Covid-19 security measures have dramatically changed the mood for the BBC’s most popular reality show. There was a small studio audience with mandatory face masks, and the celebrities and their professional dancers formed supportive bubbles so they could interact closely.
This year, there are 12 famous contestants instead of 15, with a reduced run of nine weeks instead of 13. The cast will be tested twice a week for coronavirus, and anyone found positive will leave the competition immediately.
Adams, who won gold at the London 2012 Olympics and again in Rio in 2016, said his partnership with Jones was “a brilliant step in the right direction, especially on the diversity side.”
Other couples include comedian Bill Bailey and Oti Mabuse, who won with Kelvin Fletcher in 2019, while Good Morning Britain presenter Ranvir Singh was paired with Giovanni Pernice and Maisie Smith of EastEnders teamed up with Gorka Marquez.
Actor Caroline Quentin was paired with Johannes Radebe, the dancer who performed the show’s first homosexual routine with his professional colleague Graziano di Prima in November 2019.
Strictly received 189 complaints after Radebe and Di Prima’s performance, with the BBC’s official complaints process stating that viewers ” [found it] offensive to feature two men dancing as a couple ”.
In September, the BBC announced that Adams had applied for and would be matched with a same-sex partner, after the company said it would be “completely open” to competition for same-sex couples on Strictly, following his previous position of not intending to do so. change the mixed format.
The 2020 opening has improved significantly from last year, which launched with an average audience of 7.8 million, which in turn was down from 2018’s total of 8.1 million and 8.8 million in 2017.
The BBC has defended its decision not to disclose the remuneration of Strictly’s hosts after criticizing it for not being transparent about how much its Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman ‘dream team’ receives.
The Mail on Sunday reported that Daly and Winkleman were each paid £ 350,000 and that the BBC was able to exclude this information from its presenter pay list because the show is produced by BBC Studios.
The company has confirmed that, as BBC Studios is a commercial organization, under the terms of the BBC Charter, it is not required to disclose compensation for its hosts.
“This has been common knowledge since the creation of BBC Studios in 2018. The government has agreed that it should be treated on an equal footing with independent production companies,” added a spokesperson.
The issue of pay transparency has preoccupied the BBC for three years. In 2017, when he first made public his top earner’s salary, it was revealed that only a third of his top-paying presenters were women.
Since then, several employees have received salary arrears or substantial salary increases. The most high-profile case involved presenter Samira Ahmed, who successfully took the BBC to an employment tribunal to get over £ 700,000 in back pay.
In September, the BBC confirmed that it had granted pay increases to more than 700 employees since the start of its equal pay scandal.