's death on Thursday, 8 September and the much-anticipated launch show for Strictly 2022 is the latest programme to announce its postponement.

Read more: How to watch the Queen's funeral on TV

BBC One was originally due to begin the series with the launch show, the only pre-recorded episode of the series, on Saturday but has now confirmed that it will air on Friday, 23 September at 7pm instead.

It is the first time that the show's launch show has ever been rescheduled and the original slot reserved for it will now be filled by a showing of the film Paddington instead, a character who has become particularly poignant over recent days after a sketch featuring Paddington and the Queen aired during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June.

The Strictly 2022 pro cast. (BBC)
The Strictly 2022 pro cast. (BBC)

BBC One also announced its broadcast schedule for Monday, the day of the state funeral, with coverage running throughout the day from 6am.

There will be a break in the channel's funeral coverage at 6.50pm when sequel film Paddington 2 will be shown, before returning to a round-up show of the day's events.

Read more: EastEnders likens Queen's death to Britain 'losing its nan'

Strictly fans have back-to-back nights of the show to look forward to, as the live shows will then begin as planned from Saturday, 24 September.

The Celebrity MasterChef semi-finalists arrive for a task. (BBC)
Celebrity MasterChef has also been rescheduled. (BBC)

The Strictly launch, which sees the celebrity and dancer couples announced for the first time before the cast perform a group dance, was recorded on Wednesday evening, the day before the Queen's death.

Also confirmed for BBC One's schedules are the postponed episodes of Celebrity MasterChef which pulled the two remaining semi-final episodes last week and postponed tonight's finals week episode.

It will continue with two episodes (the semi-finals) back-to-back on Thursday, finals week episodes on Friday and Tuesday, and the grand final will air on Thursday, 22 September at 8.30pm.

Watch: Who is Strictly's Matt Goss?