EXC: Nicola Adams and Katya Jones PULL OUT of Strictly 2020

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 
  • Boxer Nicola, 38, will now need to self-isolate for two weeks in keeping with government guidelines
  • The Olympian said in a statement that she is ‘absolutely devastated’ to have to leave the competition and thanked Katya for ‘being the best dance partner’
  • The pair made history competing on the show as the first ever same-sex couple 
  • This year’s Strictly has seen the introduction of strict new measures to maintain the safety of its stars during the crisis, including regular testing, mandatory visors and the introduction of ‘couple bubbles’ for training 
  • All of the professional dancers’ group performances have been pre-recorded, after spending several weeks isolating together at a hotel last month 

Nicola Adams and Katya Jones have been forced to pull out of Strictly Come Dancing after the professional dancer contracted COVID-19.  

Boxer Nicola, 38, 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 they made history by competing together for the Glitterball as the show’s first same sex pairing. 

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.

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. 

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

A Strictly spokesperson confirmed to MailOnline that Katya is asymptomatic and the pair are now self-isolating separately following the latest government guidelines.  

Nicola said in a statement: ‘Hey guys! I’m absolutely devastated my Strictly journey has come to an end so soon. I had so much more to give and so many people to win this for! 

‘But I just want to say a huge thank you to Katya for being the best dance partner anyone could ask for. She pushed me way out of my comfort zone and it’s been an incredible experience. 

‘I’m gutted to be out of the competition but in these unprecedented times and as frustrating as it is, the COVID measures in place are to keep everyone safe, and I’m doing what I can to help. 

‘I’ll be spending the next 14 days isolating so I’d like to apologise in advance for the ridiculous amount of TikToks I’ll be posting, in my new found free time when I’m not gaming!’

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

Katya said: ‘Dancing with Nicola has been an absolute inspiration. She’s given her all each and every week and we were so excited to create more dances in the competition. 

‘Of course, I’m devastated to leave this way but I’ve made a friend for life and loved every moment of this special journey. I’d like to wish good luck to all the remaining couples!’

Sarah James, Strictly Come Dancing Executive Producer added: ‘We are incredibly sad that these unfortunate circumstances mean that Nicola and Katya are unable to continue on Strictly. 

‘They are a brilliant partnership and had already achieved so much during their time on the show. 

‘We’d like to thank them for their commitment and although their time in the competition has sadly come to an end we are hopeful that there will be opportunities for them to dance again in the future.’ 

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.   

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

It was confirmed before the series began that if any celebrity tested positive once the series began they would be dropped from the show, with reports saying there are celebrities on stand-by. 

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. 

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.

Recovered: Days before the series began, there had been doubts over whether singer HRVY would be able to compete, as he tested positive for coronavirus

Comeback king: The only other star to ever return to the show is 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

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.

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.

‘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.

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.’

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.

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. 

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

All is well: The presenter tweeted a statement telling fans he’d come into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19

‘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.’ 

The rest of the Strictly cast are unaffected and the show will continue this Saturday night on BBC One. 

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

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