Nicola Adams and Katya Jones hang up their dancing shoes

Louise Cusine reports on the devastating news that Nicola Adams and Katya Jones have had to leave Strictly

Louise Cusine
16th November 2020
Credit: BBC Strictly Come Dancing on Youtube
Covid-19 has cursed the so-called BBC crown jewel (Strictly Come Dancing) yet again. Olympic boxing champion Nicola Adams performed another knock-out performance from the movie Grease in week 3, but in a matter of days into training for Adams' next routine, her professional dancing partner Katya Jones tested positive for Covid-19. Alas, they were inevitably booted off the competition at lightnin' speed. Greased lightnin', go, greased lightnin'.

Katya Jones is asymptomatic and the pair are now taking the precautions to keep everyone safe by self-isolating separately. However, Jones is not the first to test positive for the virus, as singer Harvey Cantwell tested positive 10 days before the filming of the launch show. So, are the Covid measures strict enough given that two members of the cast have caught the virus within the first few weeks?

Lets discuss how strict Strictly really is. Under government guidelines, celebrities and their pros had to form a support bubble. These couples have to stay at least 2m away from other couples due to social distancing rules and face coverings are mandatory. Cast and crew have bi-weekly Covid tests. The studio has also undergone many changes: only 1 couple can stand in Claudia Winkleman's viewing area, there is a reduced public audience and there are no live group performances. In addition to these measures, they have cancelled the Blackpool special due to travel concerns and the fearful prospect of catching the virus.

Adams and Jones have received a vast amount of love and support, with children sending them drawings and letters

Bake Off 2020 has had no COVID-19 cases.
Credit: Channel 4 on Youtube.

Another BBC show The Great British Bake Off managed to steer clear of Covid as a result of creating a Covid-secure biosphere for its cast and crew. They lived together for 6 weeks whilst filming took place. This wouldn't have been possible for Strictly as the ballroom competition is twice as long and involves a bigger cast and crew. Also, Bake off is filmed outdoors unlike Strictly.

In response to being kicked off the show, Adams and Jones have received a vast amount of love and support, with children sending them drawings and letters. Ah, didn't former Strictly Come Dancing star Anne Widdecombe claim that two women dancing was abhorrent, especially for families? I suppose Widdecombe's own words are on her plate tonight... Bon appetit!

Katya Jones has been tested positive for COVID-19, despite being asymptomatic.
Credit: BBC Strictly Come Dancing on Youtube.

Nicola said, ''I'm absolutely devastated my Strictly journey has come to an end so soon. I had so much more to give and so many people to win this for! But I just want to say a huge thank you to Katya for being the best dance partner anyone could ask for. She pushed me way out of my comfort zone and it's been an incredible experience. I'm gutted to be out of the competition but in these unprecedented times and as frustrating as it is, the COVID measures in place are to keep everyone safe, and I'm doing what I can to help. I'll be spending the next 14 days isolating so I'd like to apologise in advance for the ridiculous amount of TikToks I'll be posting, in my newfound free time when I'm not gaming!''

''We are incredibly sad that these unfortunate circumstances mean that Nicola and Katya are unable to continue on Strictly."

Katya said, ''Dancing with Nicola has been an absolute inspiration. She's given her all each and every week and we were so excited to create more dances in the competition. Of course, I'm devastated to leave this way but I've made a friend for life and loved every moment of this special journey. I'd like to wish good luck to all the remaining couples!''

Sarah James, Strictly Come Dancing Executive Producer said, ''We are incredibly sad that these unfortunate circumstances mean that Nicola and Katya are unable to continue on Strictly. They are a brilliant partnership and had already achieved so much during their time on the show. We'd like to thank them for their commitment and although their time in the competition has sadly come to an end we are hopeful that there will be opportunities for them to dance again in the future.''

Nicola Adams and Katya Jones went out with a bang. Credit: BBC Strictly Come Dancing on Youtube.

Unfortunately, it's been confirmed that Adams and Jones aren't allowed to take part in the Saturday night sparkle in 2021 or beyond because they'd have an ''unfair advantage''. Nevertheless, it would be a shame if they didn't dance together again since they have formed a friendship for life and an unbeatable dance partnership in such a short amount of time.

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