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Arlene Phillips expecting "slimmed-down" Strictly Come Dancing

Arlene Phillips expecting
© BBC
Former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips insists that the show will go ahead as planned this year.

Former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips has backed the show to go ahead as planned this year, albeit with a "slimmed-down" format.

The series normally begins in late September and runs until Christmas but is under threat due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has shut down or delayed most productions around the world.

The BBC is said to be determined for Strictly to air in its usual slot and is considering multiple measures, including axing live audiences, group dances and the iconic Blackpool week, to enable it to proceed.

"Strictly has some of the best minds in the industry and they are busy working out a way of holding the competition," 77-year-old Phillips said in an interview with the Radio Times.

"It was very much simpler in the earlier days of Strictly with a smaller audience, fewer cameras, so I'm sure they will be able to think of something to get the show back up and running in some form, and I'm sure audiences who are really being starved of entertainment will embrace whatever they're offered, even if it's not the biggest Strictly that has ever happened. They will do something this year."

Rumoured names for this year's show include RuPaul Charles, Jane Goldman, Michelle Keegan and Maya Jama.

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