Strictly Come Dancing has its 'highest ratings in THREE YEARS'

Strictly Come Dancing has its ‘highest ratings in THREE YEARS’ after ‘9 million viewers’ tune in to watch Nicola Adams and Katya Jones become the show’s first-ever same-sex couple

  • During the highly-anticipated episode, Nicola and Katya made history as they become the show’s first-ever same-sex couple 
  • According to new reports, viewing figures averaged at 8.6 million and it is the show’s highest ratings since 2017 
  • A collection of shows have seen successful figures during the pandemic with GBBO’s launch show becoming Channel 4’s most viewed show in 35 years
  • Strictly’s pre-recorded launch show for the 18th series on Saturday saw the 12 celebrities paired up with professional dancers 
  • Fans were left delighted over Nicola and Katya’s pairing as they hailed the dancing duo as ‘trailblazers’
  • While other viewers and celebrities shared their joy over the hit BBC One dance show returning to screens amid the coronavirus crisis 

Strictly Come Dancing has had its highest ratings in three years after 9 million viewers tuned it for Saturday’s pre-recorded launch show, according to new reports.

During the highly-anticipated episode, Nicola Adams and Katya Jones made history as they become the show’s first-ever same-sex couple.

The Mirror reports that viewing figures averaged at 8.6 million and it is the show’s highest ratings since 2017.  

Hooray! Strictly Come Dancing has had its highest ratings in three years after 9 million viewers tuned it for Saturday’s pre-recorded launch show, according to new reports (Nicola Adams and Katya Jones L-R)

A collection of TV shows have seen successful figures during the pandemic with the Great British Bake Off’s 2020 launch show becoming Channel 4’s most viewed show in 35 years.      

During Saturday’s episode of Strictly, the 2020 pairings were revealed where celebrities including Nicola, Jamie Laing and Maisie Smith discovered which professional dancer would put them through their paces in the upcoming weeks.

Former boxer Nicola, 37, and professional dancer Katya, 31, were confirmed as a pairing and made history as the show’s first ever same-sex couple with fans hailing the duo as ‘trailblazers’. 

While Jamie, 31, failed to reunite with his 2019 pro partner Oti Mabuse, 30, and was instead paired with Karen Hauer, 38. 

Making history: During the highly-anticipated episode, Nicola Adams and Katya Jones (L-R) made history as they become the show’s first-ever same-sex couple 

Two metres away! The Mirror reports that viewing figures averaged at 8.6 million and it is the show’s highest ratings since 2017 (Claudia Winkleman, left, Tess Daly, right) 

He was forced to quit last year’s show after he suffered a painful foot injury during the launch routine, Oti was paired with replacement Kelvin Fletcher and they went on to win the series.

The other pairings were revealed as Maisie and Gorka Marquez, Caroline Quentin and Johannes Radebe, Jason Bell and Luba Mushtuk, and Max George and Dianne Buswell. 

Rounding off the Strictly duos were Ranvir Singh and Giovanni Pernice, Clara Amfo and Aljaz Skorjanec, Bill Bailey and Oti Mabuse, JJ Chalmers and Amy Dowden, Hrvy and Janette Manrara, and Rt Hon Jacqui Smith and Anton du Beke. 

The launch consisted of the celebrities discovering their professional partners for the first time, though in a post-COVID change, they were instead revealed via video link. 

Star figures! A collection of TV shows have seen successful figures during the pandemic with the Great British Bake Off’s 2020 launch show becoming Channel 4’s most viewed show in 35 years (pictured) 

Revealed: During Saturday’s episode of Strictly, the 2020 pairings were revealed where celebrities including Nicola and Jamie Laing (pictured with pro Karen Hauer) discovered which professional dancer would put them through their paces in the upcoming weeks  

Such fun: The launch consisted of the celebrities discovering their professional partners for the first time, though in a post-COVID change, they were instead revealed via video link (Maisie Smith and Gorka Marquez pictured) 

This will allow for couples to form their own individual ‘bubbles’ for training and performances, meaning the stars will have to maintain distance from each other during filming. 

After all the pairings were announced, the celebrities and their professional partners had to take to the floor to perform with contestant Jamie teased after he injured himself during the group routine on the 2019 launch show.   

Elsewhere during the episode, the pros dazzled with a sensational opening routine with judges Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse and Craig Revel Horwood seated on separate podiums to ensure the programme adhered to COVID-19 safety guidelines. 

Keep dancing! The Strictly class are pictured (L-R top) Max George, Nicola Adams, Caroline Quentin, Bill Bailey, Jamie Laing, JJ Chalmers, Clara Amfo, Ranvir Singh, (Bottom) Caroline Quentin, HRVY, Jason Bell, Maisie Smith

Watchful eye: Judges Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse (L-R) also took their place on the panel, though this year will see them sat on separate desks to maintain social distancing while Bruno Tonioli was unable to travel back to the UK due to travel restrictions 

Fourth judge Bruno Tonioli was unable to travel back to the UK from his home in LA for the filming due to the Covid-19 crisis and his work commitments on Dancing With The Stars. 

