Strictly Come Dancing fans rejoice as show returns – with viewers celebrating 'slice of normality' amid difficult 2020

STRICTLY Come Dancing fans rejoiced this evening as the BBC show returned with its first live show of the series.

Viewers celebrated the slice of normality that the dance show offered amid a difficult year, with producers pulling out all the stops so the programme could go ahead despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Tonight's instalment kicked off with a rousing routine from the professional dancers – with all group performances filmed in advance while the stars quarantined together earlier this year.

Hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman then took to the stage, revealing that NHS frontline workers were being thanked for their hard work with front row seats in the studio audience.

Judges Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood, and Motsi Mabuse also returned to the spotlight, although Bruno Tonioli is unable to join them in the studio this year due to travel restrictions keeping him in the US.

Jamie Laing was the first celeb to take to the dancefloor, but before he'd even begun fans had set Twitter alight with their excitement.

One gushed: "Tell you what folks, getting settled down on the sofa for #Strictly almost, almost feels normal. So happy and grateful we get this."

Another agreed: "If ever there was a time when we needed some glitz, glamour, sparkle and pure escapism from all the troubles then 2020 is that year.

"Welcome back #strictly Your country needs you."

A third wrote: "Never have I needed the warmth and comfort of Strictly like this year! And a proper Latin party of a beginning! Loved it!"

One more shared: "Words cannot even express how excited i am for #Strictly!!! The best comfort show out there.

"Thank you @bbcstrictly for making it happen this year."

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