Strictly Come Dancing contestant HRVY has opened up about almost missing being part of the 2020 line-up after he tested positive for the coronavirus.
The 21-year-old former CBBC presenter-turned musician was unveiled as a contestant on the current 18th season of Strictly back at the beginning of September.
But at the beginning of this month, it was revealed he had tested positive for the deadly Covid-19 virus, prompting speculation whether or not he would be able to feature on the show.
Fortunately, he recovered in time to take part in the recording of the launch show – which finally aired on Saturday night after months of hype and anticipation.
Introduced on the ballroom floor by Strictly host Tess Daly, HRVY opened up about his health scare as his dance pairing was revealed.
Turning to the youngster, 51-year-old Tess said: “We can’t start without asking how are you doing, because you nearly weren’t here.”
HRVY – whose real name is Harvey Leigh Cantwell – replied: “I cant believe i made it this far.
“I did test positive for Cornavirus, but I’m fine. I isolated with my family and we followed the government guidelines and I’m here.”
HRVY had previously declared himself Covid-free via social media back on October 8.
He wrote: “he’s free from Covid, he’s a free elf now… thank you for all the kind messages, I tested negative today so I’m back, love you guys and see you all soon.”
The team behind Strictly are believed to have acted swiftly upon HRVY’s positive test result, identifying all crew who had been in contact with him, and sending them in to isolation as well while the main production continued.
Cast and crew are regular tested ahed of appearing at the Strictly studio in Borehamwood, North London.
The Saturday night launch show saw the star contestants matched with their professional dancer counterparts – with the chase for the glitter balltrophy now under way.
HRVY was paired with 36-year-old Janette Manrara – who is married to fellow Strictly dance pro, Aljaž Škorjanec.
The husband and wife are being kept apart for the firs time in a decade as a result of the BBC’s coronavirus protection measures as they bubble away from each other to reduce risk of Covid cross contamination between stars and dancers.
Strictly Come Dancing continues on BBC One on Saturday night at 7:25pm.