Strictly Come Dancing CANCEL Blackpool special due to COVID-19 travel concerns

Strictly Come Dancing's Blackpool Special is CANCELLED for the first time in the show's history due to COVID-19 travel concerns A BBC spokesperson told MailOnline that the series will not 'physically' travel to the famous Tower Ballroom this November, but promised to celebrate the venue  Strictly has introduced measures and changes to ensure the safety of contestants during COVID-19, and has delayed its launch until late October

By Laura Fox For Mailonline

Published: 15:12 BST, 12 September 2020 | Updated: 19:25 BST, 12 September 2020

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Strictly Come Dancing have cancelled its annual Blackpool special due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A BBC spokesperson told MailOnline that the series will not 'physically' travel to the famous Tower Ballroom this November, but promised to celebrate the 'iconic' venue from their studio in Elstree, north London.

Strictly has introduced numerous measures and changes to ensure the safety of contestants and crew during the COVID-19 crisis, and has delayed its launch until late October.

Sad news: Strictly Come Dancing have cancelled its annual Blackpool special due to the COVID-19 pandemic (Alex Scott and Neil Jones from 2019 pictured)_

Sad news: Strictly Come Dancing have cancelled its annual Blackpool special due to the COVID-19 pandemic (Alex Scott and Neil Jones from 2019 pictured)_

In a statement the BBC spokesperson said; 'Blackpool is a milestone moment in every series of Strictly that our audience, our celebs and professional dancers look forward to. 

'Whilst we'll be unable to physically go to Blackpool this series, we'll still be celebrating this iconic venue and bringing it to life from our studio in Elstree.'

Strictly usually travels to Blackpool for one weekend towards the middle of the series in November, with the remaining celebrity couples getting the chance to perform in the legendary Tower Ballroom.

Tragedy: A BBC spokesperson told MailOnline that they promised to celebrate the 'iconic' venue from their studio in Elstree, north London (Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman pictured)

Tragedy: A BBC spokesperson told MailOnline that they promised to celebrate the 'iconic' venue from their studio in Elstree, north London (Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman pictured)

It comes following reports that this year's stars could undergo daily checks for COVID-19 during filming after a crew member tested positive.

Earlier this week, the hit BBC One dance show was said to be in a crisis following the news with 'everyone told to leave' and the set given a 'deep clean.'

A source told The Sun: 'Nothing is being left to chance after this positive test. A lot of money has been spent on ensuring everyone on the show has access to testing.

'If required, those taking part could even undergo daily checks to make sure they remain virus free.

'The key thing for producers is knowing that if a case emerges that they can react to it to make sure it doesn’t become a massive crisis.'

Long-awaited: Strictly usually travels to Blackpool for one weekend towards the middle of the series in November, with the remaining couples performing in the Tower Ballroom

Long-awaited: Strictly usually travels to Blackpool for one weekend towards the middle of the series in November, with the remaining couples performing in the Tower Ballroom

The source added that the 'nightmare scenario' is a case going 'undetected' and 'spreading' throughout both cast and crew.

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 and no live studio audience allowed.

MailOnline contacted representatives for Strictly Come Dancing for comment at the time.

Filming for the new series is reportedly scheduled to begin this week, with the professional dancers' group routines to be pre-recorded after they completed two weeks in isolation.

However a source also told MailOnline: 'The crew member is no longer on the production and has had a negative NHS test result.

'Procedures were followed and stringent protocols have been put in place just in case, but recording isn't due to happen until later this week so there is minimal impact.'  

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, 57, and YouTube star HRVY were confirmed as the final contestants for this year's Strictly last week.  

They joined Jason Bell, Ranvir Singh, Clara Amfo, Caroline Quentin,

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