Strictly Come Dancing 2021 – Phillip Schofield sparks fury as Gorka breaks silence on covid vaccine row engulfing show

THE three Strictly Come Dancing professionals in an anti-vax storm have said they would rather quit than be jabbed.

Insiders claimed the trio are steadfast in their decisions to not have a Covid vaccination.

It comes after former Strictly stars and Prime Minister Boris Johnson waded into the row — which is threatening to bring the BBC show to its knees.

A source said: “The three dancers have made their positions crystal clear — they’d rather quit than have the jab. There is mounting pressure upon them to be vaccinated but they are refusing to budge.

The Sun exclusively revealed last week that two pros had not been vaccinated. Earlier this week we also revealed a third was also unjabbed.

There is concern among the show’s other pro dancers and celebrities as well as make-up artists, camera operators, costume staff, and other departments who work closely with the performers.

Read our Strictly Come Dancing live blog for the latest updates

  • [email protected]

    Who is the favourite to win?

    At the moment there is one name that is the big favourite to win Strictly.

    EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis is being tipped to take home the Glitterball.

    She is partnered up with Strictly veteran Giovanni Pernice.

    Setting her sights on winning the series, Rose told the BBC: “To be the first deaf contestant on Strictly Come Dancing is sooooo exciting.. and a little bit scary."

    Jessica O'Reilly of Ladbrokes said: "Since the launch show Rose and Rhys have been all the rage with punters, along with John and Johannes."

    She added: "However, since the launch show former favourite Tom has been friendless in the betting and his odds could drift further if he doesn't get off to a flier with the Cha Cha."

  • [email protected]

    Recap: What happened on Saturday’s launch show?

    The 15 celebrities officially revealed their dance partners for this year’s show as part of a glittering launch show on Saturday.

    Other key moments from the launch episode included:

    • Anton Du Beke making his debut as a full-time judge and receive a standing ovation from the studio audience.
    • Last year’s winners Bill Bailey and Mabuse revisited their routine to Rapper’s Delight by the Sugarhill Gang
    • Anne-Marie performed her single Kiss My (Uh-Oh)
    • Celebs danced on the ballroom floor with their partners for the first time to perform a group number
    • LIVE shows to begin from next Saturday, September 25.

    ‘Those who refuse Covid jab should be sacked from main line up’

    Curtis, 25, said celebrities paired with un-vaxxed dancers should be allowed to dance with one of the many reserve pros who are double-jabbed and waiting in the wings.

    He said: “There’s always reserve professionals on there isn’t there.

    “So if they’re thinking of pulling the show I don’t think that should happen. Maybe remove the pros that aren’t getting the Jab. But not get rid of them or fire them. There’s always reserves on the show.

    “So bring the ones in that have had the jab this year. Put the other ones on the reserve list.

    “They’re still part of the programme, and the show can go on and move forward.”

    Sun Jabs Army supporter AJ added during an interview on Good Morning Britain today: “Listen, actions speak louder than words. We’re both double jabbed, to get live theatre and shows going, it’s the live feeling, the jab is helping.

    “We believe it helps and it’s safety first.”

    Read more here.

    • [email protected]

      When is Strictly on?

      Strictly's live shows kick off on Saturday (September 25, 2021) at 7pm on BBC One.

      After the first week, episodes will continue on both Saturdays and Sundays – with the results being read out on the second show.

      If you miss any of the action, you can catch up on the BBC iPlayer.

    • [email protected]

      Has the Glitterball Trophy ever changed?

      The Glitterball was slightly changed back in 2019 for the 17th series of the show.

      The BBC confirmed that they altered the trophy so that it will be a mounted on a bigger base.

      This was done to accommodate all of the future winners' names, and therefore ensuring that the Strictly champions' names since 2004 will remain on the trophy's base.

      They did this as there was previously only room for 16 people on the gong.

    • [email protected]

      Will winner keep the Glitterball Trophy?

      So the answer is yes, and no – as it's not as straight forward as you think.

      After the Strictly winner gets handed the Glitterball by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, they have to hand it back after pictures are taken.

      Instead both the celebrity and their professional dance partner are handed smaller versions of the trophy.

      Chatting on Sunday Brunch, 2011 winner Harry Judd explained: "They give you the big [Glitterball] and then they take it straight off you and give you this tiny little one."

