STRICTLY Come Dancing was thrown into disarray tonight after a TV crew member tested positive for coronavirus.
Panic spread among the pro dancers, including Katya Jones, who were due to start filming in the studios tomorrow.
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The lighting expert had spent a week working on the dance contest’s set.
At least five staff who were in close contact with him were immediately sent home and told to self-isolate and await tests of their own.
A deep clean of the set was also ordered using powerful electrostatic sprayers.
Tonight anxious bosses were awaiting the results of a third test on the worker after a second medical check proved inconclusive.
A source said: “This crew member would have been in touch with dozens of other workers on set.
“They were hours away from starting filming for the pre-recorded professional group dances when they got a call to say that one of the crew members had tested positive when turning up for another job.
“Everything juddered to a halt while worried bosses worked out what to do.
“This is the worst-case scenario for Strictly, as they’ve gone to extreme lengths to make the show safe up to this point.
“Starting a show then stopping mid-production is the most expensive thing that could happen, so they’re praying it’s not more serious than just one person potentially having it.
“He came back positive which meant he had likely been symptomatic prior to the test.
“After this was discovered the remaining lighting crew were all sent home from site before everyone was told to leave several hours later and a deep clean began.”
The show is filmed at Elstree Studios, in Borehamwood, Herts.
The pro dancers have been isolating in a biosecure bubble at a nearby hotel.
Bosses hope they will be allowed on site by Tuesday to start a gruelling filming schedule.
The source added: “They have to get in the studio this week or they won’t have time to shoot the group dances before the series starts next month.
“It’s already a race against time and this could slow things down further.”
The show has been cut from 12 to nine shows due to the pandemic.
This year’s celeb dancers include EastEnders’ Maisie Smith, 19, ex- Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, 57, and comic Bill Bailey, 55.
Piers Morgan is set to film one of his Life Stories shows at Elstree with Captain Tom Moore, 100, who raised more than £32million for the NHS during the virus pandemic.
But sources fear the chat could now be at risk.
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