Strictly: Oti Mabuse, Katya Jones and Nadiya Bychkova at photocall

Strictly Come Dancing 2020: Oti Mabuse looks incredible as she joins glamorous fellow pros Nadiya Bychkova and Katya Jones at photocall

The new season of the hit BBC One series is set to start on October 17.

And Strictly Come Dancing professionals Oti Mabuse, Katya Jones and Nadiya Bychkova all looked incredible as they took part in a photocall ahead of the launch. 

Oti, Katya and Nadiya were joined by fellow glamorous pros Dianne Buswell, Luba Mushtuk, Karen Hauer, Amy Dowden, Janette Manrara and Nancy Xu as they wowed in identical turquoise and gold tasselled plunging dresses.  

Stunning: Strictly Come Dancing professionals Oti Mabuse (pictured), Katya Jones and Nadiya Bychkova all looked incredible as they took part in a photocall ahead of the launch

Also present at the photocall were male professional dancers Neil Jones, Gorka Marquez, Graziano Di Prima, Giovanni Pernice, Aljaz Skorjanec, Johannes Radebe and Anton du Beke who all wore high-waisted grey trousers with a blue sparkly shirt.

The Strictly pros appeared in good spirits ahead of the new series as they all put on an animated display and showed off their dance moves to the camera.

The hit BBC One dance show has introduced an array of strict measures to ensure the new series can go ahead during the COVID-19 crisis.

The stars of Strictly 2020 have offered fans a behind-the-scenes glimpse of filming as the show finally returns to screens.

Gorgeous: Oti, Katya, left, and Nadiya, right, wowed in identical turquoise and gold tasselled plunging dresses

Here come the girls! The trio were joined by fellow glamorous pros Dianne Buswell, Amy Dowden, Luba Mushtuk, Janette Manrara, Karen Hauer and Nancy Xu (L-R) 

In a slew of Instagram posts celebrities including, Clara Amfo and Jamie Laing, revealed some of the strict measures they have to follow to ensure the BBC mainstay can go ahead, including mandatory visors and regular tests backstage.

Strictly Come Dancing will finally make its return to screens this weekend after being thrown into doubt by the worldwide crisis, with the live audience and judges adhering to strict social distancing guidelines. 

Contestant Jamie posted a video of pro Giovanni heading to the medical bay for his regular COVID-19 test. 

Clad in the show’s signature sequins, the dancer was in great spirits as the nurse swabbed his nose and mouth. 

Sensational: Dianne styled her signature fiery red locks into a curly hairdo while Amy oozed glamour with a voluminous blow-dry (L-R)

Strike a pose: Janette put on an animated display as she showed off her dance moves 

Exciting! Nancy and Luba appeared excited to be back on the dance floor (L-R) 

Jamie did seem to be struggling with the hours of training though, as he revealed a box of Compeed blister plasters to soothe his tired feet.

Meanwhile Radio 1 DJ Clara revealed that stars were tasked with wearing mandatory visors backstage, sharing a fun boomerang to the Kylie Minogue track Can’t Get You Out of My Head.   

Gorka also donned a paper face mask during filming for the pre-recorded launch show, but he struggled to keep the piece on his face. 

Getting ready: Also present at the photocall were the male professional dancers with Neil Jones leading the way

Happy: Giovanni Pernice and Gorka Marquez appeared happy to be back filming Strictly (L-R)

Talented: Johannes Radebe showed off his dance moves for the photocall 

Strike a pose: Graziano Di Prima and Aljaz Skorjanec posed for the camera in the matching costumes (L-R) 

Karen also displayed her impressive flexibility as she had her makeup done by one of the show’s crew, herself wearing a face mask and visor.

This year’s Strictly had been thrown into doubt during the COVID-19 pandemic, given couples would be unable to socially distance during a variety of performances.

The launch show will air on BBC One in just four days time on October 17, while the first live show of a pared-down nine week run will be broadcast on October 24.  

This follows the news that stars would potentially be undergoing daily checks for coronavirus after a former crew member tested positive days before the new series. 

The Sun has also claimed that bosses have a list of ‘stand-by’ celebrities for the show in case a star falls ill with relatives likely banned from rehearsals.

Yay: The Strictly pros appeared in good spirits ahead of the new series as they all put on an animated display and showed off their dance moves to the camera (Anton du Beke pictured) 

How is Strictly 2020 going ahead during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Strictly Come Dancing has introduced an array of strict measures to ensure the new series can go ahead during the COVID-19 crisis.

Celebrity contestants and their professional partners are tested regularly, with cast and crew told to isolate should they contract the virus.

Bosses have already confirmed any celebrity that tests positive once the series begins will be dropped from the show, with reports saying there are celebrities on stand-by.

The professional dancers have already pre-recorded their group performances after isolating together in a hotel.

It’s also been claimed that celebrities and pros will be axed from the show if they are caught kissing during filming.

Strictly 2020 has also seen the series run shortened to just nine weeks, with 12 celebrities taking part instead of the usual 15.

The show’s annual trip to Blackpool has been cancelled, along with this year’s Halloween and Christmas specials.

