Strictly Come Dancing has revealed its celebrity and pro dancer pairs for the 2020 series – which includes the BBC show’s first-ever same-sex couple.
Former Olympic champion boxer Nicola Adams has already revealed she will be paired with another woman for the competition, and Strictly fans eagerly tuned in to the launch show to discover who would be coupled up for 2020.
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First to be paired was Caroline Quentin, who was matched with Johannes Radebe – and the reveal was a little different this year as to fit in with COVID restrictions the couples were put together in pre-recorded segments rather than the usual studio introductions on launch night.
Radio DJ Clara Amfo was matched next with Aljaz Skorjanec, followed by TV presenter Ranvir Singh who was paired with Giovanni Pernice.
It is the first time a same-sex partnership has competed on the show, but last year professional dancers Johannes Radebe and Graziano Di Prima performed a routine together in one of the Sunday night results shows.
This series sees a reduced number of contestants and episodes as filming was delayed due to coronavirus restrictions on filming.
Shame Bruce’s not with us any more. He could’ve done “Nice 2 meters, 2 meters nice” #Strictly
— Matt Oakley (@MattOakleyMojo) October 17, 2020
At the beginning of the episode, hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman explained that the celebrities had been paired with their professional dance partners outside of the studio for the first time and had undergone double rounds of coronavirus testing before forming a bubble together.
They also said that the professional dancers had formed one household in a hotel in order to be able to perform the group dance numbers.
Tess & Claud explained social distancing and bubbles better than the government #Strictly
— Sid (@HertsSid) October 17, 2020
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Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli have all returned as judges, although Tonioli will join the panel remotely for the Sunday night results show and is expected to return to the studio towards the end of the series.
The actual judging table looks a little different this year, as it has been split into individual, socially distanced desks for each judge.
Strictly Come Dancing continues on October 24 at 7.25pm on BBC One.