October 17, 2020

Strictly’s First Look images show how stars and contestants will keep far apart

Strictly Come Dancing will look dramatically different for the 2020 season as first look images show contestants, judges and hosts all social distancing for the new episodes.

Strictly’s highly anticipated return begins tonight with the first episode of the eighteenth season of the long-running BBC show.

The launch episode will show celebrity contestants paired with their dance professional partners – while viewers will get the first look at how the new Covid compliant set will work.

The squabbling judges – Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse – will be far apart from each other and isolated on their own podiums for the new season.

Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly will be socially distanced while presenting Strictly 2020

Fans fearing that Bruno Tonioli may be absent from the entries season due to his commitments on sister version, Dancing With The Stars in the USA, will be relieved to know he is still taking part.

Back in August it was revealed the 64-year-old Italian charmer explained her would “be involved remotely” during the results shows on Sundays.

While he is also aiming to be back “towards the end of the series” once he has wrapped up his judging role on Dancing With The Stars.

Show judges are being kept apart with individual judging podiums

Motsi Mabuse returns to judge the 2020 contestants

Shirley Ballas is also back, while Bruno Tonioli is expected to ‘beam in’ from the USA

Traditionally, Bruno would fly between the two versions when they air simultaneously in the UK and USA, but the ongoing pandemic ruled out that option.

While limited guests positioned behind the judges will be seen sporting face coverings and sat at tables with limited numbers.

The professional dancers – who have been isolating together at a hotel near Strictly’s North London studios – will be seen dating together while star performers Joel Correy and MNEK perform.

Strictly contestants are seen keeping a safe distance in the opening show

The pro dancers have been isolating together for weeks

Music guests will be performing a safe distance from the contestants

It seems that music guests will be given more space to preform on the new series – with musicians and backing singers positioned further away from each other than normal.

While show hosts, Tess Daly and Claudia Winkelman will return to front the series – while keeping a safe distance from the contestants, the judges, and each other.

A thrilling collection of famous faces have signed up to star on Strictly for the 2020 season.

Anticipation for the new series is high as Strictly returns amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic

MNEK will have command of the stage for a socially distanced performance as part of the launch show

Guests watching Strictly in the studio will be wearing face coverings

Comedian Bill Bailey, actress Caroline Quentin, radio host Clara Amfo, CBBC presenter and singer HRVY, and former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith are among the contestants hoping to win the glitterball trophy.

Made In Chelsea star Jamie Laing, American athlete Jason Bell, Invictus Games star JJ Chalmers, EastEnders star Maisie Smith, The Wanted singer Max George and Good Morning Britain star Ranvir Singh will also compete.

While Olympic boxing legend Nicola Adams will make history as the first same-sex contestant – set to be paired with a female dance professional.

Strictly Come Dancing returns tonight on BBC One at 7:50pm.

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