Strictly Come Dancing will not return to Blackpool this year, the show’s top boss has confirmed.
The BBC show will return for a full-length series later this year, but will not be able to take its usual trip up north to the home of ballroom due to the pandemic for the second year running.
After last year’s series was trimmed in terms of length and number of contestants, Strictly’s executive producer Sarah James said she was “thrilled” fans would get their usual fix in 2021, but admitted she was “so sad” notto be able to make Blackpool week work.
She told The Mirror: “We’re so thrilled that Strictly will be returning for a full-length series this year, and know how much viewers are looking forward to getting their full Strictly fix and seeing the return of much-loved specials.”
She added: “We are all so sad that we won’t be able to get to Blackpool this year but can’t wait to be back dancing at the one and only Blackpool Tower Ballroom in the future.”
Blackpool week was previously axed in 2020 as part of a number of changes to the show to help navigate the pandemic.
While the studio audience is expected to return this year, The Mirror reports that some of the other elements introduced to help make the show Covid-safe will remain.
Once again, the professional dancers will isolate in a hotel near the show’s studios in Elstree, Hertfordshire, to pre-record all the group dances before the series begins.
The usual three week gap between the pre-recorded launch show and the first live show has also been scrapped again, with the dancefloor action kicking off the week after fans find out who has been paired with who.
Of course, there’s a number of other changes that have already been announced, including the promotion of Anton Du Beke to the judging panel.
The pro dancer is stepping in for Bruno Tonioli, who is unable to judge for the second year due to travel restrictions stopping him from appearing on the UK and US versions of the show at the same time.
There is also four new additions to the pro dancing line up after Janette Manrara also left her role to take over from Zoe Ball as the host of spin-off series It Takes Two.
Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One in the autumn.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.