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Strictly Come Dancing 2021 latest – Rylan Clark-Neal confirms Tom Fletcher & Amy Dowden return date on It Takes Two

RYLAN Clark-Neal yesterday confirmed Tom Fletcher & Amy Dowden will return to the live Strictly show on October 9 after quarantine.

The McFly star and his dance partner will miss Saturday's show due to testing positive for Covid-19 - but will head to the floor the week after providing they test negative.

Rylan Clark-Neal made the announcement at the beginning of Monday's It Takes Two show - the first in this year's series.

Earlier, the 36-year-old McFly star and his professional dance partner confirmed yesterday they had both tested positive for coronavirus.

But Strictly viewers have accused the series of double standards - recalling how the show's first ever same-sex couple were disqualified last year when they tested positive for coronavirus.

Nicola Adams and her professional dance partner Katya Jones were forced out of the competition following their tests.

Read our Strictly Come Dancing live blog for the latest updates...

  • Anton's 'thinly veiled swipe' at Alesha

    Anton also made what many felt was a thinly-veiled attack on Alesha in remarks about the departure of Arelene Phillips, who the singer replaced, in a 2019 interview.

    He told the Express: "I don't want an ex-contestant on the panel.

    "All they can offer is observations along the lines that they know how the celebrity feels because they were in the same position.

    "Unless you've been a professional dancer, there's no place for you on a judging panel."

  • Tom's replacement in McFly offers support

    Musician Tom Abisgold is filling in for Tom for the band's live shows, and Tom urged fans to get behind him.

    Speaking in a video on Instagram, he said: "Thank you so much for your messages, I'm fine. It means I'm isolating and I can't finish the McFly tour, which I'm so sorry, I'm so gutted about. It hurts so much letting you guys down. You have no idea.

    "But the shows must go on. You guys have waited long enough for a night of fun McFly entertainment that I know Danny, Dougie and Harry are more than capable of giving you... without me there.

    "Obviously it won't be quite as good without me, but it will be a McFly show. If you have tickets for the last two nights, go and have an amazing time, sing your hearts out.

    "We have a good friend of ours who is also called Tom, he's standing in for me, he's been a McFly fan since he was like five years old so it's amazing he's getting to stand in and be part of McFly for a couple of nights, so thank you, Tom."

  • Russell Crowe sends wishes to Tom

    While Tom addressed fans today admitting he was gutted, his co-stars and famous friends rallied around him while he recovered from Covid.

    But one very big Hollywood name also threw his support behind the musician.

    Oscar winner Russell Crowe, retweeted Tom's announcement about his Covid diagnosis and its impact on the McFly tour.

    The Aussie actor called for fans of his music collective – Indoor Garden Party – to send Tom their well wishes.

    "@igpmusic fans please let Tom know you are thinking of him and wish him well," Russell tweeted.

  • Anton's 'real thrill' at becoming judge

    Speaking about taking a place on the panel in place of LA-based Bruno, he said: "I was delighted to be asked. It’s a real thrill.

    "I’ve known Shirley for 35 years and Craig forever. He was one of the first people to congratulate me along with Bruno and Motsi.

    "They’re a good gang."

  • Strictly “don’t have a clue” who has or hasn’t had Covid-jab

    Earlier this month, we revealed how at least THREE pro-dancers have refused to be vaccinated.

    But confused bosses fear that there are MORE dancers could be unprotected and sources say they “don’t have a clue” who has or hasn’t had a Covid-jab.

    “The simple truth is the BBC doesn’t know who is or isn’t vaccinated,” the insider said.

    “It’s believed to be three but it could easily be double that. There are very strict rules about this and nobody is being asked officially to disclose their vaccine status.

    “It’s a ridiculous situation that the BBC have boxed themselves into. It’s a drip, drip of revelations right now about people not having had the jab. There just needs to be a meeting where everyone can be sat down and asked about this.

    “It is not about forcing people to have the vaccine. But if some are choosing not to then everyone else at least has the right to know about it. The BBC is effectively trying to create a policy to keep the show Covid-free when they have no actual clue of the scale of the problem they currently face.”

  • Strictly’s Anton slams ex-judge Alesha Dixon

    STRICTLY Come Dancing's Anton DuBeke has criticised former judge Alesha Dixon saying: "She was savage."

    The 55-year-old pro dancer, who has taken one of the show's much sought-after hotseats after Bruno Tonioli was unable to appear, called her remarks "pretty upsetting".

    Speaking to Saga magazine, the star launched a very rare broadside against the former Strictly champ, 42.

    He said: "I’ve never had a problem with any criticism, except when Alesha Dixon was on the judging panel.

    "She was savage and it could be pretty upsetting – especially for the celebrities. For me, it’s more about being constructive and entertaining."

  • Tom Fletcher Covid scare leaves Strictly in chaos

    STRICTLY bosses were last night considering new measures to save the show after it emerged celebrity dancer Tom Fletcher caught Covid despite being double jabbed.

    Fears have increased on set after the McFly star, 36, and his professional dance partner Amy Dowden, 31, both tested positive — even though they have both been fully vaccinated.

    It comes after The Sun revealed three pro dancers have not been jabbed. One has since had a rethink.

