Strictly Come Dancing: Blackpool special cancelled for 2020

Blackpool Tower Ballroom

The annual Strictly Come Dancing special in Blackpool will not take place this year, the BBC has confirmed.

A BBC spokesman said while contestants would not physically go to Blackpool’s Tower Ballroom in 2020, they would still be “celebrating the iconic venue” from Elstree studio.

It follows changes made to the show due to coronavirus restrictions.

Beginning on 12 October, the forthcoming BBC One series will be shorter than usual.

There will be no red carpet launch show or Christmas special, either.

Contestants will be staying in a hotel for two weeks ahead of pre-recording all the group dances.

Strictly’s annual special at Blackpool, filmed in one of the country’s most historic ballrooms, is seen by contestants and the professional dancers alike as one of the highlights of the series.

The show has filmed at the venue since 2004, taking regular breaks. However, since 2013 there has been a Blackpool special annually.

Blackpool is renowned for being a home for ballroom dancing, having hosted the Blackpool Dance Festival since 1920. That event is taking place online this year as a result of coronavirus.

A BBC spokesman 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.”

It comes after former home secretary Jacqui Smith was confirmed as the 12th and final celebrity contestant for 2020.

Smith will join with stars including Bill Bailey, Clara Amfo, and HRVY.

This year, fans have been asked to apply for tickets for the live shows in groups of four so they can attend as a family bubble.

They will be placed at socially distanced cabaret-style tables and in balcony seating.

Successful applicants have also been asked to provide their own plain black face coverings.

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