STRICTLY bosses desperate to stop Covid causing chaos this year have put a kissing ban on contestants, warning them: “One snog and you’re out.”
Producers are hammering home the message after celebs Maisie Smith and Hrvy were caught apparently breaking social distancing rules as their romance evolved on last year’s contest.
In the same series, Strictly’s first same-sex pairing had to leave prematurely when pro Katya Jones, who was paired with ex-boxer Nicola Adams, tested positive for the virus.
A telly insider said: “Although the pandemic has eased since last year’s series, the BBC aren’t taking any chances.
“This kissing ban is likely to be part of a package of measures introduced by producers to make the show as safe as possible.
“They want to minimise the risk of any bombshells, particularly as a studio audience is being brought back into the studio this year.”
Bosses have already had a scare after pro Nadiya Bychkova tested positive for Covid last month, which meant cast and crew had to isolate for ten days.
The kissing ban could also limit the chances of the so-called curse of Strictly hitting this year’s celebrities, who include Coronation Street’s Katie McGlynn and BBC Breakfast’s Dan Walker.
Stars and pros have been caught having illicit snogs in the past, including comic Seann Walsh who was pictured in a clinch with married dancer Katya Jones.
The new series is expected to start later this month and, after being cut short because of Covid last year, will return to its normal run of 13 weeks.
Anton Du Beke will fill the judging seat vacated by Bruno Tonioli, joining Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and head judge Shirley Ballas.
The BBC was contacted but declined to comment.
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