Entertainment controller Kate Phillips has revealed how the celebrity dance competition, which is now entering its 18th series, is planning and strategizing for when it launches in October.
The show’s professional dancers are already rehearsing the group numbers, with altered sets and changes to hair, make-up and costuming now in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Speaking at the virtual Edinburgh TV Festival, Phillips explained: “Strictly is probably the question we get asked more than any other show.
“I can say it absolutely is coming back – it is a slightly shorter run, but apart from that I don’t think it will be a lesser show at all. If anything I think it will be special this series, there will be heightened emotions and a lot of the dances will have real poignancy.
“The pros have been isolating together for the last couple of weeks, they are now rehearsing together, the big dance numbers, it looks so good seeing them dance.
“We will announce the celebrity line-up at the end of this month, we are planning it now but they are all on board and very excited.”
Phillips added certain facets of the show will also have to be changed to be in line with new social distancing guidelines.
“We are not quite sure at this stage how much audience we will be able to have in,” she said. “We have to look at Dave Arch and his band, how hair and make-up and costume will work backstage.
“It’s probably the hardest show to do in the current circumstances, a live weekly show that relies on body contact quite a lot. Having said that, I think Studios have really risen to the challenge and there is that old line, necessity is the mother of invention, and I would say across all the entertainment shows we are seeing constant good ideas.”
The news comes after it was announced that Bruno Tonioli will be forced to miss some of this year’s series as he also films on Strictly’s American equivalent, Dancing with the Stars.
He will now be involved on Strictly’s Sunday night results shows and then return full-time at the end of the series.
In a statement, Tonioli said: "I absolutely adore being part of Strictly and can't wait to see what incredible dancing this year has in store.
"Lockdown has resulted in me being in LA for the foreseeable, but I'm excited to be involved as much as I possibly can."
Strictly Come Dancing will return later this year on BBC One
Additional reporting from PA