Strictly Come Dancing has been struck by another Covid-19 case, with a second couple forced to self-isolate on a series believed to be among the worst for celebrities missing shows.
Presenter Judi Love has tested positive for the virus, and she and her professional partner, Graziano Di Prima, will miss their scheduled dance on Saturday while they continue to self-isolate.
The news comes just five weeks into the competition and three weeks after fellow contestants musician Tom Fletcher and professional Amy Dowden tested positive, despite the BBC’s strict Covid-19 protocols for participants.
A spokeswoman for the show said: “Judi Love has tested positive for Covid-19 and is now self-isolating following the latest government guidelines.
“While Judi and Graziano will not be taking part in Strictly Come Dancing this weekend, Strictly Come Dancing protocols mean that all being well, they will return the following week.”
Series 19 of Strictly has already been hit by two positive tests forcing Fletcher and Dowden to pull out of week three, an injury to Ugo Monye that forced him to miss week four, and the permanent withdrawal of Robert Webb due to a health complaint.
Representatives for the show said: “Strictly Come Dancing production continues to follow strict government and industry guidelines to ensure the safety of all on the show.”
Love’s absence could extend her time on the show, as the comedian and presenter has been at risk of being voted off after taking part in the dance-off for low-scoring couples twice in a row.
Her positive test comes in the wake of speculation about the vaccine status of those taking part, with reports before the 2021 series began suggesting some contestants had not been jabbed.
Two professionals were alleged to have refused the Covid-19 vaccine, reportedly sparking fears that an outbreak could disrupt the show, with rumours that prior to pairings being announced, celebrities had refused to be coupled with allegedly unvaccinated dancers.
The BBC has however strongly denied that there were any safety fears among those taking part.
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