Tom Fletcher and Strictly partner test positive for Covid

The Strictly Come Dancing contestant Tom Fletcher and his professional partner, Amy Dowden, have tested positive for Covid-19 and will miss next Saturday’s live show, the BBC has said.

Fletcher, one of the lead vocalists from McFly, and Dowden had performed well in their first dance during this weekend’s show.

The news of their illness follows reports that three of the show’s dancers had not been vaccinated, though there is no suggestion that either Fletcher or Dowden were among them.

Singer, songwriter and author Fletcher had danced the cha-cha to Earth, Wind & Fire’s September in his Strictly debut. He and Dowden were the first to dance and were awarded 21 out of 40 by the judges.

The BBC said an average audience of 7.9 million tuned in on Saturday night to watch the couples compete.

Fletcher and Dowden, who reached the final of Strictly in 2019 with the TV presenter Karim Zeroual, were expected to return the following week “all being well”, said the BBC.

A statement from the broadcaster said: “The pair are now self-isolating separately following the latest government guidelines. While they will both miss Saturday’s live show, Strictly Come Dancing protocols mean that, all being well, they will return the following week.”

Fletcher and Dowden dancing the cha-cha on Saturday’s live show.
Fletcher and Dowden danced the cha-cha on Saturday’s live show. Photograph: Guy Levy/PA

Last year, the boxer Nicola Adams and her dance partner, Katya Jones – the show’s first same-sex couple – were forced to pull out of the series further into its run after Jones tested positive for Covid-19.

The series has been subjected to unconfirmed reports that some of the dancers had not been vaccinated. The prime minister, Boris Johnson, had even commented on the issue, stating that he “does not mind lecturing” the Strictly professional dancers in urging them to get a Covid jab.

The BBC had denied that three professional dancers had said they would quit the show rather than get vaccinated, but refused to comment on whether anyone had or had not received the vaccine.

A spokesperson for the show had said: “We do not comment on speculation of somebody’s Covid vaccination status. Strictly Come Dancing production has, and will, continue to follow strict government guidelines to ensure the safety of all on the show.”


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