Strictly's Janette Manrara says the studio audience will be scrapped as lockdown stops friends and family watching

STRICTLY Come Dancing's Janette Manrara has revealed that the studio audience will be scrapped in light of the country's looming second lockdown.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation on Saturday and confirmed that a national lockdown would begin on Thursday for four-weeks in light of the country's rising Coronavirus cases.

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Appearing on BBC's Morning Live today, ballroom star Janette explained that the show will likely axe their current small studio audience due to the government's new Covid-19 guidelines.

She told hosts Gethin Jones and Kym Marsh: "BBC have been incredible n making sure we're following all the government guidelines.

"And the show is going to continue going forward on Saturday night
and I think we need it, we need it more than ever right now.

"So fingers crossed it doesn't affect us too badly," she continued. "I have a feeling we won't be able to have guest anymore.

"A lot of the celebrities have been able to bring family and friends in their bubbles to watch the show so that might not be happening but that's OK because I scream for everyone anyway."

The ballroom stalwart has kept to strict Covid-19 measures from the beginning.

On the show's launch night, hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman explained the precautions the series had put in place so it could go ahead.

The Strictly presenters explained the stars had been tested twice for coronavirus before entering the studio.

Tess said: "Usually we would pair up our celebrities right here in the ballroom but this year we've had to do things a bit differently."

"Before tonight our celebrities and pros were tested for coronavirus twice and have already formed their Strictly bubbles," co-host Claudia added.

The pre-recorded episode saw celebrities matched up with their professional partners ahead of the first live show.

Although they appear in the studio, the moment they met their partner for the first time had been previously filmed.

Bosses had been working around the clock to make sure they could bring back the popular series back in 2020 as coronavirus threatened to cancel its 18th year on telly.

But despite drastic measure brought in to protect the stars, Strictly was thrown into chaos when pop star Harvey Cantwell tested positive for COVID-19.

Luckily the 21-year-old heartthrob tested negative for the deadly bug just in time for the launch show.

The show – filmed at Elstree Studios, in Borehamwood, Herts – has been cut from 12 to nine shows due to the pandemic.

The number of people on site has also been slashed – with everyone made to sign a self-declaration form promising they don't have any COVID-19 symptoms.

Stars have been forced to isolate from their loved ones and face being thrown out of the series immediately if they test positive for coronavirus.

Dance partners formed an exclusive support bubble in order to break the government's social distancing rules – but it meant one half of the pair must live alone.

There is daily temperature checks, enforced social distancing and masks must be worn at all times. While a deep clean of the studio is carried out every day.

The BBC has warned viewers to prepare for major changes to the dance show.

The pro dancers have been isolating in a biosecure bubble at a nearby hotel and have pre-recorded 14 group dances with more than 300 costume changes.

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