    Now bosses on the BBC1 dance contest are holding crisis meetings where they may consider scrapping the studio audience and re-introducing quarantine bubbles for celebs and pros.

    A TV insider said: “These would be radical steps to take to increase safety on the set, but given the difficulties producers have had over the past two weeks, there’s nothing they aren’t willing to consider.

    “But if they did have to go down this route, it would be a logistical nightmare and might leave some of the stars with a dilemma as many of them are juggling their dance training with their day jobs.”

  • '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.”

  • John Whaite’s ‘annoying habit‘

    Johannes Radebe and John Whaite have made history as the BBC show’s first all-male couple, and will take to the floor tonight for the first time.

    While Johannes and John are thrilled to be paired up, Johannes admitted in a chat with The Sun’s TV Mag for its 80-page Strictly Special that John could have a habit that will become a bit wearing.

    He said: “I’ve got to be honest, he did say that he thinks he’s going to drive me bonkers.

    “We’ve just sat outside for a few minutes waiting to talk to you and he hasn’t stopped counting and clicking.”

  • John Whaite says Saturday was 'mind blowing'

    John and Johannes appeared on Strictly It Takes Two tonight and described their first all-male couple dance as "amazing".

    But the Bake-Off star says despite being second on the leader board, the pair have to start again and approach the next dance with a clean slate.

  • ‘Never say never’

    GARY NEVILLE has left the door open to an outing on Strictly Come Dancing – vowing ‘never say never!’.

    The former Manchester United hero took part in a Q&A with fans on Monday, revealing his Strictly stance and a handful of other curious points of conversation.

    Ex-rugby star Ugo Monye and Olympic swimming king Adam Peaty are competing in this year’s series.

    Neville, 46, did not dismiss the idea of following in their footsteps during the Q&A.

    Responding to a tweet asking if he would ever do Strictly, he wrote: “Never say never!”

  • Strictly's lowest ever ratings

    The couples’ first performances in the BBC1 contest took place on Saturday when a peak of 8.39m people tuned in compared to 10.1m last year – a drop of over 1.7m viewers.

    It comes as the show’s launch was overshadowed by the revelation that three mystery pros hadn’t received their Covid jab and the celebrities were unaware they were dancing with them.

    A TV insider said: “The surprisingly low viewing figures couldn’t have come at a worse time for bosses at Strictly who are already reeling from the anti-vax crisis that’s developed over the past ten days.

    “They will also feel disappointed with the dipping ratings as they’ve gone to such great lengths to deliver a full series of the Saturday night favourite as safely as possible.

    “It was still the most watched show of Saturday night, but with Strictly the expectations are incredibly high.”

    Read the article in full here.

  • Strictly “don’t have a clue” who's had Covid-jab

    Earlier this month, we revealed how at least THREE pro-dancers have refused to be vaccinated.

    But confused bosses fear that there are MORE dancers could be unprotected and sources say they “don’t have a clue” who has or hasn’t had a Covid-jab.

    “The simple truth is the BBC doesn’t know who is or isn’t vaccinated,” the insider said.

    “It’s believed to be three but it could easily be double that. There are very strict rules about this and nobody is being asked officially to disclose their vaccine status.

    “It’s a ridiculous situation that the BBC have boxed themselves into. It’s a drip, drip of revelations right now about people not having had the jab. There just needs to be a meeting where everyone can be sat down and asked about this.

    “It is not about forcing people to have the vaccine. But if some are choosing not to then everyone else at least has the right to know about it. The BBC is effectively trying to create a policy to keep the show Covid-free when they have no actual clue of the scale of the problem they currently face.”

  • Does the Strictly winner get to 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.”

  • Explained: Is Tom Fletcher leaving Strictly?

    Strictly was plunged further on September 26 as celebrity dancer Tom Fletcher and his professional partner caught Covid – and may have to drop out of the competition.

    It’s uncertain if he will have to leave the show but the blow means that the McFly singer will have to miss next week’s show as he goes into ten days of isolation.

    And Tom, 36, who’s partnered with Amy Dowden, will only be allowed back on the show if he tests negative in time for the following week.

    A BBC spokesman told The Sun: “Tom Fletcher and Amy Dowden have tested positive for Covid-19.

    “The pair are now self-isolating separately following the latest government guidelines.

    “While they will both miss Saturday’s live show, Strictly Come Dancing protocols mean that all being well, they will return the following week.”

  • Robert Webb: 'Good to put smile on people's faces'

    Robert Webb said it was good to put a smile on people's faces as he joked about his performance on Saturday night.

    Rob's partner Dianne Buswell says she hopes the judges enjoyed watching them dance as much as they enjoyed it themselves.

    "It will be a complete flip on the Cha Cha", says Dianne about their next dance on Saturday evening.

  • AJ & Kai will perform Foxtrot

    Kai has also revealed the pair will be dancing the Foxtrot on Saturday's show.

  • AJ Odudu on her Saturday performance

    AJ says her performance was ok, bugt Janette says she made an incredible start.

    Her partner Kai Widdrington says AJ is the "perfect student" and that he expects that she will give "100% every week".

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