Celebrities taking part in Strictly Come Dancing will be automatically axed from the show if they contract Covid-19, BBC bosses have confirmed.

This year's line-up is shorter by two celebs this year as the dancing competition starts weeks earlier in late October.

Lining out the stringent measures the BBC programme has undertaken to combat coronavirus, Executive Producer Sarah James explained to Mirror TV and other news outlets the change in studio format and use of close contact cohorts between couples and bubbles.

She also confirmed that anyone that contracts coronavirus during the show will immediately be disqualified.

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James explained: "Unfortunately if you receive a positive test that means that you wouldn't be able to continue in the competition. Obviously, according to government guidelines, if you receive a positive test you have to isolate for two weeks and that would rule them out of the show."

Among the changes to Strictly this year include the axing of Blackpool and Halloween week, the reason for the latter being the show starting later than it usually would in late October and it being too early for a themed week.

There will be no elimination on the first week, as per usual, and there will be a group dance on the launch show - but all of the couples will be dancing together and won't switch partners.

Bruno Tonioli will be missing from the panel this year
Maisie Smith won the Children In Need Strictly Come Dancing special with Kevin Clifton last year

This year, the celebrities won't discover who their professional partner is during the launch but instead via VT.

Presenter Claudia Winkleman's backstage room up the stairs will also change this year and won't be full of all of the couples as another awaits their results. Instead, Claudia will interview each couple at a time while the others wait at their own socially distanced tables in the audience.

As we know, Bruno Tonioli won't be appearing on the panel this year but will be watching via live link and will give an update on his views during the results show.

James also explained the amount of crew in the studio had been reduced and that they had acquired new tracking cameras and extra lighting in a change to the set design.

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Strictly Come Dancing 2020

Strictly will also be implementing "augmented reality" to the sets, which will make it more virtual as they crew usually only has 1 minute 30 seconds to change set pieces which, in the current climate, is incredibly difficult to do.

Dave Arch is back in the orchestra but, due to social distancing, it is impossible to fit all of the musicians into the space so some elements of songs will be pre-played.

Explaining the audience element, James said: "We are prepped for any scenario so we can add or take away people... we have made plans for no audience, socially distanced or full."

Neil Jones won't get a celebrity partner this year

Everyone in the studio will also be socially distancing and before entering the set, they need to sign a self-declaration form stating that they don't have coronavirus. The set will also be deep-cleaned every day.

Specific hair and make-up artists will be assigned to each couple to limit the amount of mixing.

Addressing how professionals and celebrities were able to dance together, James explained the system they had in place: "To be in a CCC you have to be with just one person and you are regularly tested to be in a CCC.

"On top of that we are also asking our celebrities and dancers to be part of an exclusive support bubble, which means that one half of the party has to live alone. So either the dancer or the celebrity will be living alone in order to form the exclusive support bubble."

Going on to how that would affect those who were not partnered with a celebrity, she explained: "We have four professional dancers who won't be partnering celebrities this year - they are Nadiya Bychkova, Neil Jones, Graziano di Prima and Nancy Xu.

"So we have two males and two females who perform CCCs together and they'll be able to dance in the guest music acts."

*Strictly Come Dancing returns in October on BBC One