Strictly pros ‘call in their union over vaccine row’ – as ex-head judge Len Goodman blasts ‘madness’ of the show continuing without mandatory jabs
Several Strictly pros have called in their union over the show’s recent vaccine row, it was reported on Saturday night – as ex-head judge Len Goodman blasted the ‘madness’ of the show continuing without mandatory jabs.
The dancers have asked for advice and support from the entertainment arts union Equity after a confrontation with show bosses, according to The Sun.
Earlier this month it was revealed that three of the professional dancers have refused the coronavirus vaccine.
Drama: Several Strictly pros have called in their union over the show’s recent vaccine row, it was reported on Saturday night
The unvaccinated pros are reportedly so opposed to receiving the Covid jab, they are willing to quit the show.
Sources claim that despite others pleading for them to reconsider, the dancers, who have not been named, are steadfast in their decision not to have the jab.
A source told the newspaper: ‘Both vaccinated and unvaccinated dancers have gone to the union. They want to know how to navigate their rights with BBC bosses.’
It continued that things behind the scenes are ‘increasingly tense’ and could even lead to the union recommending ‘some sort of action by those who feel aggrieved’.
Opinions: It came as ex-head judge Len Goodman blasted the ‘madness’ of the show continuing without mandatory jabs
A Strictly spokesperson told MailOnline in response: ‘It is not the case that concerns have been raised with the BBC or the Strictly production team from dancers or celebrities about vaccination, or that they have threatened to quit.’
Ex-head judge Len has also now waded in on the row, saying it’s ‘madness’ that everyone on the show wasn’t required to be fully vaccinated before it started.
He told the publication: ‘It’s madness — especially as you’re dancing in such close proximity to each other.
‘I can imagine it becoming quite confrontational if anyone found out their partner wasn’t vaccinated.
Pandemic: Earlier this month it was revealed that three of the professional dancers have refused the coronavirus vaccine
‘People need to realise it’s not just about them, but it’s about having respect for others and especially the older people who have proved to be more vulnerable.’
Following reports that one celebrity was furious to learn their professional partner hadn’t been jabbed, former Strictly stars have led calls for the unvaccinated dancers to be dropped from the show.
Even PM Boris has waded in as he said on Wednesday: ‘Everyone should take their jabs and I’m saying that not in a bullying way but just because I think it’s a great thing to do.’
James Jordan, who was a professional on Strictly from 2006 to 2013, slammed the ‘selfish’ dancers who are putting the ‘entire show at risk’ and called on BBC bosses to publicly name them.
Speaking to The Sun, he said: ‘If someone on this show gets this virus and their immune system is really low and they die, it could have been prevented.
‘The BBC is publicly funded by taxpayers. There’s over 44million people that are double vaccinated in this country so the BBC has a moral obligation to the country to say to these dancers, ”I’m really sorry, unless you’re going to be double vaccinated you can’t have your position on Strictly”.
‘I don’t believe they should be dancing and putting the whole cast of Strictly in jeopardy.’
James added that BBC bosses should have asked this year’s dancers whether they’d been vaccinated against Covid, and if not they should not be allowed to take part on the show.
Rules: Following reports that one celebrity was furious to learn their professional partner hadn’t been jabbed, former Strictly stars have led calls for the unvaccinated dancers to be dropped from the show (the celebrity lineup is pictured)
It came following reports that BBC bosses were battling to save Strictly and a furious star told pals: ‘We should have been protected,’ after learning their professional partner hasn’t received the jab.
A source told The Sun the celebrity was previously unaware their professional partner hadn’t been jabbed, and has been stunned by BBC bosses’ failure to secure their safety despite stringent Covid measures.
They said: ‘They just couldn’t believe that their partner would not have had a jab.
‘They thought they’d be protected so to discover their partner hasn’t even had a single jab is very worrying.
‘The couple have already spent tens of hours practising together. Clearly, there is a lot of anger and a lot of questions to be asked.’
It was reported that the revelation a third professional dancer had refused the Covid, had become well-known among the Strictly cast, sparking resentment behind the scenes.
The pro, who was not named, does not have to disclose whether they’ve been vaccinated to BBC bosses, because it is a private medical matter.
A Strictly spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘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.’
STRICTLY COME DANCING 2021: WHO ARE THE COUPLES?
TOM FLETCHER & AMY DOWDEN
Celebrity’s Age: 36
Profession: McFly musician
Tom says: ‘I’m so pleased the news is out it’s been so hard keeping it secret. Equal parts excited and terrified.’
Fun fact: Tom’s McFly bandmate Harry Judd won Strictly Come Dancing in 2011. Tom’s wife Giovanna Fletcher is the reigning champion of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
Celebrity’s Age: 48
Profession: Actor and comedian
Robert says: ‘It’s very exciting but with a slight undertone of quivering terror.’
