Strictly Come Dancing judge Motsi Mabuse is confident ‘for now’ that everyone will be back when the show starts live on September 25
Just days before the launch show airs, it was confirmed that one pro had Covid-19, but their celebrity partner had tested negative for the virus.
Their identity remains unknown, while it is also not confirmed if they will be back when the competition kicks off on September 25.
That said, the launch show airing this coming Saturday was pre-recorded the week before, with bosses confirming the case did not affect this show.
With there being a two-week gap between this being filmed and the first live show, it may be possible the dancer in question could recover in time to return.
If not, they may need to be replaced by another pro – whether that be temporarily or permanently.
But judge Motsi hinted she was confident this will not have to be the case and that everyone should be in the first live show as planned.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain on Friday, she said: “Well 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 the upmost to keep everybody safe.
“We are being tested and we are trying to isolate as much as we can, but things can happen and we should be able to go through that, and everyone 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.”
On whether the unnamed dancer will still take part this series, she added: “There is such a long time from the first recording to the start that I think we will all be there, all be healthy, and keep on dancing. That’s what I can say for now.”
The Sun reported this week that the professional dancer had already been paired with a celebrity, but that the plans for the show faced disruption due to the positive test.
A source said: “This is proving to be a nightmare for producers, just as they prepare to bring back Strictly for its first full series since the pandemic.”
They added: “It means that Strictly viewers are likely to watch the pro paired with their celeb, then they could be separated by the time the first live show begins.
“That also means that the pro in question will probably end up only taking part in group dances throughout the new series, which will be particularly galling.”
The BBC confirmed to The Mirror that the celerity partner had tested negative for Covid-19.
A BBC spokesperson told us: “A professional dancer has tested positive for COVID-19 however this didn’t affect the recording of the launch show which airs this Saturday.
“We are following government guidelines to ensure the safety of all on the show.”
Motsi also teased the talent this series, and which celebs might be the frontrunners.
Admitting she only saw a tiny bit of dancing, she praised EastEnders’ Rose Ayling-Ellis and McFly’s Tom Fletcher as two people to watch out for.
She said of Rose: “You could see that, and I feel, she has talent. All opportunities are open and it’s just the question of how she will cope with everything else, but I say she really is one to watch on the floor.
On Tom, she added: “He is gonna be amazing, I can tell you now. He did one jump, a spin… he’s gonna be great.
“What’s great about Tom is he’s got this very special way of being, that his personality shines through with the dancing and I could tell within five seconds, so I can tell you now he’s gone be amazing.”
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV, while Strictly Come Dancing 2021 launches Saturday 18 September on BBC One.