Strictly arena tour in last minute chaos as Tilly Ramsay’s partner Nikita Kuzmin drops out hours before first live show after testing positive for Covid
Strictly professional dancer Nikita Kuzmin has been forced to pull out of the live arena tour at the last minute after testing positive for Covid.
The professional dancer, who partnered with Tilly Ramsay in the latest series of Strictly and was set to dance with her on the nationwide tour, shared the news on Instagram on Thursday, after withdrawing before the first live date in Birmingham that night.
Nikita reassured fans that he hopes to be back on tour ‘as soon’ as possible.
Out: Strictly professional dancer Nikita Kuzmin has been forced to pull out of the live arena tour at the last minute after testing positive for Covid
‘So sad to be missing a portion of the Strictly Live Tour, but unfortunately I tested positive for COVID-19,’ he wrote under a photo of himself and Tilly and some grumpy selfies.
‘Lots of luck to all the amazing Strictly cast… Will be back as soon as I can’.
Nikita’s Strictly co-stars offerered their supports in the comments, with his partner Tilly writing: ‘Missing you’ alongside a heart emoji.
Nikita was not at the tour’s photocall on Thursday afternoon, with Tilly forced to pose for solo pics while her fellow celebs parternered up.
Tough: The professional dancer who partnered with Tilly Ramsay in the latest series of Strictly and was set to dance with her on the nationwide tour, shared the news on Instagram
The tour had already been forced to change its line-up after 2021 show finalist AJ Odudu has to pull out of the live dates when the foot injury, which led to her earlhy exit from the TV series, continued to cause problems.
Instead EastEnders actress and 2020 series contestant Maisie Smith stepped in to partner AJ’s pro dancer Kai Widdrington.
They will also be joined on tour by John Whaite and Johannes Radebe as well as Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice, from the 2021 series.
Missing you: Nikita’s Strictly co-stars offerered their supports in the comments, with his partner Tilly writing: ‘Missing you’ alongside a heart emoji
Last year it was claimed that at least three professional dancers on the 2021 series had refused the Covid vaccine, sparking fears from bosses the show could be hit by an outbreak.
The pros, who were not named, did not have to disclose whether they’ve been vaccinated to BBC bosses, because it is a private medical matter.
A Strictly spokesperson told MailOnline at the time: ‘We do not comment on speculation of somebody’s COVID vaccination status.
‘Strictly Come Dancing production has, and will, continue to follow strict government guidelines to ensure the safety of all on the show.’
This year’s Strictly has once again seen stars and their professional dancers required to adhere to strict Covid safety measures, including being tested multiple times a week, and forming bubbles to perform and train safely.
When the series got underway multiple stars were forced to miss portions of the show after contracting Covid.
Tom Fletcher had to miss the second live show after testing positive the day after making his debut on the dance floor in week one. Loose Women star Judi Love missed a show in October after also contracting Covid.
On 15 November it was announced that judge Craig Revel Horwood had tested positive and was self-isolating, meaning he missed a week of judging, with Cynthia Erivo taking his place .
The following week judge Motsi Mabuse had to miss a show after being pinged by NHS Test and Trace while back home in Germany.
Last minute change: Nikita was not at the tour’s photocall on Thursday afternoon, with Tilly forced to pose for solo pics while her fellow celebs parternered up
All-star cast: Tilly posed in the center of the tour cast at Thursday’s photocall, hours after her partner was forced to quit the first few dates