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Craig Revel Horwood: It will be difficult to film Strictly without live audience

Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood (Guy Levy/BBC)
Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood (Guy Levy/BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood has said it will be “quite difficult” to film the BBC show without a live studio audience as England enters a second nationwide lockdown.

The flagship entertainment show will go ahead with its movie week episode on Saturday but without a socially distanced audience cheering on the celebrity contestants and their professional partners.

The show has managed to carry on filming in compliance with Covid-19 guidelines as the couples have formed bubbles so they can rehearse and perform safely.

Revel Horwood told The Jonathan Ross Show: “They’re treated as one family if you like, they come together in that way.

“The couples want to high five each other, they can’t, they have to remain completely separate.

“Of course, with the new lockdown there is no audience, so it’s quite difficult actually. It’s just a new way of entertainment and looking at things.”

However, Revel Horwood said it is “fantastic” that the show has gone ahead and that social distancing allows him to maintain his authority, adding: “The judges are further apart. We don’t get to communicate like we used to.”

Addressing fellow judge Motsi Mabuse, he said: “I mean I have no clue what is actually coming out of your mouth – I never have – but you are a long way away.

“We’re also very segregated. Only one person on a stairwell… we don’t get to meet anyone.

“Normally I would meet and greet some of the celebs… I don’t go near them. It’s a good excuse really to maintain my character of authority.

“I quite like it actually, the seas part as I walk down the stairs, and it’s nothing to do with my breath.”

Revel Horwood said restrictions will also affect the so-called “Strictly curse” on relationships, saying: “That’s going to be very difficult this year isn’t it? They’re still not allowed to go to each other’s houses. You’re not sharing a house.

“There was never a curse in the first place, let’s be honest. There was a blessing.

“I’ve been waiting for the curse to happen to me, but it had to happen on Tinder. I sit there on my judging desk hoping maybe someone would come up to me.”

The judges also addressed the inclusion of the first same-sex couple this year, with Olympic boxer Nicola Adams dancing with Katya Jones.

Nicola Adams, right, and Katya Jones
Nicola Adams, right, and Katya Jones (Guy Levy/BBC)

Mabuse said: “I wouldn’t judge them differently. For me, let me say I think it’s about time that we’ve got some inclusiveness in the show.

“They’re having fun and dancing is dancing…if she [Nicola] doesn’t straighten her knees it doesn’t matter what she likes, or what she doesn’t like, she needs to straighten her knees in cha-cha.”

Revel Horwood added: “It’s fantastic. I’ve been waving this flag for five years, I really have tried to get same-sex couples on there. A lot of people are averse to it.

“People dance together, you just have to decide who is going backward at any one time.

“There was that huge furore as well when two pro boys danced together – all these huge complaints apparently – which was absolutely ridiculous. It’s about time and I think it’s absolutely brilliant, I really do.”

The Jonathan Ross Show is on November 7 at 10.30pm on ITV.

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