Strictly Come Dancing contestant Tom Fletcher and his professional partner, Amy Dowden, have tested positive for Covid-19 and will miss next Saturday’s live broadcast, the BBC said.
Fletcher, one of McFly’s lead vocalists, and Dowden had performed well in their first dance on this weekend’s show.
News of their illness follows reports that three of the show’s dancers had not been vaccinated, although there is no suggestion that Fletcher or Dowden were among them.
Singer, songwriter and songwriter Fletcher had danced cha-cha to Earth, Wind & Fire’s September in his Strictly debut. He and Dowden were the first to dance and were awarded 21 out of 40 by the judges.
The BBC said an average audience of 7.9 million people tuned in on Saturday night to watch the couples go head-to-head.
Fletcher and Dowden, who reached the Strictly final in 2019 with TV presenter Karim Zeroual, were due to return the following week “everything is fine,” the BBC said.
A statement from the broadcaster said, “The pair are now self-isolating separately in accordance with the latest government guidelines. While they will both miss Saturday’s live show, Strictly Come Dancing protocols mean that, all is well, they’ll be back the following week.
Last year, boxer Nicola Adams and his dance partner Katya Jones – the show’s first same-sex couple – were forced to withdraw from the series further down the line after Jones tested positive for Covid-19.
The series was the subject of unconfirmed reports that some of the dancers had not been vaccinated. Prime Minister Boris Johnson had even commented on the matter, saying he “was not afraid to lecture” strictly professional dancers by urging them to get a Covid jab.
The BBC had denied that three professional dancers said they would quit the show rather than get the shot, but declined to say whether or not anyone received the shot.
A spokesperson for the show said, “We are not commenting on speculation about someone’s Covid vaccination status. The production of Strictly Come Dancing has and will continue to follow strict government guidelines to ensure the safety of everyone on the show. “