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Strictly Come Dancing axes live audience

Former home secretary Jacqui Smith became the first celebrity to leave the show last weekend.

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Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly (Ian West/PA)

Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly (Ian West/PA)

Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly (Ian West/PA)

Strictly Come Dancing has scrapped its live audience because of the impending lockdown.

The opening show of the hit BBC One series invited NHS staff to watch, while last weekend had a regular audience, at a social distance.

A statement posted online said: “In light of the new lockdown measures we’re sad to announce that we won’t be able to have live studio audiences during this time.

“Ticket holders have been notified. No more tickets will be sent out until we are sure it will be safe and compliant to welcome audiences back”.

Last weekend, former home secretary Jacqui Smith became the first celebrity to leave the series following a dance-off with reality TV star Jamie Laing.

The Graham Norton Show and Have I Got News For You are also now inviting an online audience to watch the recording live of the shows from their homes.

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