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Shirley Ballas gives huge update on Strictly Come Dancing 2021

The head judge revealed what BBC bosses are planning

Francesca Shillcock

Shirley Ballas has given a huge update on this year's series of Strictly Come Dancing.

The head judge, who joined the BBC ballroom competition in 2017, explained that bosses on the show are planning the resume to the usual run time of 13 shows, after shortening the series in 2020.

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Appearing on celebrity website Cameo, the former professional dancer gave fans an insight on the upcoming series: "Just a little something: I heard they're trying to do all 13 episodes this year," she began.

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"Last time we had nine. We're trying to get 13 shows on. I think they're getting used to the Covid thing." The 2020 series was shortened and there were fewer celebrities taking part in comparison to ordinary years after production difficulties arose as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The series also saw many other setbacks including a smaller live studio audience, contestant Nicola Adams and her pro-partner Katya Jones having to drop out of the competition after testing positive, and judge Motsi Mabuse having to miss two shows due to self-isolation rules.

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Shirley said bosses are trying to make this year's show as normal as possible

Meanwhile, the celebrity line-up for this year has already been teased, with social media users convinced they know who one of the participants will be. Following her huge popularity on the back of the viral video showing a Handforth Parish Council meeting, Jackie Weaver is being tipped to star on the show.

It comes after Jackie came face-to-face with her favourite Strictly star Anton du Beke on Steph's Packed Lunch this week. Upon meeting Jackie, Anton said: "I'd love it you could do Strictly Come Dancing. I think we'd make a fabulous team."

Star-struck Jackie responded: "I think we would as well, Anton. I've always felt very fond of you and I still hope there's going to be a series that you win and, sadly, I know that would not be with me."

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