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Strictly Come Dancing is a huge part of the BBC’s TV schedule and it keeps viewers entertained right across the festive period. The dance competition premiers this weekend and fans are looking forward to seeing the couples meet for the first time, and there are plenty of group performances to look forward to. Express.co.uk has everything you need to know about the episodes this season, and when the final will be airing.
How long is Strictly Come Dancing on for?
Strictly Come Dancing is one of the most popular shows within the BBC One schedule and viewers have been looking forward to seeing a fresh group of celebrities take to the dancefloor.
Fans had been worried about the future of the series due to the coronavirus outbreak having an impact on how the show is filmed.
However, with some rigorous procedures and changes put in place ahead of the 2020 season, the latest season will be making its debut on BBC One tonight at 7.50pm.
Judges Motsi Mabuse, Craig Revel Horwood and Shirley Ballas will be back to offer their expert advice and critique as the episodes continue weekly.
Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman will also be returning to present the 2020 season, and fans can expect more stunning performances from some special guest singers.
The first of the episodes in season 18, airing tonight, will be 90 minutes long and will conclude at 9.20pm.
The first of the live shows will then take place as of next Saturday, October 24, and they will air until December 19- less than a week before Christmas Day, an exciting time for fans.
The show usually airs in September, but due to the coronavirus outbreak and changes in production needing to take place, this series was delayed.
As a result, there are only 12 contestants taking part this year, and the show will run for a total of nine weeks instead of the usual 13 weeks.
There will be plenty of fun to expect at the start of the season as the Halloween and Blackpool episodes will both be airing within the first month.
The live shows will air on BBC One from 7.25pm until 9.15pm as of October 24. There will be no episode on Sunday, October 25, as no-one will be eliminated in the first week.
Instead, the Saturday, October 24 episode will see the 12 celebrities and their professional partners hit the dancefloor for the first time.
Each of the performances will be judged, but luckily for the competitors, they will all be safe for the first week, as the public vote will not start until the following weekend.
Each week one of the couples will be eliminated, with the final taking place on December 19, and it is then when the champions of 2020 will be announced.
Ahead of the 2020 launch fans have been treated to some special Best Bits episodes, including musicals week, Blackpool week and movies week.
There are some notable changes this year, including the fact the pairings will not be announced live – instead, they have all been pre-recorded.
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Also, judge Bruno Tonioli will not feature on the series this year as he is taking part in the US version of the show.
Due to travel restrictions, he is unable to fly back to the UK to join the judging panel, so it will just be the three judges for a while.
Professionals Kevin Clifton and AJ Pritchard also announced they would be leaving the series this year to pursue other avenues of their lives.
There is no doubt the Strictly experience will not be the same as usual this year, but fans are hoping it will bring just as much joy during these unsettling times.
The dancing competition has always been one of the most popular shows to air over the festive period, and viewers have been looking forward to its return.
The 2020 line up includes actors like Maisie Smith and Caroline Quentin, as well as some sporting stars such as Nicola Adams and JJ Chalmers.
Former Royal Marine Chalmers joked about showing off his moves on TV, saying: “There are smaller venues I could’ve chosen to debut my dancing.”
Fans have been speaking about the new season on Twitter, and they were thrilled to hear the Strictly Live Arena Tour will be returning in 2022.
The tour, which leaves audiences toe-tapping., will start in Birmingham on January 20, 2022, and tickets are now on sale.
Ahead of tonight’s episode, one fan echoed the opinions of many across the country, saying: “The news that #StrictlyComeDancing is back on the tele tonight has cheered my heart!”
Strictly Come Dancing airs weekly on BBC One
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