Strictly Come Dancing to keep dancing during new lockdown

image captionJanette Manrara and pop star Hrvy topped the Strictly leaderboard for weeks one and two, tying with Maisie Smith and Gorka Marquez

Strictly Come Dancing is to carry on through the new lockdown in England.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has said TV and film production can continue when the four-week lockdown comes into force on Thursday.

So, unlike in the spring lockdown, most reality and talent shows, soaps and other programmes are not expected to suspend filming.

A Strictly spokesman confirmed it would keep going, and would "continue to adhere to government guidelines".

image captionFormer Home Secretary Jacqui Smith was the first contestant to be voted off on Sunday

He said: "We have rigorous protocols in place to manage Covid-19 as the safety of all those involved in the production is paramount."

More than 11 million people tuned in to watch week one. On Sunday, former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith became the first contestant to be voted off.

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image captionGwrych Castle in north Wales will host this year's I'm A Celebrity

The autumn's other big new TV shows include ITV's I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, which will relocate from the Australian jungle to a derelict castle in north Wales because of the pandemic.

It will launch on 15 November, six days after Wales's own "firebreak" lockdown is due to end, ITV confirmed on Monday.

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Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Coronation Street said filming would continue on the cobbles. "We are adhering to the government's production guidelines and as we have health and safety protocols and measures in place we are continuing to film," she said.

Entertainment venues like theatres, concert halls and cinemas have been told to close, however. Dave Moutrey, chief executive of the Home cinema and theatre in Manchester, said it was "absolutely devastating to have to close for a second time" and that they would reopen again in December.

A number of theatre shows have been scuppered for the duration of the month-long lockdown. They include The Death of England at the National Theatre; Six, which was to have been the first West End musical to reopen after the last lockdown; and The Color Purple at the Leicester Curve.

"Many theatres were only just managing to reopen or were preparing to reopen with Christmas shows and this news will come as a further blow to an already struggling sector," said Theatres Trust director Jon Morgan.

image copyrightHelen Maybanks
image captionAndrew Lincoln will star in a streamed version of A Christmas Carol from the Old Vic theatre

On Monday, Mr Dowden confirmed theatres could still open for rehearsals or to stream performances without an audience.

Permission to continue rehearsing will be a relief to those who are still planning to stage pantomimes and other Christmas shows when audiences are allowed to return in December.

The producers of one of the biggest, Pantoland at the Palladium, which is due to star Julian Clary, Elaine Paige and Nigel Havers, said they were still planning to open on 12 December.

The Old Vic theatre in London announced on Monday that Andrew Lincoln will star in a streamed production of A Christmas Carol, with no audience in person, also from 12 December.

The Public Campaign for the Arts described the latest lockdown as "a major new setback to our economic, social and cultural life".

"It is now the right and necessary move to save lives. But it will be a hammer-blow to the most vulnerable, and will further jeopardise the arts in our communities and society," a statement said.

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