Strictly Come Dancing contestant Dan Walker has said it “could happen to us at any time” after his co-star Tom Fletcher tested positive for Covid-19.
The McFly singer and his professional partner Amy Dowden will be absent from the show on Saturday after they tested positive for the virus one day after the first live show of the series.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast, presenter Walker said: “Of all the places I’ve been in the last few months, Strictly is the strictest place in terms of following all those regulations.”
— BBC Strictly ✨ (@bbcstrictly) September 25, 2021
He added: “We’ve all accepted that it could happen to any of us at any time.
“We just follow the guidelines, we social distance and wear face coverings where you can, and basically the only time we’re not doing that is when we’re on the telly, isn’t it?”
Walker said he had spoken to Dowden at the weekend, adding: “I had a conversation with Amy on Saturday, but she was at one end of the flight of stairs, I was at the other one, you’re actively staying away from each other, that is the way it is.”
“It’s such a shame”⁰
On #BBCBreakfast fellow #Strictly contestants Neil Jones and Nina Wadia react to the news Tom Fletcher and his partner will miss next week's live show, after testing positive for Covid. https://t.co/XCfU4Sx2ZA pic.twitter.com/EBG5sGIUll
— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) September 27, 2021
Fellow contestant Nina Wadia said: “We do stay in our pairs, because that’s the kind of safest bubble that you have.
The new series of Strictly Come Dancing has been embroiled in controversy over reports that three of the professional dancers are unvaccinated, although there is no suggestion that either Fletcher or Dowden were among this number.
Dowden previously spoke of her excitement at getting the jab in an Instagram post in February.
The BBC announced on Sunday afternoon that Fletcher and Dowden had contracted the virus and will be self-isolating.
They said in a statement: “Tom Fletcher and Amy Dowden have tested positive for Covid-19. 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.
“Strictly has and will continue to follow government guidelines in order to keep everyone safe.”
Dowden wrote on Instagram: “Unfortunately Tom and I have tested positive for Covid-19.
“I’m not suffering any symptoms but am now isolating at home.
“I have no doubt that over the next 10 days my mind will be going crazy with choreography ideas ready to get back on the Strictly dancefloor for the live show in week 3!
“Thank you for all of the support and good luck to all of the couples this week. I will be cheering you all on!”
Fletcher re-posted the message on his own Instagram story.
The pair will not be able to rehearse together for 10 days, and Fletcher will miss McFly’s next tour performance on Sunday night.
The singer said he is “so, so sorry” to miss the gig and his band will perform without him at The SSE Hydro arena in Glasgow.
McFly said on Twitter: “Unfortunately Tom is unwell and won’t be onstage with us tonight in Glasgow.
Unfortunately Tom is unwell and won't be onstage with us tonight in Glasgow. He sends huge and heartfelt apologies to all the fans he won’t see tonight. The show will still be going ahead, we’re looking forward to seeing you all and need you guys to sing extra loud for us tonight pic.twitter.com/yyUpavdYcyAdvertisement
— mcfly (@mcflymusic) September 26, 2021
“He sends huge and heartfelt apologies to all the fans he won’t see tonight.
“The show will still be going ahead, we’re looking forward to seeing you all and need you guys to sing extra loud for us tonight.”
The BBC has previously said it is “not the case” that dancers or celebrity contestants have threatened to quit Strictly Come Dancing over the vaccination row, or raised concerns with the BBC or the show’s production team.
A show spokesperson said they could not comment on whether the BBC or the production team knows the vaccination status of the professional dancers.