Strictly professionals ‘too tired’ to meet furious fans during live tour

Strictly Come Dancing stars are refusing to meet fans on their live tour – because they will be too tired.

People had paid £95 for VIP tickets which included a pre-show meet and greet with the professional dancers – only for organisers to tell them it had been cancelled at the last minute.

They were sent an email saying that it had “become apparent that because of the huge intensity of the 50-plus routines in the show, the dancers need as much rest as possible between each ­performance. This is to ensure the health and wellbeing of the performers.

“A duty of care to the performers and the tour must come first.”

The cancellation comes despite the dancers taking part in a hectic promotional tour – including a photocall yesterday and going on The One Show and BBC Breakfast.

Fans who had bought the VIP tickets were furious. Charlie Gallagher said: “It’s not good enough.

“Absolute disgrace… So disappointed to be told the meet and greet of the tour is now cancelled. This was a Christmas present for my kids.”

Alison Brown agreed, saying: “It was my Nana’s 80th birthday present. It’s more the fact they have left it until the day before the tour starts when they will have known for a long time how gruelling it was going to be.”

Pasha Kovalev, Nadiya Bychkova, Dianne Buswell, AJ Pritchard, Neil Jones, Giovanni Pernice, Gorka Marquez, Karen Clifton, Katya Jones and Oti Mabuse are all taking part on the tour, which runs until June 2.

It began its 35-date run at The Lowry Theatre in Salford last night and ends at Sunderland Empire.

A spokesman for the tour said: “Unfortunately, the meet and greet offered as part of the VIP ticket will no longer go ahead.

“The producers of the tour ­apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, and will issue ticket holders a refund for the meet and greet element of their ticket. They will also receive a VIP goody bag.”

Oti revealed this week the dancers had been “rehearsing flat out for the last three weeks to bring the fans the most incredible live show”.

She said: “It features more than 50 dance routines, including many newly choreographed numbers, plus some show-stopping moments that audiences will remember from the TV show.

“This tour will be two hours of Strictly Come Dancing at it’s very best – we hope everyone will be blown away.”

Giovanni added: “We’re really looking forward to the tour opening in Salford tomorrow night – we want everyone to see all the surprises that we’ve got lined up for them. We are doing 35 shows across the whole of the country and are really looking forward to performing – the atmosphere will be amazing.

“All of us can’t wait to get the show on the road.”

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