The annual Strictly Come Dancing Christmas contest has been axed, the Daily Star Sunday can reveal.
Celebrities won’t be competing on this year’s festive special because filming them during the pandemic would be “too difficult”.
The Christmas special usually sees a string of former contestants return to the dancefloor for another chance to impress the judges.
Stars had already been booked to appear. But they have now been told they will have to wait until next year to take part.
It will be the first time in its history the festive competition has not run.
An insider said: “Usually, filming the Christmas special only takes a few days.
“But to do it under the current guidelines would mean quarantining celebs for two weeks beforehand. It’s just not worth it for one episode.
“It wasn’t an easy decision, but producers didn’t feel like they had any choice.
“The celebrities who were due to take part are devastated. They were thrilled to have the chance to return to Strictly.
“But they’ve been told they won’t miss out because they’ll get to come back in 2021.”
The special was due to be filmed in early December.
Strictly producers are now on a mission to come up with fresh ideas for its Christmas show.
It is likely that highlights from previous years and new interviews with its stars will plug the gap.
BBC chiefs are facing a major crisis over the festive schedules as it is feared other shows may have to be scrapped altogether.
Last week it emerged Call The Midwife’s annual Christmas special may not be ready in time as filming has been stalled by coronavirus.
Strictly’s regular series is still due to go ahead this autumn, but producers have had to make a raft of changes.
The number of episodes has been slashed and the series will begin a month later than normal.
The annual Blackpool weekend is also at risk of being ditched.
And as we exclusively revealed last month, judge Bruno Tonioli is likely to have to pull out.
He usually does the US show at the same time, but with international travel in crisis he can’t do both.
Shows including Love Island and The Apprentice have had to be pulled this year and won’t return until next summer at the earliest.