Neil Jones, Nadiya Bychkova, Graziano di Prima and Nancy Xu won’t be receiving celebrity partners on Strictly Come Dancing this year, the BBC has confirmed.

There will only be 12 couples this year, rather than the usual 15 as the BBC dancing competition will begin two weeks later than usual due to the pandemic.

While professional dancers AJ Pritchard and Kevin Clifton quit the show last year, four professionals will still be without a partner this year.

Strictly Executive Producer Sarah James confirmed the news to the Mirror and other news outlets after outlining how the celebrities are able to dance with the professionals given the social distancing guidelines.

Neil Jones has been dropped as a competitor on Strictly this year

She said: "The way we're doing that is by doing two different things - we're using close contact cohort, which is an industry workplace guideline, and also bubbles.

"Close contact cohorts apply to people who need to work more closely together and break social distancing in order to do their job.

Neil danced with footballer Alex Scott last year
Nadiya Bychkova also won't be partnered up

Strictly Come Dancing 2020

"To be in a CCC you have to be with just one person and you are regularly tested to be in a CCC.

"On top of that we are also asking our celebrities and dancers to be part of an exclusive support bubble, which means that one half of the party has to live alone. So either the dancer or the celebrity will be living alone in order to form the exclusive support bubble."

Nadiya danced with David James in 2019
Graziano di Prima has only had one celebrity partner on Strictly with Vick Hope in 2018

Going on to how that would affect those who were not partnered with a celebrity, she explained: "We have four professional dancers who won't be partnering celebrities this year - they are Nadiya Bychkova, Neil Jones, Graziano di Prima and Nancy Xu. So we have two males and two females who perform CCCs together and they'll be able to dance in the guest music acts."

Both Nadiya and Neil had celebrity partners last year as they were paired up with David James and Alex Jones.

Meanwhile Graziano has only had one celebrity partner in 2018 when he danced with radio DJ Vick Hope.

Nancy Xu has never received a partner on Strictly since her first appearance in 2019

Neil is reportedly "devastated" to not receive a celebrity this year after his success with England footballer Alex in 2019.

His ex Katya has had celebrity partners for years, and Neil had hoped that after his success with Alex in 2019 that he would be coupled up again in 2020.

The 38-year-old was paired up for the first time ever last year since joining the show in 2016.

However, the BBC have decided against it and his role has been reduced to background dancer again.

Meanwhile Katya has been tipped to be paired up with Nicola Adams in the first same-sex Strictly pair.

*Strictly Come Dancing returns in October on BBC One