'Strictly Come Dancing' confirmed to continue through second lockdown

Picture Shows:  Nicola Adams, Katya Jones - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy
Strictly's Nicola Adams and Katya Jones will be able to keep dancing through lockdown. (BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing will continue filming during the second lockdown in England, it has been confirmed.

The BBC dance show has already begun airing its live shows, with contestants and professional dancers are living in quarantine with their on-screen partners in order to go ahead during the coronavirus pandemic.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced this week that England will return to a four week national lockdown from Thursday, with people asked to work from home. But culture secretary Oliver Dowden has said TV and film production can continue.

A Strictly spokesman confirmed the series will keep going, and would "continue to adhere to government guidelines".

Read more: Strictly's Janette Manrara misses hugging husband Aljaz Skorjanec in COVID bubble

He said: "We have rigorous protocols in place to manage COVID-19 as the safety of all those involved in the production is paramount."

Picture Shows:  Jacqui Smith, Anton Du Beke - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy
MP Jacqui Smith and Anton Du Beke have already been voted off by viewers. (BBC)

Over 11 million viewers tuned in to the launch episode of the latest series. This week saw former home secretary Jacqui Smith become the first contestant to be voted off.

Dowden tweeted at the weekend: “We understand the anxiety & impact these [restrictions] will have, and will ensure they last not a day longer than necessary.

“The changes mean people should WFH where possible. But where this is not possible, travel to a place of work will be permitted – e.g. this includes (but not exhaustive) elite sport played behind closed doors, film & tv production, telecoms workers.

“We understand people will have a lot of questions and officials & ministers will be working through these and detailed implications with sectors over the coming days.”

ITV has announced that I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! will go ahead with its launch on 15 November, despite the lockdown.

The reality show is being filmed in the grounds of Gwrych Castle in North Wales this year, instead of in the Australian jungle.

So the celebrities – rumoured to include TV presenter Vernon Kay, former EastEnders star Shane Richie and newsreader Victoria Derbyshire – will face cold and wet weather conditions, in stark contrast to the usual tropical climate.

ITV soap Coronation Street – which has already put social distancing and personal protective equipment measures in place in order to resume filming during the pandemic – will also continue to film new episodes during the lockdown.

A spokeswoman for Corrie said: "We are adhering to the government's production guidelines and as we have health and safety protocols and measures in place we are continuing to film.”

Channel 4’s Gogglebox – which follows family and friends watching TV together – has just begun filming a new series. But the lockdown restrictions do present problems for the show, as households are no longer permitted to mix and some of the families do not live together.

Sisters Ellie and Izzi Warner appear together on the reality show, but do not live together. During the last series filmed in lockdown, Ellie appeared with her boyfriend Nat instead.

The Siddiqui family. (Channel 4)
The Siddiqui family may not be able to film together during lockdown. (Channel 4)

And brothers Umar and Baasit Siddiqui are thought to be unable to appear with their 73-year-old father Sid.

Read more: Gogglebox's Mary Killen credits show for helping to reignite romance with Giles

And Lee Riley chose to move in with friend Jenny Newby's caravan in Hull to self-isolate with her, in order to continue filming the show together.

Ian Katz, the director of programming for Channel 4, said at the time: ”The coronavirus outbreak is an enormous creative challenge for all broadcasters and though it is having a profound impact on getting some of our productions onto screen, it’s also a time when public service broadcasters like Channel 4 can step up and help people navigate through the extraordinary challenges we all now face.”

Watch: Strictly’s Jacqui Smith praise partner Anton du Beke