STRICTLY has been thrown into chaos once more after Craig Revel Horwood sensationally pulled out of the show after catching Covid.
The judge will now have to go into isolation after becoming the first member of the panel to test positive for coronavirus on the BBC dance contest.
It means that Craig – widely known as 'Mr Nasty' – will miss this Saturday's Musicals Special and producers now face a mad scramble to find someone to replace him.
It comes after the 56-year-old revealed the "major problems" he faces with his fellow judges because of the show's Covid screens.
A TV insider said: “This is the latest blow to hit Strictly as a result of Covid.
“It means bosses will probably have to find a replacement judge – because this week is musicals week, there’s a good chance they’ll pick a figure from the West End or Broadway.
“So far this series, two celebrities and two pros have tested positive for the virus and been forced into isolation with a question mark hanging over whether they’d be able to return to the contest.
“But a judge catching Covid will still come as a shock, particularly given the stringent precautions that producers have taken when filming the show in the studio.
“It’s not clear how severe his symptoms are, but there is a concern because he is much older than many of the pros and celebrities who’ve caught Covid on the show, so could suffer greater effects.
“The only silver lining for contestants will be the fact that the harshest scorer on the panel looks set to miss this weekend’s show. But everyone will be wishing him well.”
Craig will now go into isolation for ten days and will only return to the show if he tests positive next week and is back in good health.
A Strictly spokesperson said: “Craig Revel Horwood has tested positive for Covid-19 and is now self-isolating following the latest government guidelines.
"While Craig will not be taking part in Strictly Come Dancing this weekend, all being well he will return the following week.”
He was double vaccinated and, in the same series that it emerged three pros hadn’t been jabbed, criticised anyone who turned it down.
In September, Craig said: “This is no different a vaccine to the flu or anything, and why people are up in arms about it I have no idea.
“I think it’s ridiculous. I do know someone that is refusing to have it and that drives me nuts.”
However, Craig had mocked the transparent screens which show bosses erected between the judges when the series returned this year.
They were intended to limit the potential spread of Covid as he sat inches from Motsi Mabuse, 40, Shirley Ballas, 61, and Anton du Beke, 55.
But the ostentatious Australian said: “We’ve got big glass things between us – I felt like I needed a cash register”.
So far this year, an unnamed pro caught Covid just before the series started then Tom Fletcher, 36, and partner Amy Dowden, 31, tested positive as well as Loose Women star, Judi Love, 41.
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