Strictly Come Dancing star Tilly Ramsay has said the production team are “working so hard to keep everyone safe” amid ongoing reports about unvaccinated professional dancers.
The social media star, who is the daughter of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, will perform a waltz with professional partner Nikita Kuzmin when the live shows return on Saturday night.
The broadcast will go ahead as planned following reports in The Sun that three of the professional dancers are unvaccinated.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has already waded into the row, urging them to get the jab.
Appearing on ITV’s Lorraine, Ramsay was asked if she feels safe on set and if Strictly is “strict” about protocols.
She replied: “It definitely is.
“Firstly, I think it’s just amazing that they’ve been able to even put the show on.
“They’re working so hard to keep everyone safe.
“And I think we definitely do feel that.”
Professional dancer Gorka Marquez told ITV’s This Morning that the reports were “just speculation”.
He added: “What I know is the show is taking big responsibility to keep everyone safe, lots of testing, lots of trying to keep everyone distance and safe during the studio.
“They did it last year, we were all safe so this year are they doing the same and it will work because we did it last year.”
Asked if he would prefer a vaccinated environment, he replied: “Everyone is free to do whatever they want.
“You go in the streets right now and some people might be vaccinated and some people might not.”
His celebrity partner, soap star Katie McGlynn, added: “I think it just depends on each individual, because like I know last year, you were in couples and everybody was in a hotel whereas you get a bit more freedom this year because of the vaccinations but if that was me, personally, I just wouldn’t see my family.
“Every situation is different I personally don’t know everybody’s situation, because it’s none of our business because we have to keep separate from everybody else but everybody’s getting on like how some fire and seems to be gelling well.”
Speaking to reporters in Washington DC on Wednesday, Mr Johnson said he would urge dancers to get the Covid jab.
He said: “I think that that’s a matter for the producers but I strongly believe that people should get vaccinated.
“I don’t want to bully people or to lecture them but, well I don’t mind lecturing them, I’ll lecture them: I think it is a great thing to do for yourself, your family, your community.
“I think people should get a jab and it is a wonderful thing to do.”
The BBC has said it is following all Government guidelines to ensure the show can be made safely.
The first live show will see Great British Bake Off star John Whaite and professional Johannes Radebe, the first all-male pairing in the show’s history, will perform a tango to Blue Monday by New Order.
Ramsay and Kuzmin will dance a waltz to Consequences by Camila Cabello, while McGlynn and Marquez will do a tango to Black Hole by Griff.
Actor Greg Wise and partner Karen Hauer will do an American Smooth to That’s Life by Frank Sinatra, while McFly’s Tom Fletcher and Amy Dowden will tackle a cha cha to September by Earth, Wind and Fire.
A spokesperson for Strictly 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.”
The first live show will air on BBC One at 7pm on Saturday September 25.