Strictly Come Dancing will return to a full series this year including annual trip to Blackpool

STRICTLY Come Dancing will return to a full series this year, including the annual trip to Blackpool.

Bosses have told staff and the professionals such as Katya Jones to prepare themselves for a 13-show run compared to last year’s nine.

In provisional plans they have alerted crew to expect a visit to ballroom capital Blackpool on November 20, a trip which they were forced to scrap last year.

The show, live from the town’s famous tower, is the centrepiece of the series and last year was the first time since 2010 the Beeb was not able to feature it.

This year’s series will start on September 25, nearly a month earlier than last year’s delayed shows.

And the grand finale, where one celebrity will lift the Glitter Ball trophy, will be held on December 18.

A telly source told The Sun: “Strictly and the BBC set the gold standard last year in terms of putting a show on during a pandemic.

“They worked incredibly hard and they managed to keep instances of Covid-19 right down. There were rigorous protocols in place.

“They’re going to use what they learned to put on a full series this year.

“That means 13 episodes will be returning — and all of the themed weeks.

“The pinnacle will be the trip to Blackpool and that’s always been the way on Strictly.

“As things stand, the whole show will head to the North West in November. Everyone is really excited.”

BBC bosses managed to keep the show on air last series despite a number of Covid-19 outbreaks.

Singer and YouTube star HRVY, 22, was stricken as was Russian Katya, 31.

That meant she and her partner, former world champion boxer Nicola Adams, 38, had to leave.

They were the first same-sex dance pairing in the show’s history. Due to a shorter run in the 2020 series, bosses also signed up fewer celebrities.

And because of the lower number of shows, organisers had to add four highlights episodes to the schedule to plug the gaps.

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