    • [email protected]

      Who will win?

      STRICTLY hasn’t even aired it’s first show yet, but the a winner is already being tipped.

      There is one clear front-runner who the bookies’ think will scoop the coveted Glitterball Trophy.

      At the moment there is one name that is the big favourite to win Strictly.

      EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis is being tipped to take home the Glitterball.

      She is partnered up with Strictly veteran Giovanni Pernice.

      Setting her sights on winning the series, Rose told the BBC: “To be the first deaf contestant on Strictly Come Dancing is sooooo exciting.. and a little bit scary.”

    • [email protected]

      Strictly regret

      Strictly star ben cohen’s ex wife abby says she regrets calling Kristina Rihanoff ‘a f**king russian dancer’.

      The mother-of-two’s life came crashing down when former rugby player Ben left her for his dancing partner Kristina Rihanoff.

      Abby, 42, and Ben were still very much a married couple when he was paired up with Russian dancer Kristina on the BBC show back in 2013.

      But the former rugby pro left her for the professional ballroom star – with their divorce finalised in 2016.

      At the time, Abby lashed out at Strictly favourite Kristina, 43, calling her a “f**king Russian dancer” as she battled her heartbreak.

      But now the mother-of-two, who shares daughter Harriette with Ben, has revealed she regrets losing her temper at the time of the break-up.

      Abby told New magazine: “At the time of the break-up, when hugely stressed, I once angrily referred to Ben’s partner as a ‘f***ing Russian dancer’ to a journalist hassling me. I regret that now.”

      She went on: “I’m happier in my own skin and I’m not that broken girl who used to be married to a famous rugby player.”

    • [email protected]

      Strictly trio would rather quit than get jab

      Insiders claimed the trio are steadfast in their decisions to not have a Covid vaccination.

      A source said: “The three dancers have made their positions crystal clear — they’d rather quit than have the jab. There is mounting pressure upon them to be vaccinated but they are refusing to budge.

      “Obviously no one could have foreseen the upset it has caused.

      “No one can make the dancers have the jab but some people have asked them to reconsider for the sake of the show. At Strictly they treat each other as a big family. They are normally a unified team and when a few of the team aren’t singing off the same hymn sheet it causes issues.”

      Read more here.

    • [email protected]

      Have the sack

      JAMES JORDAN CALLS FOR STRICTLY PROS WHO REFUSED COVID JAB TO BE SACKED FROM SHOW

      Today, The Sun revealed that a third dancer on the BBC show has decided against having the jab – creating further resentment amongst the crew and this year’s celebrities. 

      Appearing on today’s Good Morning Britain, James was left fuming as he rowed with fellow former pro Kristina Rihanoff about the topic.

      Making his position very clear, James said: “I would normally protect the professional dancers until the cows come home but on this particular occasion I can’t unfortunately.

      “I definitely believe they don’t deserve their right on the show and the celebrities have every right to refuse to dance with them.”

      He went on to explain how people’s immune systems are often weakened doing the show, during normal years.

    • [email protected]

      Craig’s fear of being ‘cancelled’

      The acid-tongued judge is infamous for his scathing putdowns. But last year viewers noticed he had cut back on insults.

      Craig, 56, said that since Strictly started 17 years ago, the world had become a duller place because everyone is scared of offending snowflakes.

      He said: “There is not as much freedom of speech as we used to have, with the fear of offending certain groups.

      “We live in a very homogenised world now — I think speeches in ten years won’t be allowed any opinion as you will be offending someone.

      “I think you have just always got to be aware really. I never go on to speak ill of anyone.”

      Craig returned as a judge on Saturday’s launch show alongside head judge Shirley Ballas, 61, Motsi Mabuse, 40, and Anton Du Beke, 55.

      He admits he started to tone down his “Mr Nasty” persona last year, with no Strictly studio audience egging him on.

    • [email protected]

      TV Mag Strictly special in Sun on Saturday

      While fans had their appetites whet last weekend with the launch show – which confirmed this year’s pairings – Saturday night will see the celebrities perform live for the first time.

      To get you up to speed on all the celebrities taking part this year, The Sun’s TV Mag is bringing you a free Strictly Special this Saturday, September 25.

