Strictly Come Dancing wrap party 'cancelled over Omicron Covid fears'

Strictly Come Dancing end-of-series Christmas wrap party ‘cancelled over Omicron Covid variant fears’

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The Strictly Come Dancing end-of-series Christmas party has been reportedly cancelled over fears of the Omicron Covid variant.

Cast and crew of the show were set to enjoy a boozy bash at Elstree Studios in Borehamwood, where the BBC ballroom dance concert is filmed, after the final a week on Saturday.

However, bosses have decided to cancel the bash, with the staff and stars said to be ‘gutted’ after this year’s ‘long and painful’ series.

Disappointment: The Strictly Come Dancing end-of-series Christmas party has been reportedly cancelled over fears of the Omicron Covid variant

A source told The Sun: ‘Everyone will be gutted as it’s been such a long and painful series in many ways. There’s been injuries, Covid scares and intense competition.

‘Everyone was looking forward to letting their hair down and celebrating what’s been a closely-fought race.

‘It would have also been the first time many of them have been back in the same room since launch, so there would have been plenty to discuss and catch up on.

Festive spirit: The cast and crew of the show were set to enjoy a boozy bash at Elstree Studios in Borehamwood, where the BBC ballroom dance concert is filmed after the final

‘But with things not quite clear how Omicron will unfold, everyone has decided to err on the side of caution and shelve the plans.’

MailOnline has contacted the BBC for comment.

This morning experts warned Omicron is spreading faster in the UK than expected.

Eminent epidemiologist Professor Tim Spector claimed infections with the variant were doubling every two days and that there were up to 2,000 cases already — five times more than the official count. 

The King’s College London scientist, who runs the country’s largest symptom-tracking study, estimated that in 10 days’ time Britain will have more Omicron cases than most African countries at the epicentre of the new outbreak.

Dr Jeffrey Barrett, head of Covid surveillance at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, said Omicron was likely to become the UK dominant strain ‘within a matter of weeks’ rather than months like initially hoped.

This year’s series has faced a number of challenges, with judges Craig Revel Horwood, 56, isolating after testing positive for Covid and Motsi Mabuse, 40, being forced to shut herself away after coming into close contact with someone with the virus.

Tough year: However, bosses have decided to cancel the bash, with the staff and stars said to be ‘gutted’ after this year’s ‘long and painful’ series

A number of stars refused to have the vaccine at the start of the series and some had to take time out to isolate.

The news comes after Strictly bosses announced the celebs taking to the dancefloor on its 2022 live tour.  

Fans of the 2021 series will be thrilled with appearances from John Whaite and Johannes Radebe as they’re set to appear alongside Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice.  

Other dance couples on the bill from this year’s show include Sara Davies and Aljaz Skorjanec, Tilly Ramsay and Nikita Kuzmin, AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington, and Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu. 

Exciting: Strictly Come Dancing has announced the celebs taking to the dancefloor on its 2022 live tour with fan favourites Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice on the line up 

Elsewhere, The Wanted’s Max George, who was a contestant in 2020, will join the tour with Katya Jones. 

Strictly’s professional dancers Amy Dowden, Neil Jones, Luba Mushtuk and Jowita Przystal will also be performing with the couples in over 33 sequin-spangled shows. 

Janette Manrara will be hosting the tour after the star took over from Zoe Ball as host of It Takes Two this year.     

Meanwhile, the tour will be choregraphed and directed by Craig Revel Horwood and promises audiences an evening of glamour and excitement.  

Cast: Also taking to the stage are John Whaite and Johannes Radebe, Sara Davies and Aljaz Skorjanec, Tilly Ramsay and Nikita Kuzmin, AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington, and Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu

Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli, will also feature on the tour’s line-up, which kicks off on January 20 and runs until Feburary 12 with a glittering finale at London’s O2 Arena. 

The live show marks Bruno’s much-anticipated return to Strictly after he missed this series due to travel restriction uncertainty in the US, where he’s based.   

Bruno was replaced by Anton Du Beke on this year’s series while he remained stateside to continue with Dancing With The Stars.  

 Judges: The tour will be choregraphed and directed by Craig Revel Horwood and mark the return of Bruno Tonioli who was absent from the tour due to travel restrictions this year 

Of his return to the show, Bruno told MailOnline: ‘I am absolutely delighted to be back on the judging panel for the Strictly Arena Tour for the first time in two years.

‘I’ve missed my fellow judges, I’ve missed the glitz and glamour of the tour and I’ve missed the amazing audiences that come to see us all over the country – I hope you have missed me too?

‘I cannot wait to be back alongside Shirley, Craig, the celebs and the pros. The fans are really in for a treat – next year’s arena tour is going to be simply fantastic.’

Woo! Of his return to the show, Bruno told MailOnline: ‘I am absolutely delighted to be back on the judging panel for the Strictly Arena Tour for the first time in two years’  

Meanwhile, Craig added: ‘I’m delighted to be back directing and judging the 2022 tour. 

Next year is going to be bigger and better than ever before. With Bruno coming back to join us on the judging panel, this tour will be just fab-u-lous.’

And Shirley gushed of the event : ‘I’m really looking forward to re-joining Bruno and Craig on the Strictly live tour. 

The audiences at the arena shows are amazing – I can’t wait for January when we get the show on the road.’

For ticket information, visit strictlycomedancinglive.com

STRICTLY COME DANCING LIVE TOUR 2022: WHO ARE THE COUPLES? 

RHYS STEPHENSON & NANCY XU  

Celebrity’s Age: 27

Profession: CBBC presenter   

How far did they get?: Set to compete in the semi final   

TILLY RAMSAY & NIKITA KUZMIN

Celebrity’s Age: 19

Profession: CBBC presenter 

How far did they get?: Eliminated in week ten   

ROSE AYLING-ELLIS & GIOVANNI PERNICE

Celebrity’s Age: 30

Profession: Actress 

How far did they get?: Set to compete in the semi final 

 AJ ODUDU & KAI WIDDRINGTON

Celebrity’s Age: 33

Profession: TV presenter 

How far did they get?: Set to compete in the semi final  

JOHN WHAITE & JOHANNES RADEBE

Celebrity’s Age: 33

Profession: Great British Bake Off Winner and TV chef

How far did they get?: Set to compete in the semi final   

 

SARA DAVIES & ALJAZ SKORJANEC

Celebrity’s Age: 37  

Profession:  Businesswoman

How far did they get?: Eliminated in week 8   

 

MAX GEORGE & KATYA JONES 

Celebrity’s Age: 33 

Profession:  Pop star 

How far did they get?: Eliminated in week four in 2020 after he competed alongside Dianne Buswell (pictured) 

 

 

 

 

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