Strictly Come Dancing chiefs have revealed the extraordinary lengths they are going to in making sure the show will go on.

Executive producer Sarah James said an array of rules and protocols have been introduced to make this year’s BBC series Covid-safe – including the need for either the professional dancer or the celebrity in each pairing to live alone.

She said: “It has been a really challenging time to come up with a plan of how we can bring the show under all the restrictions and Government guidelines. But I’m so proud of the team. We’ve had to be really creative. It’s thrown up some exciting things but our main aim was to keep everyone safe.”

Sarah says one half of each of the 12 pairings has agreed to live alone, so they can become part of their partner’s social bubble.

This could be for up to 10 weeks if they remain in the competition, and any contact they have with family or friends must be from two metres.

Strictly Come Dancing cast and crew will appear in a newly formated studio

Contestants will also be regularly tested to meet industry guidelines.

On the October 17 pre-recorded launch show, contestants will not be paired up in the studio as usual. Instead, Sarah said their meetings have been filmed in some “incredible locations”.

Traditionally, this show also features a group dance with all the contestants and their pro partners on the floor together but this year that will be done differently.

The judges will sit in separate pods, as their desk has been removed

“We will still have a group dance so everybody gets a little taste of what the celebs can do,” said Sarah, hinting that “all the celebs will be dancing with their pro partners for that number”.

Fourteen group numbers featuring all the pro dancers have now been pre-recorded, with Sarah saying: “They look more stunning than ever before.”

Graziana di Prima, Neil Jones, Nadiya Bychkova and Nancy Xu will not have celebrity partners and instead all four will form a bubble to perform together during the music acts on the Sunday results show. The first music act will be Joel Corry + MNEK on the launch show.

One half of each of the 12 pairings has agreed to live alone, so they can become part of their partner’s social bubble

When the live shows start on October 24, viewers will notice changes to the set. Judges Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse will sit in separate pods, rather than behind their usual table.

There are plans for the audience to sit at cabaret-style tables but this may change with distancing rules.

Sarah said: “We are prepped for any scenario.”

Strictly Come Dancing chiefs have gone extraordinary lengths to make sure the show will go on

A reduced production team and sanitising guidelines mean the crew is not able to arrange some set-pieces with their usual speed – sometimes in under 90 seconds. Instead the set will be simple and special effects will be used – including augmented reality to highlight 3D scenes.

Musical parts will also have to be recorded at different times as the whole band cannot fit in the pit under current rules.

Co-host Tess Daly will help judges give their scores and couples face a lonely walk upstairs to Claudia Winkleman’s “Clauditorium”, without the usual back-slapping.

Judges Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse will not be sitting behind their famous desk - and Bruno will be missing

Other couples will remain at tables in the audience but Sarah says: “We should still get that sense of camaraderie. Claudia will only be able to speak to one couple at a time and we won’t be able to have all the cast up there but she’s so brilliant with people.”

Bruno Tonioli will not appear in person until his stint on Dancing with the Stars finishes in the US but he will be beamed in from Los Angeles to voice his opinions.

There will be no Halloween or Blackpool specials but the musical and movie weeks will go ahead. Everyone entering the studio in Elstree, Hertfordshire, will have to declare they have no symptoms.

Strictly Come Dancing 2020

Temperatures will be checked, face coverings must be worn and the studio will be deep cleaned several times a day.

Celebs include actress Caroline Quentin, EastEnders’ Maisie Smith, comedian Bill Bailey and boxer Nicola Adams. And Sarah vowed that the show, won last year by Oti Mabuse and Kelvin Fletcher, would go on regardless.

“If any dancers or celebrities are unlucky enough to get coronavirus, they would automatically be out of the contest – but the show would go on.”