Strictly star Dianne Buswell says first live show will have 'same sparkle' despite Covid-19 restrictions

Lizzie Edmonds
·2 min read
BBC/Guy Levy
BBC/Guy Levy

Dianne Buswell has promised the first Strictly Come Dancing live show this weekend will have “the same sparkle” despite Covid-19 restrictions.

Buswell, 31, is partnered with The Wanted singer Max George, 32, with the pair taking to the dance floor for the first time on Saturday to dance a Tango to Best Fake Smile by James Bay.

The dancer, originally from Australia, said she was “excited” the show could happen at all. She said fans can expect the “normal” Strictly show “but with a few changes.”

Buswell told the Standard: “I am so excited that we can put the show on. We [the cast and dancers] have been in bubbles.

"A lot of the professional dances have been pre-recorded and they are incredible. We are just being super, super safe. I hope people will love it. I think it is going to just be the normal Strictly but with a few changes. It will have the same sparkle.”

Buswell is partnered with The Wanted singer Max George
Buswell is partnered with The Wanted singer Max George

Questions over whether or not the show,now in its 18th series, would go ahead had been circling after the pandemic took hold in March. As recently as the beginning of this month, it was reported BBC bosses were prepared to axe the show if the government implemented a strict lockdown.

The show’s Covid-19 measures include fewer celebrity contestants - and therefore a shorter run - and a socially distanced judging panel. There will be a live audience each week, but it will be smaller and socially distanced.

Bosses have also implemented support bubbles. Since the celebrities and the dancers were paired last weekend, one half of the couple has to live alone until they are eliminated.

Buswell, who is living alone, and George were partnered together during last Saturday’s launch show, which attracted nearly nine million viewers, its highest ratings in three years.

On the show, Olympic boxing hero Nicola Adams and Katya Jones made history by becoming the first same-sex couple in the programme’s 16-year history.

Speaking to the Standard last week, Adams’s girlfriend of two years Ella Baig said controversy surrounding the pairing showed “how badly” it was needed.

Buswell, an ambassador for Dove deodorant, also spoke about spending more time with her boyfriend Joe Suggs, who she met on Strictly when they were paired together on the 2018 series of the show, during lockdown.

“Like the rest of the UK, we were in lockdown and I didn’t find it too bad,” she said. “I had lots of things to crack on with and everything was postponed so we were all in the same boat. My schedule was hectic so it was a bit of a shock to the system to have so much time on my hands. But it made me really happy to be at home and be there.”

Buswell is supporting the #DoveSwitchItUp campaign for Dove deodorant.

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