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Strictly Come Dancing launch date postponed in wake of the Queen’s death - details

The BBC show will not go ahead on with its launch on Saturday 17 September

strictly come dancing logo© Photo: BBC
Eve Crosbie
TV & Film Writer
September 13, 2022
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The BBC has confirmed that Strictly Come Dancing will not go ahead on with its launch show in the wake of the death of the Queen.

MORE: Strictly Come Dancing pros leave fans speechless with first sneak peek at 2022 series

The new series of the dance competition was due to return to screens on Saturday 17 September, days before the late monarch’s state funeral. But now the broadcaster has said it will air its first episode of the 2022 series on Friday 23 September, followed by the first live show Saturday 24 September.

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The schedule shift is one of many made in the days following the death of the Queen at the age of 96 on Thursday 8 September. Many other shows have also been pulled from screens to make way for special programming and news updates as Charles begin his new role as King - or simply out of respect given that the country is in national mourning.

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The 2017 film Paddington will air in the time slot previously reserved for Strictly in what is a sweet nod to the Queen's fondness for the animated bear. She appeared in a comedy sketch with the character, voiced by Ben Wishaw,  as part of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations earlier this year.

Strictly Come Dancing launch date postponed in wake of the Queen’s death   details© Photo: BBC

The BBC ballroom show's launch has been pushed back a week

Meanwhile, it's been revealed that the Queen was also a fan of Strictly - and that she even wrote a letter of support to a former contestant's father.

The late monarch said she had "enjoyed watching" former Royal Marine JJ Chalmers competing on the BBC show in a handwritten note to his dad, Rev John Chalmers, who was appointed as one of Her Majesty's chaplains in 2013.

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JJ said that the Queen had mentioned him in a note she wrote to his father following the death of Prince Philip in 2021, explaining: "One of the loveliest things I've ever seen, following the death of her husband, my father had written to her, and she returned a letter, which was typed and had all the expected notes with it.

"But at the bottom, there was a handwritten message. It said: "I've just realised that the JJ Chalmers that I've been watching on the coverage of my husband's funeral is the same JJ Chalmers that you told me of being injured all those years ago'. And also a line that said 'and the same JJ Chalmers I enjoyed watching on Strictly Come Dancing.'"

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