Brendan Cole questions Strictly for Nicola's exit after Covid test

Brendan Cole slams Strictly’s decision to axe Nicola Adams from show after she tested negative for COVID-19 following her pro Katya Jones’ positive diagnosis

  • Brendan, 44, has slammed Strictly Come Dancing’s decision for axing Nicola, 38, from the show after testing negative for coronavirus 
  • MailOnline revealed that Nicola and her pro partner Katya, 31, had been forced to pull out of Strictly after the dancer contracted COVID-19
  • Talking about the decision on Friday’s Good Morning Britain, former Strictly pro Brendan, 44, who left the series in 2018, questioned Nicola’s exit 
  • He said: ‘I don’t really understand why Nicola can’t carry on through, if she gets a test and she’s not positive, she can carry on?’ 
  • Brendan also reflected on when his celebrity partner, Kelly Brook, pulled out of Strictly in 2007 after her father tragically passed away 
  • In her exit statement, Nicola said that she had pulled out of the show to adhere to coronavirus measures put in place on the show 
  • She also said she would isolate for 14 days after being in contact with Katya due to her positive test result 

Brendan Cole has slammed Strictly Come Dancing’s decision for axing Nicola Adams from the show after testing negative for coronavirus. 

MailOnline revealed on Thursday that Nicola, 38, and her pro partner Katya, 31, had been forced to pull out of Strictly after the professional dancer contracted COVID-19 amid claims she caught the deadly virus at a sandwich shop.  

Talking about the decision on Friday’s Good Morning Britain, former Strictly pro Brendan, 44, who left the series in 2018, questioned why Nicola couldn’t remain on the show after testing positive.

Questioned: Brendan Cole has slammed Strictly Come Dancing ‘s decision for axing Nicola Adams from the show after testing negative for coronavirus  

He said: ‘I don’t really understand why Nicola can’t carry on through, if she gets a test and she’s not positive, she can carry on?’

To which presenter Kate Garraway, whose husband Derek Draper is in hospital amid his battle with coronavirus, said: ‘I think there was some agreement if that happened they would haver to step aside.’

In her exit statement, Nicola said that she had pulled out of the show to adhere to coronavirus measures put in place on the show and would isolate for 14 days after being in contact with Katya due to her positive test result.

Brendan also reflected on when his celebrity partner, Kelly Brook, pulled out of Strictly in 2007 after her father tragically passed away. 

It’s over! MailOnline revealed on Thursday Nicola and Katya were forced to pull out of Strictly after the professional dancer contracted COVID-19, despite strict new guidelines 

Why can’t she remain? Talking about the decision on Friday’s Good Morning Britain, former Strictly pro Brendan, 44, who left the series in 2018, questioned why Nicola couldn’t remain on the show after testing positive 

He said: ‘It must be so devastating, I feel for them, I know it’s just an entertainment programme but you’re so heavily involved from the moment you sign up. 

‘To be let out of the competition without a reason, well a good reason, without being voted out is devastating. I’ve been there before, it’s a hard pill to swallow. I feel sorry for them!’ 

MailOnline revealed on Thursday that Nicola and Katya had been forced to pull out of Strictly after the professional dancer contracted COVID-19, despite the introduction of strict new guidelines by bosses.

Confusion: He said: ‘I don’t really understand why Nicola can’t carry on through, if she gets a test and she’s not positive, she can carry on?’

Response: To which presenter Kate Garraway, whose husband Derek Draper is in hospital amid his battle with coronavirus, said: ‘I think there was some agreement if that happened they would haver to step aside.’

Sad: Brendan also reflected on when his celebrity partner, Kelly Brook, pulled out of Strictly in 2007 after her father tragically passed away (pictured) 

Boxer Nicola, 38, will now have to isolate for two weeks, meaning she cannot be given a new partner and continue in the competition.

