There might have been a nervous wait for Boris Johnson’s lockdown press conference to start on Saturday evening - but it was rivalled by the stress Strictly Come Dancing fans faced about whether their favourite show would air on time.
As England faces a month-long lockdown to get COVID-19 infection rates under control, people were desperate for something brighter to look forward to over the colder months.
Johnson’s announcement was delayed by around two hours and 50 minutes in the end, bringing it worryingly close to the start of Strictly’s live show for many, including famous fans.
Downing St knows Strictly starts at ten past 7, yes?
— Victoria Derbyshire (@vicderbyshire) October 31, 2020
— Dan Walker (@mrdanwalker) October 31, 2020
— Ian Hyland (@HylandIan) October 31, 2020
However, if there’s one TV show heavyweight enough to bring even the PM into line, it’s Strictly - which in the end was only late starting by a few minutes as the BBC news coverage of the major announcement was bumped over to BBC Two to make way for the dancing.
— Emma Kennedy (@EmmaKennedy) October 31, 2020
*whispers* could you not do the graphs bit while we're watching #Strictly? Promise I'll get the notes from a classmate
— Marianka Swain (@mkmswain) October 31, 2020
Introducing the show, host Tess Daly said: “On a tough night, we are going to try our very best to keep you entertained.”
The glitter and sparkle of the ballroom was an even more welcome sight than usual as viewers tried to keep a little bit of normality in their weekend evenings.
But even though the show went on for Strictly, there was one unpopular change to this series as the traditional Halloween special was cancelled, particularly disappointing as the live show actually aired on Halloween this year.
#Strictly WHY ISN’T IT A HALLOWEEN SPECIAL?! I sat through 3 hours of not-really-news for this?
— MostlyVickster (@MostlyVickster) October 31, 2020
With a postponed series and a reduced number of couples, the judges felt it was too early in the contest to ask the celebrities to take on a theme week in their individual dances.
Viewers do still have movie and musicals weeks to look forward to, two much-needed bright spots on the horizon of autumn and winter this year.
And an unexpectedly brilliant routine from Bill Bailey and Oti Mabuse went some way towards lifting spirits.
We'll all remember that Halloween when our collective national despair was momentarily lifted by Oti and Bill dancing with an imaginary elephant. #Strictly
— Paul Trueman (@paulwtrueman) October 31, 2020
Strictly Come Dancing continues with the results show on Sunday at 7.15pm on BBC One.