Strictly put in ‘intense’ anti-Covid rules to protect final amid new lockdown
Strictly Come Dancing bosses are taking no chances with coronavirus as the show reaches the live final this weekend.
In front of the cameras a socially distanced live audience will be axed, while behind the scenes countless rules have been in place for weeks.
While some of the measures are more obvious, such as no hugging or breaking bubbles, It Takes Two host Rylan Clark-Neal says others are 'intense but needed'.
Chatting exclusively to Daily Star, the former X Factor star said: "It is strange filming the show this year.
"It is a family unit and we always hug and catch up but now it's so so different. We can't do that.
"This year even wardrobe isn't allowed in my room.
"The outfit has to be sent in a bag and steamed before we even get it.
"It is intense but it is the right thing to do."
Admitting he doesn't think the show would still be on air if bosses hadn't taken Covid as Strictly as they did, Rylan continued: "As we saw with Nicola [Adams] and Katya [Jones], Katya tested positive which meant Nicola had to leave the competition but because of those restrictions that were in place and the BBC taking it seriously it didn't affect any of the other couples or people on the show.
"It was a prime example of it all working – they had to be in place all of those restrictions. It does work. it is really really difficult but we are really really happy we are just happy we are getting the show out."
Rylan was also forced into self isolation despite not having the virus after coming into contact with someone who was positive for Covid-19.
Reflecting on being housebound, the star continued: "When I had to isolate from It Takes Two, yeah of course it was frustrating as you think 'no I can't believe it has happened and I've had a negative test' but at the end of the day guidelines are guidelines you have to do it.
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"As frustrating as it is you don't want to be the person who brings down the biggest show on TV.
"Strictly on the weekends, the ratings are still ridiculous, that show hasn't changed since day one for over a decade.
"Everyone when they have a format try and make it fresh and new, but sometimes you don't need to.
"People just love it and the familiarity, this year more than ever.
"I felt teary when I saw the launch show this year as it was normal. People dancing and having a nice time was just normal."
On Saturday, Bill Bailey, 55, will take on EastEnders ' Maisie Smith, 19, HRVY, 22 and Jamie Laing, 32, in the live BBC final.
According to the latest odds from Ladbrokes Bill Bailey and HRVY are neck and neck to lift the Glitterball trophy.
A rep for the BBC has been contacted by Daily Star Online for comment.
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