      As well as an exclusive shoot with this year’s batch of celebrities, the issue will feature exclusive chats with some of the stars taking part.

    • [email protected]

      Pro who caught Covid can dance on show after negative test

      The Strictly pro who was forced into isolation after catching Covid will be allowed back to compete in Saturday night’s first live show.

      After testing negative on Wednesday, bosses gave the green light for the dancer, who has not been named, to return to the BBC1 dance contest.

      That means they can rejoin their celebrity partner for face-to-face rehearsals, but they will only have two to three days to rehearse for their performance.

      A TV insider said: “Strictly producers will be breathing a huge sigh of relief at this news, as losing a celebrity and having to replace them at the last minute would be a nightmare scenario.

      “They were hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst, and already had another pro waiting in the wings if the test came back positive.

      “There was always the option of having the celebrity skip the first live show as they wouldn’t have had much time to prepare their first dance with their partner, which would have been particularly galling.”

    • [email protected]

      Amy ‘vulnerable to covid’

      Amy, who is Welsh, was diagnosed with Crohn’s at the age of 19.

      Despite her formal diagnosis in her late teens, Amy had suffered from the disease since the age of 11, being admitted to the hospital on hundreds of occasions in her youth.

      People with the disease can experience abdominal pain, vomiting, exhaustion and bloody diarrhoea, among other symptoms.

    • [email protected]

      Inclusion praised by deaf society

      EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis was partnered with Giovanni Pernice and is the first deaf contestant to appear on Strictly.

      She said: “When the Strictly news came out the response from the deaf community, saying how much it means to them, that was my proudest moment.”

      Mark Bolton, the National Deaf Children’s Society’s deputy director of young people, said of her pairing: “It’s so important that deaf children and young people see fantastic deaf role models like Rose on TV, because it reminds them that they’re not alone.

      “It also inspires them to believe that there’s no reason why they can’t make it to the very top.”

    • Milica Cosic

      Who will win?

      STRICTLY hasn’t even aired it’s first show yet, but the a winner is already being tipped.

      There is one clear front-runner who the bookies’ think will scoop the coveted Glitterball Trophy.

      At the moment there is one name that is the big favourite to win Strictly.

      EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis is being tipped to take home the Glitterball.

      She is partnered up with Strictly veteran Giovanni Pernice.

      Setting her sights on winning the series, Rose told the BBC: “To be the first deaf contestant on Strictly Come Dancing is sooooo exciting.. and a little bit scary.”

    • Milica Cosic

      It’s all too much

      John Whaite says he has cried during training for Strictly Come Dancing.

      The Great British Bake Off star, who will make history as part of the first all-male couple in the show’s history, said he is “living his best life” during training for the show but has found some moments challenging.

      The chef will be paired with Johannes Radebe for the upcoming series, following in the footsteps of Nicola Adams and Katya Jones, who were the first same-sex couple to appear on the show last year.

      He told Channel 4’s Steph’s Packed Lunch: “Sometimes the days are stressful and we have to take a few more breaks.

      “Last week when we were learning the steps, I was getting really stressed… I glaze over.

      “I reach mental saturation and he has to either feed me Haribo or send me home and I think it’s easier just to put me in cab and send me home.”

    • Milica Cosic

      “The narrative they push is so dangerous”

      Strictly’s anti-vax dancers told not having jab is ‘killing people’ after man loses parents and brother to Covid.

      Francis Goncalves lost his brother, Shaul, 40, dad Basil, 70 and mum Charmagne, 65, within a week after they caught the virus at a family dinner.

      Francis, 43, slammed the Strictly dancers’ decision.

      He blasted: “It’s so damaging when you have people who can influence millions of people who are taking this stance.

      “They’re making decisions without looking at the facts.

      “It’s such a selfish attitude and it’s very irresponsible.

      “These people think the world revolves around them.

      “The narrative they push is so dangerous and it’s killing people.”

    • Milica Cosic

      Craig’s fear of being ‘cancelled’

      The acid-tongued judge is infamous for his scathing putdowns. But last year viewers noticed he had cut back on insults.

      Craig, 56, said that since Strictly started 17 years ago, the world had become a duller place because everyone is scared of offending snowflakes.

      He said: “There is not as much freedom of speech as we used to have, with the fear of offending certain groups.

