Janette Manrara apologises for not being able to sign photos
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Janette Manrara, 38, has spoken out after Strictly bosses were forced to add extra restrictions to this year’s 22-date arena tour. As Covid infection rates remain high across the country, Strictly stars are prohibited from meeting audience members, signing autographs or taking photos.
Many cast members arrived in Birmingham today to prepare for the first show on Thursday.
Taking time out of rehearsals, Janette shared a video with her fans expressing how sorry she was for the changes.
She told her 497,000 followers: “I just wanted to say that I’m so sorry about us not being able to take photos or sign photos for you guys on the road.
“It’s only just to protect ourselves so that we can make sure we get the show up and that we’re able to perform and bring all the different cities in the UK a great, great performance.
“Obviously, I always like saying hello, but I will be saying hello from a distance.
“I’m so sorry about it but it’s just the best way to protect ourselves and make sure that we are able to perform.”
The health and safety changes were announced in a statement on Sunday morning.
A spokesperson said: “Strictly fans! We can’t wait to get the show on the road this week.
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“As we are doing all we can to keep everyone safe and well so that we can perform as scheduled, this year the cast will not be able to sign autographs, meet audience members or take photos with them.
“We hope you understand this is done so that we can keeeep dancing and thank you in advance for your support and understanding.” (sic)
Fans rushed to the comments to express their support for the new protocols but admitted that they were “gutted” not to get the chance to meet their favourite Strictly stars.
Eddo penned: “Beyond gutted to hear this but I respect it entirely. The health of you all and keeping the show on is top priority.”
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Molly echoed: “So sad to hear but completely understand! Can’t wait to see the tour!”
And Jem added: “It’s so sad but it’s so important. Keeping the show on the road for the full tour is the priority and keeping the cast and crew safe. I’m just so happy we get to see them dance in real life and not through a screen. It’s gonna be magical either way!”
Stars taking part in this year’s tour include winner Rose Ayling-Ellis alongside baker John Whaite and Johannes Radebe, presenter Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu, chef Tilly Ramsay and Nikita Kuzmin, and Dragons’ Den investor Sara Davies and Aljaz Skorjanec.
Max George from boyband The Wanted is also set to take part in the tour with professional dancer Katya Jones.
He was a contestant on the show back in 2020.
It has been reported that professional dancers Neil Jones, Luba Mushtuk, Jowita Przystal and Amy Dowden will also be joining the tour.
Judges confirmed to be on the panel are Shirley Ballas, Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood.
The tour will kick off in Birmingham on Thursday and will travel the country visiting cities including Leeds, Newcastle and Manchester.
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