Strictly: Len Goodman discusses same-sex couples
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Len Goodman, 77, stepped down as a judge in 2016, but still keeps up to date with all the Strictly Come Dancing goings-on, including the widely discussed “curse”. The Ballroom veteran divulged exclusively to Express.co.uk that contestants being made to bubble up in line with social distancing protocols could encourage some “hanky panky” behind the scenes, despite BBC bosses reportedly warning participants off “kissing” each other.
Opening up on whether he believes contestants spending long periods of time together could lead to more romance this upcoming series, Len said: “Well there could be some hanky panky, who knows?
“You know there’s been (former Strictly dancers) Flavia (Cacace) and Jimi Mistri, they met doing Strictly and you know, they’ve gone on to be together, as far as I know, they’re still together and happily married or whatever.
“So you know, as much as you can get a bit of a funny sort of thing going on, you do get some lovely, lovely stories come out of it.“
BBC bosses have been said to have put a kissing ban on contestants in a bid to stop Covid from causing havoc again for the new series.
Producers are said to have told this year’s stars “one snog and you’re out” amid concerns about stars breaking social distancing rules.
BBC are desperate to avoid the chaos coronavirus brought last year, which saw boxer Nicola Adams and her professional dance partner Katya Jones withdraw from the competition following a positive test, and HRVY nearly not taking part.
An insider told The Sun: “Although the pandemic has eased since last year’s series, the BBC aren’t taking any chances.
“They want to minimise the risk of any bombshells, particularly as a studio audience is being brought back this year.”
Last month, professional dancer Nadiya Bychkova tested positive for coronavirus.
Ukrainian-Slovenian dancer Nadiya, 31, contracted the virus during the first week of filming, meaning many of the cast and crew had to isolate for 10 days, according to the aforementioned publication.
The Strictly insider added the Covid scare has heightened fear among bosses that other dancers and celebrities could test positive when the rehearsals start later this month.
The source said the BBC could put “yet more measures and precautions in place” for the cast’s safety and to ensure the show goes ahead without a hitch.
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With the new rules it could mean the infamous Strictly Curse is avoided this year.
The series has seen many romances emerge over the years between celebrities and their professional partners.
In 2018, when Stacey Dooley, 33, began dating her dance partner Kevin Clifton.
Comedian Seann Walsh and his then married dance partner Katya Jones also caused controversy in 2018 when they were photographed kissing after being partnered up.
Each dancing couple formed an exclusive support bubble, which meant one half of the bubble was a single adult household living alone and the other could remain with their household, allowing them to have close contact with one another.
Close contact cohorts were also introduced and work similarly to support bubbles, but included regular and routine testing for coronavirus. Each couple was put into a close contact cohort and could not form a bubble with anyone else during the competition.
The series was won by Bill Bailey and Oti Mabuse, with EastEnders star Maisie, singer HRVY and Jamie Laing all finishing as runners-up.
Strictly will return tonight and his year, the BBC ballroom show will see the likes of Tom Fletcher, Ugo Monye, Robert Webb, AJ Odudu, Rhys Stephenson and Nina Wadia compete for the glitterball trophy.
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