Katya, 31, was stunned to learn she’s tested positive as she didn’t display any symptoms, and told bosses that she hasn’t been mixing with others as she lives alone and has been training for up to 14 hours a day.

Katya and her partner, boxer Nicola Adams, trained together on Monday and Tuesday – and Katya tested positive that day, according to sources.

‘My hero’: Shortly after Strictly confirmed news of the couple’s exit, Katya posted on Instagram that her ‘heart is broken’, before paying tribute to her partner

A source close to Nicola told MailOnline: ‘She’s hoping her Strictly dream is not over.

‘There’s lots of hurdles to overcome but if it’s possible she can compete with Katya in the 2021 series, Nicola will want to make it happen.’

While the Strictly cast have been in social bubbles, they are allowed to continue their daily business as normal, with insiders now claiming ‘furious’ BBC bosses have vowed to tighten the rules for the remaining celebs.

A Strictly representative confirmed to MailOnline that bosses are not launching an investigation into how Katya contracted the virus as there is no way to indicate where she may have caught it.

They added that as the dancer lives alone and has only been leaving her house to train, she hasn’t been socialising with others.

Gutted: Nicola shared a montage of her favourite moments during her time on Strictly

Sad: ‘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’

This also means that the Strictly final next month will feature just four couples instead of the planned five.

An insider has claimed to The Sun though that top bosses at the BBC have insisted the pro dancer ‘must have broken the strict guidelines’ and are furious that others are now at risk.

The insider went on to say that at least four members of the show’s crew were now in isolation after coming into contact with Katya.

A source said: ‘The BBC’s top brass are mutinous. It’s been drummed into everyone that they need to follow protocol at all times – and some are saying that Katya has clearly broken the rules.

‘Katya has been living alone at her flat and people have speculated whether she caught it when she went to grab a coffee and sandwich from shops during a break in training.

Tragic: Strictly bosses confirmed Nicola and Katya’s departure in a statement they posted on social media

‘The BBC have since spoken to all the celebs and dancers and they’ve been told to bring in packed lunches from now on.’

‘Apparently they’re all really paranoid because Katya had no symptoms and it’s a miracle Nicola didn’t get it as they were dancing so closely.

‘The Celebs have also all asked their families to isolate as much as possible, and get supermarket deliveries.

Shortly after Strictly confirmed news of the couple’s exit, Katya posted on Instagram that her ‘heart is broken’, before paying tribute to her partner.

Writing alongside a selfie of the pair, the dancer wrote: ‘My heart is broken I’m utterly gutted this Special journey had to end this way and you don’t get to give more .

You are a woman who didn’t need a hero, you became one. Definitely my hero.

To everyone, thank you for your tremendous support and we will keep dancing for you guys one way or another.

Meanwhile, please stay safe everybody. And to all my friends who’re still in the show- go for it!’

Nicola hopes to return next year alongside Katya after they made history by competing together for the Glitterball as the show’s first same sex pairing.

If Nicola appears in next year’s series, she will be the second ever star to return, after Jamie Lang, who was allowed to a second chance to star in this year’s Strictly after injury ruled him out of the 2019 series.

However, the Made In Chelsea favourite did not feature in any shows, unlike Nicola who has survived two vote offs.

Near miss: Last Sunday Nicola and Katya were in the bottom two but were saved after judges chose ex-NFL star Jason Bell to leave the competition

Strictly’s ‘bubble’ system 

Strictly introduced strict new measures to ensure filming could continue in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, including regular testing and placing the couples in separate ‘bubbles’ so they can train and perform together.

These ‘bubbles’ mean that any celebrity can openly mix, train and perform with their professional partner and vice versa, but they are prohibited from mixing with anyone from outside of their bubble during filming or training.

Despite these new restrictions, and some celebrities having to live alone while taking part in the series, they are not limited from going to public spaces such as shops and parks.

In some cases stars have been living alone while the other half of their pair can stay with their family or household. 

