Motsi Mabuse confident dancers will be there for 'Strictly' start after positive COVID test

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Motsi Mabuse has now been a judge on 'Strictly Come Dancing' for several years. (Guy Levy/BBC)
Motsi Mabuse has now been a judge on 'Strictly Come Dancing' for several years. (Guy Levy/BBC)

Motsi Mabuse has revealed she is confident that everyone will be present and healthy when Strictly starts, after it was confirmed that one of the dancers had tested positive for COVID.

The 2021 series of the BBC ballroom show gets under way on Saturday (18th September) but earlier this week it emerged one of the professionals had contracted the coronavirus.

It doesn’t affect this weekend’s launch show, as it was pre-recorded, and judge Mabuse has now said she thinks that everyone will be there when the live shows start the week after.

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Asked on Good Morning Britain whether there could be a last minute line-up change, she said: “There is such a long time from the first recording to the start that I think we'll all be there, all be healthy, and all keep on dancing.

"That's what I can say for now."

The show was cut short last year because of the pandemic, from 13 weeks to just nine.

This year’s series will be full length, with the fan favourite Halloween Week back in the schedule. However, the Blackpool show will not go ahead, partly because of the logistics of distancing at Blackpool's famous Tower Ballroom.

Mabuse said: "It is still a pandemic, we cannot ignore the fact. As much as we want our lives back there are still issues here, and the BBC is doing its utmost to keep everybody safe.

Strictly Come Dancing judges Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse. (BBC/Guy Levy)
Strictly Come Dancing judges Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse. (BBC/Guy Levy)

"We're being tested and we're trying to isolate as much as we can. But things can happen, and we should be able to go through that, and everybody should be responsible and take care of themselves.

"But we can't plan these things. So we just have to react and hope that everybody stays healthy."

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The star is returning to the judging panel alongside Craig Revel Horwood and Shirley Ballas, but Anton Du Beke is filling in for Bruno Tonioli.

This year’s celebrity contestants include BBC Breakfast’s Dan Walker, Olympic swimmer Adam Peaty and Loose Women star Judi Love.

Watch: Anton Du Beke 'so delighted' to become Strictly judge

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