Strictly axes Blackpool week for second year running – but viewers won't have long to wait for series return

STRICTLY Come Dancing bosses have axed Blackpool week for a second year running – but there's good news for viewers.

A full-length series will return this Autumn after it was pushed back to October last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Mirror reports movie week, musicals week and Halloween week will all make a comeback – as well as a Christmas special.

There will also be a full line-up of 15 celebrities, with bosses hopeful that a live audience will be there at Elstree Studios to cheer them on.

Executive producer Sarah James told the paper: “We’re so thrilled that Strictly will be returning for a full-length series this year, and know how much viewers are looking forward to getting their full Strictly fix and seeing the return of much-loved specials.”

She added: “We are all so sad that we won’t be able to get to Blackpool this year but can’t wait to be back dancing at the one and only Blackpool Tower Ballroom in the future.”

The Sun revealed Covid medical chief Chris Whitty is being lined up by Strictly bosses to become the unlikely star of this year’s series.

They are targeting a “hero of the pandemic” in an attempt to bring something different to the 2021 intake.

Attention has instead turned to England’s Chief Medical Officer Prof Whitty, who has been thrown into the coronavirus spotlight over the past year, along with his deputy Jonathan Van-Tam and vaccine supremo Kate Bingham.

A show insider said: “Eighteen months ago Chris Whitty, Jonathan Van-Tam and Kate Bingham were utter unknowns.

“Today they’re practically household names. After all the doom and gloom of Covid, it would be brilliant viewing to get one of these three out of their suits and into some sparkles.

“Chris is top of the list, and discreet enquiries will be made over the next few weeks.”

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