EXCLUSIVE: Nicola Adams and Katya Jones are forced to PULL OUT of Strictly Come Dancing 2020 after pro dancer tests positive for COVID-19
- Katya, 31, tested positive for coronavirus, meaning she was instantly disqualified from the BBC dancing show
- Olympic boxer Nicola, 28, will now need to self-isolate for two weeks in keeping with government guidelines
- The pair made history competing on the show as the first ever same-sex couple
Nicola Adams and Katya Jones have been forced to pull out of Strictly Come Dancing after the professional dancer contracted COVID-19.
Boxer Nicola, 28, will now have to isolate for two weeks, meaning she cannot be given a new partner and continue in the competition.
However, the Olympian hopes to return next year alongside Katya, 31, after competing together for the Glitterball as the show’s first same sex couple.
It’s over! Nicola Adams and Katya Jones have been forced to pull out of Strictly Come Dancing after the professional dancer contracted COVID-19
A source close to Nicola told MailOnline: ‘She’s hoping her Strictly dream is not over.
‘There’s lots of hurdles to overcome but if it’s possible she can compete with Katya in the 2021 series, Nicola will want to make it happen.’
If she appears in next year’s series, she will be the second ever star to return, after Jamie Lang, who was allowed to a second chance to star in this year’s Strictly after injury ruled him out of the 2019 series.
However, the Made In Chelsea favourite did not feature in any shows, unlike Nicola who has survived two vote offs.
Making a comeback: The Olympian hopes to return next year alongside Katya, 31, and compete for the Glitterball as the show’s first same sex couple
Last Sunday Nicola and Katya were in the bottom two but were saved after judges chose ex-NFL star Jason Bell to leave the competition.
Strictly introduced strict new measures to ensure filming could continue in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, including regular testing and placing the couples in separate ‘bubbles’ so they can train and perform together.
This series also became the first in the show’s history to air without a live audience after England was plunged into a month-long lockdown.
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.
Near miss: Last Sunday Nicola and Katya were in the bottom two but were saved after judges chose ex-NFL star Jason Bell to leave the competition
This isn’t the first time, the show has been blighted with coronavirus concerns.
Days before the series began, there had been doubts over whether singer HRVY would be able to compete, as he tested positive for coronavirus.
A source previously said his positive test was ‘the worst-case scenario for Strictly, as they’ve gone to extreme lengths to make the show safe up to this point’.
A spokesman for the show insisted all celebrities on the show are ‘tested regularly’ and claimed that the positive test has had ‘minimal impact on production’.
After it was announced HRVY had coronavirus, he tweeted: ‘Morning guys, just a little thought. I’m only 21 and in good health so it just shows that being young doesn’t make you invincible, so make sure you wear a mask please, have a good day.’
Weeks before, a crew member also contracted coronavirus.
A spokesman for Strictly told MailOnline : ‘We can confirm that a member of the Strictly team has tested positive for coronavirus and they are now self-isolating at home following the latest government guidelines.
‘We have rigorous protocols in place to manage Covid-19 as the safety of all those involved in the production is paramount.
‘We briefed that we are still in pre-production and all celebs are tested regularly. We said we would not reveal the name of individual for private health reasons but they are feeling well.
‘We also briefed that the celeb will be taking part in the launch show (pending a negative test result) and that they only came into contact with a handful of production crew, who were then isolated and tested, therefore minimal impact on production.’
Keeping a low profile? The pair were last seen after Tuesday’s episode of It Takes Two, attempting to hide away
In a recent Q and A, executive producer Sarah James shed light on the show’s contingency plans in light of the pandemic and insisted she’s ‘confident’ the competition series will go ahead even if the current coronavirus restrictions change.
Sarah said: ‘Obviously according to government guidelines if you receive a positive test you have to isolate for two weeks and that would unfortunately rule them out of the show.’
This year’s series will be a pared down nine-week run with a very different look. The 12 partnerships – three less than usual – will be unveiled via video link rather than in the studio and the annual trip to the Blackpool Tower ballroom is also off the cards.
Making a comeback: Nicola is hoping to return to the show next year and compete again in a same sex couple after making history with Katya this year
Explaining their use of the bubble system to ensure couples can train and perform, she added: ‘Close contact cohorts (CCC) apply to people who need to work closely and break social distancing rules to do their jobs. It has to only be with one person and you are regularly tested.
‘We are asking the celebrity contestants to be part of an exclusive support bubble with their dancers, which means that one half of the party has to live alone.’
The professionals spent two weeks in September isolating in a Buckinghamshire hotel so they could rehearse the group numbers.
The news of Katya’s positive test comes hours after Rylan Clark-Neal revealed he’ll miss filming for Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two for two weeks after being forced to self-isolate.
The presenter, 32, tweeted a statement telling fans he’d come into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, and after seeking a test has tested negative himself.
Rylan has co-hosted It Takes Two with Zoe Ball on alternate days this series, with the pair unable to host the show together due to strict social distancing measures.
Break: Rylan Clark-Neal has revealed he’ll miss filming for Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two for two weeks after being forced to self-isolate
He posted: ‘I found out this week that someone I have been in recent contact with outside of work has tested positive for coronavirus. I am therefore now following the government guidelines and having to self isolate.
‘I have sought a COVID test and thankfully that has returned a negative result.
‘That does mean I will miss the next two weeks of Strictly It Takes Two and my BBC Radio 2 Saturday show.
‘I look forward to being back soon and wish all the couples good luck for this weekend.’
All is well: The presenter tweeted a statement telling fans he’d come into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19
Rylan later clarified that he paid to have a test done privately to ensure there was ‘no immediate risk’ to anyone in his work bubble during Strictly filming.
The star’s isolation also means he’ll be unable to present his Saturday show on BBC Radio 2.
Government guidelines state anyone who has come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 must self-isolate for 14 days.
Rylan has been presenting It Takes Two with Zoe on various days, with the pair unable to host together this series due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dynamic duo: Rylan has been presenting It Takes Two with Zoe Ball on various days, with the pair unable to host together this series due to the COVID-19 pandemic
Zoe would host the show Mondays through Wednesdays, with Rylan taking over the duties on Thursdays and Fridays.
Rylan had previously praised Strictly bosses for breaking boundaries by introduced the show’s first ever same-sex pairing with Nicola Adams and Katya Jones.
He described how the show’s inclusive approach is a great step towards embracing the LGBTQ community.
He told MailOnline: ‘It’s really exciting, but I think it will be like Dancing On Ice with Ian “H” Watkins and Matt Evers, in the sense that they were a great addition, but after the first week, their same-sex pairing became the norm.
Two metres! Zoe would host the show Mondays through Wednesdays, with Rylan taking over the duties on Thursdays and Fridays
‘It’s never been done before on Strictly so it’s going to be a big deal and I think it’s a really good step towards normalising it.
‘There are female couples all over Britain, there are male couples all over Britain. I think it’s just reflecting society and I think it’s a great thing to be doing, so good luck to the pair of them!
‘She [Nicola] will be treated like every other contestant and that’s how it should be. I think it’s a really massive step forward.’
Dynamic duo: Rylan had previously praised Strictly bosses for breaking boundaries by introduced the show’s first same-sex pairing with Nicola Adams and Katya Jones (pictured)