      “We live in a very homogenised world now — I think speeches in ten years won’t be allowed any opinion as you will be offending someone.

      “I think you have just always got to be aware really. I never go on to speak ill of anyone.”

      Craig returned as a judge on Saturday’s launch show alongside head judge Shirley Ballas, 61, Motsi Mabuse, 40, and Anton Du Beke, 55.

      He admits he started to tone down his “Mr Nasty” persona last year, with no Strictly studio audience egging him on.

    • Milica Cosic

      Recap: What happened on Saturday’s launch show?

      The 15 celebrities officially revealed their dance partners for this year’s show as part of a glittering launch show on Saturday.

      Other key moments from the launch episode included:

      • Anton Du Beke making his debut as a full-time judge and receive a standing ovation from the studio audience.
      • Last year’s winners Bill Bailey and Mabuse revisited their routine to Rapper’s Delight by the Sugarhill Gang
      • Anne-Marie performed her single Kiss My (Uh-Oh)
      • Celebs danced on the ballroom floor with their partners for the first time to perform a group number
      • LIVE shows to begin from next Saturday, September 25.

      ‘Those who refuse Covid jab should be sacked from main line up’

      Curtis, 25, said celebrities paired with un-vaxxed dancers should be allowed to dance with one of the many reserve pros who are double-jabbed and waiting in the wings.

      He said: “There’s always reserve professionals on there isn’t there.

      “So if they’re thinking of pulling the show I don’t think that should happen. Maybe remove the pros that aren’t getting the Jab. But not get rid of them or fire them. There’s always reserves on the show.

      “So bring the ones in that have had the jab this year. Put the other ones on the reserve list.

      “They’re still part of the programme, and the show can go on and move forward.”

      Sun Jabs Army supporter AJ added during an interview on Good Morning Britain today: “Listen, actions speak louder than words. We’re both double jabbed, to get live theatre and shows going, it’s the live feeling, the jab is helping.

      “We believe it helps and it’s safety first.”

      Read more here.

      • Milica Cosic

        TV Mag Strictly special in Sun on Saturday

        While fans had their appetites whet last weekend with the launch show – which confirmed this year’s pairings – Saturday night will see the celebrities perform live for the first time.

        To get you up to speed on all the celebrities taking part this year, The Sun’s TV Mag is bringing you a free Strictly Special this Saturday, September 25.

        As well as an exclusive shoot with this year’s batch of celebrities, the issue will feature exclusive chats with some of the stars taking part.

      • Milica Cosic

        Strictly trio would rather quit than get jab

        Insiders claimed the trio are steadfast in their decisions to not have a Covid vaccination.

        A source said: “The three dancers have made their positions crystal clear — they’d rather quit than have the jab. There is mounting pressure upon them to be vaccinated but they are refusing to budge.

        “Obviously no one could have foreseen the upset it has caused.

        “No one can make the dancers have the jab but some people have asked them to reconsider for the sake of the show. At Strictly they treat each other as a big family. They are normally a unified team and when a few of the team aren’t singing off the same hymn sheet it causes issues.”

        Read more here.

      • Milica Cosic

        Dan’s close bond with Shirley

        Dan revealed their close bond at the launch of the new Strictly series this weekend as he “looked forward to seeing” Shirley again.

        “We had some great conversations on that trip. I really got to know her well. I’m looking forward to seeing her,” he explained.

        “We’ve had a few Kilimanjaro reunions. She’s great, talented and knows what she is talking about.”

      • Milica Cosic

        Unrecognisable Strictly star

        The former Strictly star, 38, wowed wearing a long wig, cowboy hat and lashing of eyeliner as he rocked out at Trafalgar Square for part of West End Live over the weekend.

        The dancing champ is currently touring the UK playing Stacee Jaxx in a part that sees him show off his singing skills as well as his moves.

        Kevin previously sported a similar look in real life and one revealed the BBC were not too keen on his goth look when he first auditioned for the show.

        Kevin also admitted it took him three tries to be hired by Strictly bosses — while his then wife and dance partner Karen Hauer was signed up at her first attempt in 2012.

        He said: “I had long black hair, eyeliner, black fingernails — ‘Don’t think I’m your average ballroom dancer, guys!’

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