Fun Fact: Robert squeezed into a shiny leotard to take the title of Let’s Dance For Comic Relief in 2009, performing What A Feeling from ’80s film Flashdance, beating the likes of Keith Lemon and Paddy McGuinness to the title.
RHYS STEPHENSON & NANCY XU
Celebrity’s Age: 27
Profession: CBBC presenter
Rhys says: ‘I have dreamt about being on this show, and I know for a fact that it is going to exceed every expectation’
Fun fact: Rhys has been an actor since the age of ten, performing alongside Matt Smith and Hugh Bonneville.
KATIE MCGLYNN & GORKA MARQUEZ
Celebrity’s Age: 28
Katie says: ‘I’m really not a dancer, but I’m so excited to learn a new skill on this crazy journey and cannot wait to slip into some sequins along the way.’
Fun fact: Katie, who played Sinead Tinker in Corrie, won a NTA for Best Serial Drama Performance in 2020.
TILLY RAMSAY & NIKITA KUZMIN
Celebrity’s Age: 19
Profession: CBBC presenter
Tilly says: ’I’m going to put my heart and soul into this and can’t wait to get my dancing shoes on!’
Fun fact: Tilly’s father is celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay and the pair often star in dancing TikTok videos.
NINA WADIA & NEIL JONES
Celebrity’s Age: 52
Nina says: ‘I think I should do this before I’m too old and can’t walk anymore. I just want to grab life by the horns and just enjoy it.’
Fun fact: Nina is a JDRF Ambassador and was awarded an OBE in the 2021 New Year’s Honours List.
ADAM PEATY & KATYA JONES
Celebrity’s Age: 26
Adam says: ‘I’m really looking forward to doing something totally different and challenging myself away from the pool.’
Fun fact: Adam becoming the first British swimmer to defend an Olympic title at Tokyo 2020.
UGO MONYE & OTI MABUSE
Celebrity’s Age: 38
Profession: Rugby player and sports pundit
Ugo says: ‘What a dream come true! Strictly is the biggest entertainment show on TV and I can’t wait to show everyone I’ve got more than just dad dancing moves.
Fun fact: Beginning his rugby career at Harlequins in 2002, Ugo went on to make 241 appearances for the club where he scored 89 tries, won a Premiership and made his England debut in 2008.
AJ ODUDU & KAI WIDDRINGTON
Celebrity’s Age: 33
Profession: TV presenter
AJ says: ‘I think it’s going to be really challenging. I can’t wait for the sequins, the wigs, the glitz and the glamour.’
Fun Fact: Apocalypse Wow hosts AJ has featured on a whopping 14 TV shows this year, competing in the likes oF Cooking With The Stars and Celebrity Karaoke Club. She has appeared as a panelist on Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two in the past, too.
JOHN WHAITE & JOHANNES RADEBE
Celebrity’s Age: 33
Profession: Great British Bake Off Winner and TV chef
John says: ‘I’m so grateful, excited, and nervous to be joining the Strictly 2021 family… I’ve been wearing sequins and jazzy attire since I was three years old and can’t wait to hurl myself, full throttle, around the most glamorous dance floor on earth’
Fun Fact: The duo are the first ever all-male partnering – the first in 17 years of the show.
SARA DAVIES & ALJAZ SKORJANEC
Celebrity’s Age: 37
Sara says: ‘I’m really nervous because so far the producers keep asking me if I can dance… Truth be told – I haven’t got a clue! I’ve not danced since I did ballet lessons when I was little.’
Fun fact: Sara was the youngest ever dragon on BBC show Dragons’ Den.
DAN WALKER & NADIYA BYCHKOVA
Celebrity’s Age: 44
Dan says: ‘I’m enjoying the experience when it starts of learning to dance. I’ll be honest I’m not making room on any shelves in my house for the glitterball.’
Fun fact: Dan recently quit Football Focus after 12 years at the helm and has been covering Tokyo Olympics.
GREG WISE & KAREN HAUER
Celebrity’s Age: 55
Greg says: ‘It’s about being out there and exposing yourself as someone who can’t dance, and learning.’
Fun fact: Greg is married to the actress Emma Thompson who he met while filming Sense and Sensibility.
ROSE AYLING-ELLIS & GIOVANNI PERNICE
Celebrity’s Age: 30
Rose says: ‘I hope I will do the deaf community proud and break down more barriers. I am also very excited to learn an incredible new skill.’
Fun fact: Rose will make history as Strictly’s first deaf contestant.
JUDI LOVE & GRAZIANO DI PRIMA
Celebrity’s Age: 41
Judi says: ‘I’m truly looking forward to pushing myself in something that I could have only dreamed of doing and now it’s actually coming true!’
Fun fact: Judi began comedy when she performed a set in front of her class for a degree module.
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