Nicola Adams and Katya Jones have been forced to exit Strictly Come Dancing after the professional dancer tested positive for coronavirus.

The BBC said Russian dancer Jones, 31, had returned a positive test while asymptomatic and was now self-isolating.

Olympic boxer Adams, 38, will not be able to continue with another professional partner as she must also self-isolate separately for 14 days.

The PA news agency also understands a number of crew members have been forced to self-isolate after coming into contact with Jones.

The rest of the cast are unaffected and the show, filmed at Elstree Studios in Borehamwood, will continue this Saturday night on BBC One, according to the broadcaster.

A statement from the BBC said: "Nicola Adams and Katya Jones are to leave Strictly Come Dancing after Katya tested positive for Covid-19.

"Katya is asymptomatic and the pair are now self-isolating separately following the latest government guidelines. As part of the protocols outlined ahead of the series, this sadly means they will no longer be able to take part in the competition."

Borehamwood Times:

Elstree Studios, where Strictly is filmed. Credit: Elstree Studios

Adams and Jones made history as part of the BBC show’s first same-sex pairing to compete for the Glitterball trophy.

Adams said: "Hey guys. I’m absolutely devastated my Strictly journey has come to an end so soon. I had so much more to give and so many people to win this for. But I just want to say a huge thank you to Katya for being the best dance partner anyone could ask for.

"She pushed me way out of my comfort zone and it’s been an incredible experience. I’m gutted to be out of the competition but in these unprecedented times and as frustrating as it is, the Covid measures in place are to keep everyone safe, and I’m doing what I can to help.

"I’ll be spending the next 14 days isolating so I’d like to apologise in advance for the ridiculous amount of TikToks I’ll be posting, in my new found free time when I’m not gaming."

Borehamwood Times:

Nicola Adams. Credit: PA

Jones said: "Dancing with Nicola has been an absolute inspiration. She’s given her all each and every week and we were so excited to create more dances in the competition.

"Of course, I’m devastated to leave this way but I’ve made a friend for life and loved every moment of this special journey. I’d like to wish good luck to all the remaining couples."

Borehamwood Times:

Nicola Adams and Katya Jones. Credit: PA/BBC

Sarah James, Strictly Come Dancing’s executive producer, said: "We are incredibly sad that these unfortunate circumstances mean that Nicola and Katya are unable to continue on Strictly.

"They are a brilliant partnership and had already achieved so much during their time on the show.

"We’d like to thank them for their commitment and although their time in the competition has sadly come to an end we are hopeful that there will be opportunities for them to dance again in the future."

The show’s co-host Claudia Winkleman and Strictly spin-off It Takes Two host Zoe Ball both shared messages of support following the news.

Winkleman tweeted: "We’re so sad about this. Nicola and Katya were completely brilliant", while Ball said she was "gutted" for the pair.

It comes after Rylan Clark-Neal, who co-hosts It Takes Two, began self-isolation after coming into contact with someone outside of work who had tested positive for Covid-19.

In a message on Twitter on Thursday, he said he had since returned a negative test result.

Strictly has gone ahead this year with limited audiences due to the pandemic.

BBC Studioworks says it has worked closely with the Strictly production and health & safety teams to ensure the environment they are working in is Covid secure, including:

  • Additional air handling units have been hired to fill the stage with fresh air, and the fresh air system within the gallery suite has been upgraded.
  • Each gallery is limited to a specific number of people at any one time. Bespoke Perspex screens are in place across all the gallery suites and a number of gallery-based operatives and production staff have been relocated to cabins outside.
  • On the studio floor, some of the operated cameras have been replaced by remote heads and all other cameras are spaced more than two metres apart.
  • Perspex vocal booths have been created for the band’s singers, each with an air extraction system.
  • Microphones will not be shared across the series-run.
  • Electrostatic misting is sprayed overnight after each day on set, including communal areas and toilets.
  • Editors and producers for Strictly are working remotely at home