Only three judges – Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse – will be in the studio with separate rostrums, after Bruno Tonioli was unable to appear due to travel concerns. 

Veteran judge Bruno has said he will be ‘involved remotely’ and hopes to return full-time towards the end of the series as he is filming the US version of the show in Los Angeles. 

With limited studio crew, big sets may not be built – so producers will use augmented reality, which adds computer-generated elements.

To ensure the contestants can work closely with their partners, they will ‘bubble up’ to train, along with being tested regularly. 

Strictly will still feature a live audience, however fans will sit in groups on separate tables, and will only attend if from the same household or bubble.

This year has already seen the pros pre-record all of their group performances while isolating together in a hotel, and the couples have formed separate bubbles to train and perform together.

Meanwhile Bruno Tonioli will be absent from the judging panel due to quarantine restrictions should he travel to the UK from his home in Los Angeles.

However bosses have confirmed he will appear on the show in some capacity, offering his views on this year’s performances during the results show.

Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse will continue to judge the show, but will sit socially distanced at separate desks.

The series will still feature a live audience, however fans will sit in small groups and will only be allowed to attend if from the same household or bubble.

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

Keeping a distance: This year’s series has seen huge changes due to the COVID-19 crisis, with the judges sitting on separate desks to ensure they’re socially distanced 

Strictly Come Dancing Contestants 2020


Age: 60

Profession: Actress, known for roles in Men Behaving Badly and Jonathan Creek

Caroline says: ‘I hope my knees don’t let me down and I hope the foundation garments live up to expectations when I start leaping about!’

Fun fact: She met her now-husband, Sam Farmer in 1998 on the set of Men Behaving Badly when he was one of the studio runners.


 Age: 31

Profession: Singer – from former boy band The Wanted

Max says: ‘Nan – I’m doing Strictly this year!’ as he vowed to make his superfan grandmother proud

Fun Fact: Max’s fellow The Wanted bandmate Jay McGuiness was on Strictlby Come Dancing in 2015 – and won it!  


 Age: 36

Profession: Radio 1 presenter

Clara says: ‘As we know this year has been a real challenge and escapism through dancing is something I know we all enjoy’

Fun fact:  Clara has some experience of celeb gameshows, having taken part on Celebrity Masterchef in 2018


 Age: 55

Profession: Comedian and TV personality

Clara says: ‘I’m not Lord of the Dance, more a sort of caretaker of the dance’

Fun fact:  Bill is a classically trained musician and multi-instrumentalist



 Age: 19

Profession: EastEnders actress

Maisie says: ‘Get me in those sequins, I can’t wait to dive into the Strictly fancy dress box this winter!’

Fun fact:  Maisie won the 2019 Children In Need special of Strictly with Kevin Clifton 




 Age: 21

Profession: YouTube star 

HRVY says: ‘Being on Strictly is going to be such an amazing experience and I’m so thankful to be taking part this year.’

Fun fact:  HRVY follows in the footsteps of former internet star contestants Joe Sugg and Saffron Barker – the latter of whom is close friends with him 



Age: 42

Profession: Retired American Football player – now a pundit

 Jason says: ‘I am thrilled. I’m a huge fan of the show, I’ve been watching it since I came to this country, so it’s time for me to do something cool to impress my daughter, now that she can watch me perform!’

Fun Fact: Jason is the father of Girls Aloud star Nadine Coyle’s daughter. The couple were together for 11 years, only splitting recently in 2019


 Age: 43

Profession: ITV broadcaster, Political Editor for GMB

Ranvir says:  ‘It feels like I’m on a rollercoaster… Hopefully after the first dance I will feel exhilarated rather than sick!’

Fun fact: Ranvir is the fourth GMB star to star following Susanna Reid, Richard Arnold and Charlotte Hawkins.



 Age: 37

Profession: Double Olympic gold medallist boxer

Nicola says: ‘I’m a huge fan of the show and am thrilled to be part of something that holds such a special place in so many people’s hearts’

Fun fact:  Nicola will form the show’s first ever same-sex pairing as she is parterned with a female professional. 



 Age: 55 Profession: Comedian and TV personality Clara says: ‘I’m not Lord of the Dance, more a sort of caretaker of the dance’ Fun fact: Bill is a classically trained musician and multi-instrumentalist

Age: 33

Profession: Ex Royal Marine and Invictus Games medallist

JJ says: ‘Strictly is a whole different ball game in respect to the challenges I will face but I’m up for an adventure’

Fun fact:  JJ is close friends with Prince Harry after they worked together on the Invictus Games



 Age: 31

Profession: Made In Chelsea star

Jamie says: ‘I’m over the moon I actually get to come back and dance again. It’s going to be unbelievably amazing!’

Fun fact:  Jamie was forced to pull out of the 2019 series of Strictly after a foot injury 



 Age: 57

Profession: Politician

Jacqui says: ‘I was speechless with excitement at being asked to join Strictly – and that’s very rare for me…!’

Fun fact:  Fifty years ago, she received a bronze medal for Scottish Highland Dancing 



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