This series also became the first in the show’s history to air without a live audience after England was plunged into a month-long lockdown. 

This year has already seen the pros pre-record all of their group performances while isolating together in a hotel as one bubble, before being separated to join up with their celebrity partners, and thus forming their own separate bubbles. 

Last Sunday, Nicola and Katya were in the bottom two but were saved after judges chose ex-NFL star Jason Bell to leave the competition.

A Strictly spokesperson confirmed to MailOnline that Katya is asymptomatic and the pair are now self-isolating separately following the latest government guidelines.

Nicola said in a statement: ‘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!’

Katya 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!’

Sarah James, Strictly Come Dancing Executive Producer added: ‘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.’

Nicola and Katya’s pairing made history as it was the first time in the show’s 16-year history a celebrity and professional partner of the same gender would be competing together.

Comeback king: The only other star to ever return to the show is Jamie Lang, who was allowed to a second chance to star in this year’s Strictly after injury ruled him out of the 2019 series

It was announced in September that Nicola would be in the first same-sex pairing on the BBC show, as she said in a statement: ‘It’s amazing to be a part of the movement for change, diversity and breaking boundaries in the entertainment industry.’

Strictly introduced strict new measures to ensure filming could continue in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, including regular testing and placing the couples in separate ‘bubbles’ so they can train and perform together.

These ‘bubbles’ mean that any celebrity can openly mix, train and perform with their professional partner and vice versa, but they are prohibited from mixing with anyone from outside of their bubble during filming or training.

Despite these new restrictions, and some celebrities having to live alone while taking part in the series, they are not limited from going to public spaces such as shops and parks.

Taking a break: On Thursday Strictly judge Motsi Mabuse announced she would absent from the show for two weeks while she quarantined after returning home from Germany

In some cases stars have been living alone while the other half of their pair can stay with their family or household.

This series also became the first in the show’s history to air without a live audience after England was plunged into a month-long lockdown.

This year has already seen the pros pre-record all of their group performances while isolating together in a hotel as one bubble, before being separated to join up with their celebrity partners, and thus forming their own separate bubbles.

Celebrity contestants and their professional partners are tested regularly, with cast and crew told to isolate should they contract the virus.

It was confirmed before the series began that if any celebrity tested positive once the series began they would be dropped from the show, with reports saying there are celebrities on stand-by.

At last! Strictly Come Dancing fans were send into a flurry of excitement on Friday following claims that Anton Du Beke could be filling in for Motsi on the judging panel

How is Strictly 2020 going ahead during the COVID-19 pandemic? 

Strictly Come Dancing has introduced an array of strict measures to ensure the new series can go ahead during the COVID-19 crisis.

Celebrity contestants and their professional partners are tested regularly, with cast and crew told to isolate should they contract the virus.

Bosses have already confirmed any celebrity that tests positive once the series begins will be dropped from the show, with reports saying there are celebrities on stand-by.

The professional dancers have already pre-recorded their group performances after isolating together in a hotel.

It’s also been claimed that celebrities and pros will be axed from the show if they are caught kissing during filming.

Strictly 2020 has also seen the series run shortened to just nine weeks, with 12 celebrities taking part instead of the usual 15.

The show’s annual trip to Blackpool has been cancelled, along with this year’s Halloween and Christmas specials.

Only three judges – Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse – will be in the studio with separate rostrums, after Bruno Tonioli was unable to appear due to travel concerns. 

Veteran judge Bruno has said he will be ‘involved remotely’ and hopes to return full-time towards the end of the series as he is filming the US version of the show in Los Angeles. 

With limited studio crew, big sets may not be built – so producers will use augmented reality, which adds computer-generated elements.

To ensure the contestants can work closely with their partners, they will ‘bubble up’ to train, along with being tested regularly. 

Strictly will still feature a live audience, however fans will sit in groups on separate tables, and will only attend if from the same household or bubble.

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