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Cynthia Erivo to replace Craig Revel Horwood as guest judge on Strictly

Cynthia Erivo (Ian West/PA)
Cynthia Erivo (Ian West/PA)

Oscar nominee and Broadway star Cynthia Erivo will replace Craig Revel Horwood on the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel this weekend after he tested positive for Covid-19, the BBC said.

The broadcaster announced on Monday that the former dancer and choreographer, 56, was self-isolating and will be absent from Saturday and Sunday’s musicals-themed episodes.

He is expected to return to the programme the following week after his period of self-isolation ends.

Erivo, who will soon star as Elphaba in the big screen version of the musical Wicked, will appear as a guest judge alongside Motsi Mabuse, Anton Du Beke, and Shirley Ballas.

The actress is an acclaimed theatre star and appeared in Broadway’s revival of The Colour Purple, the Sister Act UK Tour and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.

She was also nominated for the best actress Oscar and the best original song Oscar for the film Harriet.

Erivo said: “I’m so delighted to be joining the Strictly judging panel for musicals week.

“Musicals have a unique place in my heart, it’s such a special way of connecting all art and making it one.

“I’m excited to bring my experience to the show and I can’t wait to see what the couples have in store this weekend.”

Revel Horwood is the latest member of the BBC programme to test positive following a string of absences from contestants in this year’s series.

Loose Women star Judi Love, who was the fifth contestant to be eliminated, was the most recent star to have tested positive.

Love had been due to perform a cha cha to Physical by Olivia Newton-John during the October 23 show but had to pull out.

Comedian Robert Webb and partner Dianne Buswell previously withdrew from the show over the TV star’s ill health.

The Peep Show star, who had open heart surgery two years ago, said he was advised by a doctor to quit the show in October after he had “begun to feel symptoms” while training.

Last month, McFly star Tom Fletcher and partner Amy Dowden returned to the dancefloor after testing positive for coronavirus.

The duo missed a week of shows while they were self-isolating.

Former rugby player Ugo Monye was previously sidelined due to a back injury.

Strictly Come Dancing continues on November 20 at 6.35pm, with the results show on November 21 at 7.15pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

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