The Daily Telegraph

‘Strictly’ launch show delayed as mark of respect

- By Berny Torre

‘You dedicated your life to steering our nation. We will never forget’

THE Strictly Come Dancing launch show has been delayed by the BBC following Queen Elizabeth II’S death, as the broadcaste­r revealed that the Paddington film will occupy its primetime slot.

BBC One had planned to start the celebrity dance competitio­n on Saturday, but it will now be shown next Friday as the broadcaste­r continues to shuffle its schedule ahead of the late Queen’s funeral.

Instead, the children’s movie Paddington – which became associated with Her Majesty after the Jubilee – will be shown this Saturday.

Paddington 2 will then be shown on Monday Sept 19, following coverage of Queen Elizabeth’s funeral.

The late monarch took part in a heart-warming sketch with the beloved fictional bear as part of her Platinum Jubilee celebratio­ns earlier this year.

The BBC said that the launch show of the 20th series of Strictly, filmed on Sept 7, will be shown on Friday Sept 23.

The first live show will be broadcast a day later, from the BBC’S Elstree studios.

The audience will be fuller than last year, when Covid restrictio­ns were still in force and numbers were significan­tly reduced.

The BBC has confirmed that its special programmin­g and news coverage surroundin­g the death of Queen Elizabeth will continue, including full coverage of the state funeral. It said its schedules remain subject to change at short notice.

The new series of Strictly will see 15 celebrity contestant­s – including TV presenter Helen Skelton and ex-england footballer Tony Adams – taking to the dance floor.

Tess Daly, who will host alongside Claudia Winkleman, last Friday shared a tribute to the late Queen, writing on Instagram: “Thank you for your unwavering strength, dignity and good humour; which I was once lucky enough to experience first hand. You dedicated your life to steering our nation. We will never forget.”

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