Shirley Ballas has admitted she’s terrified of going out of the front door, unless she ‘absolutely has to’ for fear of contracting coronavirus.
Strictly was thrown into chaos on Thursday evening when Katya Jones and Nicola Adams withdrew from the competition after the professional dancer tested positive for Covid-19, with sources suggesting she got it when she went to buy a coffee.
Hours later Motsi Mabuse revealed she would not appear alongside the judges in the studio because she has to isolate for 14 days after taking an ‘urgent trip’ to German.
Pandemic: Shirley Ballas has admitted she’s terrified of going out of the front door, unless she ‘absolutely has to’ for fear of contracting coronavirus
Shirley, 60, said on Dan Wootton’s TalkRadio drivetime show: ‘We go shopping, touch something, it’s on a box, not even necessarily at the BBC. It could be anywhere out there.
‘I’m so nervous to go out the front door in case I absolutely have to. So vigilance and hoping you’re not one of the ones who get it.’
Speaking of how Katya, 31, and Olympic boxer Nicola, 38, had to bow out of the competition early, the head judge said: ‘I’m absolutely gutted. It’s historic, this partnership. It was doing so well, and of course we wish them a speedy recovery and that Katya gets better.
Covid-19: Strictly was thrown into chaos on Thursday when Katya Jones and Nicola Adams withdrew from the competition after the dancer tested positive (pictured earlier this month)
Fearful: Shirley, 60, said: ‘I’m so nervous to go out the front door in case I absolutely have to. So vigilance and hoping you’re not one of the ones who get it’
‘It’s too hard to call who could win, but certainly with the dances they had they were going to go far, in my estimation.
‘It was just a fantastic team and partnership and they brought light every week. It was fabulous. We wish them both well.’
An insider has claimed to The Sun that top bosses at the BBC have insisted Katya ‘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.
It’s over! 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
‘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.
‘The BBC have since spoken to all the celebs and dancers and they’ve been told to bring in packed lunches from now on.’
MailOnline has contacted Katya’s representatives for comment.
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.
Chaos: To add to the chaos, judge Motsi Mabuse is also quarantining for a fortnight after making an essential journey to Germany
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.
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.
To add to the chaos, judge Motsi Mabuse is also quarantining for a fortnight after making what the BBC called an essential journey to Germany, where she lives, despite Britain being in lockdown. It means she will not be in the studio on Saturday and will instead appear virtually.
The South African dancer, who lives with her family in Germany where she runs a dance school, usually flies between the two countries while appearing on Strictly.
‘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
UK lockdown rules prohibit international travel except in ‘limited circumstances such as for work or for education’.
Guidelines say people who live outside the UK but work in the UK and travel between their country of residence and the UK at least once a week’ do not have to isolate.
A BBC spokesman said: ‘Motsi had to make an essential journey and will now be isolating for 14 days as per Government guidelines. We look forward to welcoming her back to the Strictly studio in a few weeks.’
It is understood a further shake-up to the judging panel could be announced before Saturday night. Fan favourite professional dancer Anton Du Beke could be called in, having been first to leave this year’s competition alongside his celebrity partner Jacqui Smith.
Meanwhile Rylan Clark-Neal, who co-hosts Strictly’s daily spin-off It Takes Two, announced on Wednesday he had begun self-isolation after coming into contact with someone outside of work who had tested positive for Covid-19.
He later said he had since returned a negative test result.
Tragic: Strictly bosses confirmed Nicola and Katya’s departure in a statement they posted on social media