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Strictly Come Dancing is coming back and we couldn't be more thrilled about the news, but the dancing competition we all know and love will look slightly different when it returns.

New pictures released by the BBC showing inside the glitzy studio show the new measures that have been put into place to protect the judges, dancers and celebrities as they take to the ballroom floor.

The judges, Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse and Craig Revel Horwood, will be seated in pods instead of their usual table and there will be a reduced studio audience, while Bruno Tonioli will appear virtually.


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And when it comes to the celebrity contestants themselves, if they come back positive for coronavirus at any point during the show run they will be immediately axed.

Executive Producer Sarah James revealed the new studio format and explained to the Mirror exactly what would happen if any of the new contestants such as Maisie Smith, Nicola Adams or Jason Bell test for the virus.

"Unfortunately if you receive a positive test that means that you wouldn't be able to continue in the competition. Obviously, according to government guidelines, if you receive a positive test you have to isolate for two weeks and that would rule them out of the show."

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Several other protocols have been introduced to prepare the Strictly team for "any scenario", so as well as the familiar judges' table being scrapped the dancers and celebrities also have agreed to live alone and be in each others' household bubbles.

Depending on how successful they are in the competition that could mean that the celebrities will only be able to see their friends or family for up to ten weeks, by adhering to the two metre distancing rule.

The favourite Blackpool and Halloween weeks have also being sadly cancelled due to the series starting later, and even Dave Arch's band can't all fit in the pit due to the distancing guidelines.

Inside the studio, the usual stage is set up for Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman to host, but it will all be socially distanced.

Instead of Claudia's usual crowded “Clauditorium”, where all the couples gather to cheer each other on, they will be in their to chat with her alone after each performance.

Their fellow pros and celebs will be seated down by the side of the stage at their own tables to prevent any mingling: "We should still get that sense of camaraderie. Claudia will only be able to speak to one couple at a time and we won’t be able to have all the cast up there but she’s so brilliant with people," Sarah added.

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If there is an audience they will be seated apart according to government guidelines and there are also measures in place for an empty set.

Celebrities and their professional partners will also be assigned hair stylist and make-up artists, which will further reduce the need for mixing in larger groups.

And when it comes to the much-loved group dances that often sees the entire cast of professionals perform stunning routines live on the show, they have all being pre-recorded.

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Celebrities will also find out which celebrity they have been partnered with via a VT on the first show instead of the usual studio reveal.

And as for those professionals who are not receiving a partner this year, the exec producer said: "We have four professional dancers who won't be partnering celebrities this year – they are Nadiya Bychkova, Neil Jones, Graziano di Prima and Nancy Xu.

"So we have two males and two females who perform together and they'll be able to dance in the guest music acts."

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