Strictly Come Dancing 2020 pairings 

Nicola Adams, 37, and Katya Jones, 31 

Jamie Laing, 31, and Karen Hauer, 38   

Caroline Quentin, 60, and Johannes Radebe, 33 

Jason Bell, 42, and Luba Mushtuk, 30

Max George, 32, and Dianne Buswell, 31

Ranvir Singh, 43, and Giovanni Pernice, 30 

Clara Amfo, 36, and Aljaz Skorjanec, 30

Bill Bailey, 55, and Oti Mabuse, 30 

JJ Chalmers, 33, and Amy Dowden, 30

Maisie Smith, 19, and Gorka Marquez, 30

Hrvy, 21, and Janette Manrara, 36

Rt Hon Jacqui Smith, 57, and Anton Du Beke, 54  

He has spent the last 15 years jetting between the US and the UK for the two shows but coronavirus travel restrictions have scuppered his schedule.

Also during the show, presenters Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman were reunited with the pair ensuring they stood at least two metres apart throughout the episode.

While 2019 winner Kelvin Fletcher returned to the dance floor with former professional partner Oti to perform a socially-distanced routine.     

Nicola was surprised by professional dancer Katya at the Royal Albert Hall in London where she had her last ever professional fight in 2019, the dancer appeared behind a huge sparkly disco ball.

Katya was left overjoyed as she started screaming and jumping, she said: ‘This is a dream, honestly,’ with Nicola adding: ‘I am super excited to be paired with Katya, absolutely buzzing.’ 

The duo then practised some dance moves and were already ‘in sync’, Nicola said: ‘I got a little taste of what is going to come next!’

Back in the studio, presenter Claudia said: ‘Nicola, you like firsts, this is a Strictly first, you wanted a woman and you wanted someone competitive, I give you Katya.’ 

Talking about what choreography fans can expect, Katya said: ‘I think the beauty of this partnership is… it’s never been done before on Strictly. So, basically, we’re free to do what we want, there’s not really set rules!’ 

Fans were left delighted over Nicola and Katya’s pairing as they hailed the dancing duo as ‘trailblazers’ after their partnership was announced and they performed in a group routine.

Surprise! Nicola was surprised by professional dancer Katya at the Royal Albert Hall in London where she had her last ever professional fight in 2019, the dancer appeared behind a huge sparkly disco ball  

While other viewers and celebrities shared their joy over the hit BBC One dance show returning to screens amid the coronavirus crisis. 

Radio presenter Sara Cox tweeted: ‘These two giving me all the feels. They’re going to be brilliant. I’m team @NicolaAdamsOBE & @Mrs_katjones alllllll the way @bbcstrictly.’   

While artist Grayson Perry penned: ‘Loving #Strictly a good natured gust of normality. Such an abundance of goodwill. Cheesy but so human.’ 

A fan! Radio presenter Sara Cox tweeted: ‘These two giving me all the feels. They’re going to be brilliant. I’m team @NicolaAdamsOBE & @Mrs_katjones alllllll the way @bbcstrictly.’

‘Normality’: While artist Grayson Perry penned: ‘Loving #Strictly a good natured gust of normality. Such an abundance of goodwill. Cheesy but so human.’ 

Delighted: Fans were left delighted over Nicola and Katya’s pairing as they hailed the dancing duo as ‘trailblazers’ after their partnership was announced and they performed in a group routine

One person said: ‘Nicola Adams and Katya Jones making history together. What a power partnership this is going to be! #Strictly.’ 

A different fan put: ‘Thank you #Strictly @bbcstrictly for coming along and bringing us much needed sparkle, sequins and joy. Some gorgeous iconic pairings already – Oti and Bill is just genius. Katya and Nicola is more than #fabulous – can’t stop smiling.’ 

Another follower commented: ‘Katya is my favourite #Strictly pro she is just such a joy , such an amazing dancer and choreographer can’t wait to see what she comes up with for herself and Nicola this series , go smash it ladies ! Xxx.’ 

How is Strictly 2020 going ahead during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Strictly Come Dancing has introduced an array of strict measures to ensure the new series can go ahead during the COVID-19 crisis.

Celebrity contestants and their professional partners are tested regularly, with cast and crew told to isolate should they contract the virus.

Bosses have already confirmed any celebrity that tests positive once the series begins will be dropped from the show, with reports saying there are celebrities on stand-by.

The professional dancers have already pre-recorded their group performances after isolating together in a hotel.

It’s also been claimed that celebrities and pros will be axed from the show if they are caught kissing during filming.

Strictly 2020 has also seen the series run shortened to just nine weeks, with 12 celebrities taking part instead of the usual 15.

The show’s annual trip to Blackpool has been cancelled, along with this year’s Halloween and Christmas specials.

Only three judges – Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse – will be in the studio with separate rostrums, after Bruno Tonioli was unable to appear due to travel concerns. 

Veteran judge Bruno has said he will be ‘involved remotely’ and hopes to return full-time towards the end of the series as he is filming the US version of the show in Los Angeles. 

With limited studio crew, big sets may not be built – so producers will use augmented reality, which adds computer-generated elements.

To ensure the contestants can work closely with their partners, they will ‘bubble up’ to train, along with being tested regularly. 

Strictly will still feature a live audience, however fans will sit in groups on separate tables, and will only attend if from the same household or bubble.

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