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Strictly Come Dancing 2020 line up 'to feature fewer celebs' as BBC confirms shorter series

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The 2020 Strictly Come Dancing line up will feature fewer celebrity contestants, it's been claimed.

It comes after the BBC announced this year's series would have a shorter run due to social distancing and lockdown restrictions.

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The Daily Mirror report that consequently there will be fewer celebrities on the line up with exact numbers to be confirmed.

Furthermore, it means that former pro dancers AJ Pritchard and Kevin Clifton will not be replaced after they quit earlier this year.

Meanwhile, when it comes to signing up celebrities, insiders say Strictly have been spoilt for choice this year.

With other TV, film and theatre productions on pause, a number of names are eager to take to the ballroom.

"With celebs, we've no trouble getting them as there is little other work around – but the need to isolate means the timings are against us," a source said.

It's expected that Strictly will launch in October rather than its usual September time slot, but still run until Christmas.

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In a statement, a BBC spokesperson said: "The Strictly Come Dancing team are doing everything they can to bring the nation plenty of Strictly magic later this year."

They added that the "ongoing considerations" around the global health crisis meant that this year's show "will have a slightly shorter run than usual."

"The safety of our cast and crew is of the utmost importance to us and further updates will be made in due course," they added.

Names currently linked to the Strictly Come Dancing line up this year include Sunday Brunch host Tim Lovejoy, Hollyoaks actress Jennifer Metcalfe, Love Island narrator Iain Stirling, TikTok star Holly H, TV host Michelle Ackerley and Radio DJ presenter Maya Jama.

Meanwhile there are rumours that Strictly judge Bruno Tonioli may be forced to step down from this year's show due to travel restrictions.

Bruno currently appears on both the British version of the show and its American counterpart, Dancing With The Stars.

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Speaking on talkRADIO, Strictly's head judge Shirley Ballas said: "They are again rumours. So it will be according to the flights - if he can get backwards and forwards safely but knowing Bruno and he’s such an amazing man, he will do everything in his power not to let the British public down.

"So let’s keep our fingers crossed. It will all go down to guidelines and rules.”