BBC Studioworks extends lease at Elstree Studios - the Hertfordshire home of Strictly Come Dancing

Stage 9 at Elstree Studios, operated by BBC Studioworks

Stage 9 at Elstree Studios, operated by BBC Studioworks. - Credit: Elstree Studios

As the Strictly Come Dancing class of 2022 is announced, BBC Studioworks is strengthening its partnership with Elstree Studios.

A significant investment is being made by BBC Studioworks across the Hertsmere borough film and TV facility. 

The improvements, which include dressing room refurbishments, improved accessibility across the associated areas, and a complete redecoration in terms of flooring, wall protection and corridors within the areas operated by BBC Studioworks, will enhance the environment and experience for those who work at Elstree and for the production companies who record across the site.

Strictly Come Dancing 2022.

Strictly Come Dancing 2022. - Credit: BBC

Elstree Studios is currently the home of BBC One's Saturday night hit Strictly Come Dancing.

Hollyoaks and Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps actor Will Mellor was the first contestant announced for Strictly 2022.

Will Mellor was the first contestant announced for the new series of Strictly Come Dancing.

Will Mellor was the first contestant announced for the new series of Strictly Come Dancing. - Credit: BBC

TV presenter, ex-Hear’Say singer and former Coronation Street star Kym Marsh and BBC Radio 2 presenter Richie Anderson have also been announced for the forthcoming 20th series.

Kym Marsh has been announced as a contestant for the new series of Strictly Come Dancing.

Kym Marsh has been announced as a contestant for the new series of Strictly Come Dancing. - Credit: BBC

Loose Women presenter Kaye Adams has been announced as the fourth celebrity contestant for the forthcoming series of Strictly Come Dancing.

Kaye Adams will compete in Strictly Come Dancing 2022.

Kaye Adams will compete in Strictly Come Dancing 2022. - Credit: BBC

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BBC Studioworks has also extended its lease, meaning it will continue to operate Stages 8 and 9 at Elstree until March 2029.

It will also take full control of the sound stage, George Lucas Stage Two, for three years until December 2024. This stage is the home of Strictly.

Stage 9 at Elstree Studios, operated by BBC Studioworks

Stage 9 at Elstree Studios, operated by BBC Studioworks. - Credit: Elstree Studios

This year's Strictly Come Dancing launch show will be filmed at Elstree Film Studios in Shenley Road on Wednesday, September 7, ahead of the 2022 live shows.

Chris Denmead, Elstree Studios' acting managing director, said: “This extended agreement is great news for Elstree, reconfirming our commitment to terrestrial TV and having a mixture of formats on the site.

"The long-term commitment from both sides gives Elstree the ability to invest in and modernise its facilities whilst concentrating on sustainable solutions and maintaining its position as a market leading facility.”

Aligning with work already under way at Elstree Studios, both parties have committed to all three Stages being net zero by 2030.

Considerable improvements to help reduce the environmental impact of the facility, including a new heating system and new dock doors are already in progress with further plans to follow. 

BBC Studioworks set up operation at Elstree Studios in 2013 to temporarily house parts of its business while Television Centre was being redeveloped.

The facility has proved a resounding success with some of the nation’s most loved and watched shows being recorded there.

These include BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing, Would I Lie to You?, and Pointless, ITV’s The Voice UK and The Chase, Sky Max’s A League of Their Own, and ITV2’s Celebrity Juice.

“We’ve enjoyed nine fantastic years at Elstree Studios, and with the raft of planned improvements, we’re committed to providing a first-class customer experience here for years to come," said Jon Noakes, commercial director of BBC Studioworks.

“We’re confident the investment being made will significantly upgrade and modernise the site ensuring it remains a market-leading facility in which to produce award-winning TV.”

Elstree Studios has been synonymous with filmmaking since the 1920s. George Lucas' original Star Wars trilogy and the first three Indiana Jones movies starring Harrison Ford were all made at Elstree. 

Stanley Kubrick filmed The Shining with Jack Nicholson there, while Cliff Richard's Summer Holiday and the Oscar-winning The King’s Speech were also made at Elstree.

At present, the Studios are home to nine film and television stages, offering over 95,000sq ft of stage space in addition to an extensive backlot.

An aerial shot of the George Lucas Stage at Elstree Studios

An aerial shot of the George Lucas Stages at Elstree Studios - Credit: Archant

The George Lucas Stages are among the tallest in Europe, and the newly opened Platinum Stages provide 34,000sq ft of stage space on what was previously the Big Brother house.

The Borehamwood site also offers productions supporting facilities, including office spaces, workshops, dressing rooms, wardrobe and make-up rooms, in addition to rehearsal and meeting rooms.

Clients also receive access to the Production Village, made up of over 40 specialist media-related companies who are based on site.

Production Village tenants provide a multitude of services from audio and lighting equipment hire, to location and vehicle providers.

As well as Strictly, Elstree Studios is home to the award-winning Netflix and Sony Left Bank Pictures’ royal drama The Crown, which is produced on site.

BBC Studioworks is a commercial subsidiary of the BBC providing studios and post-production services to all the major TV broadcasters and production companies including the BBC, ITV, Sky, Channel 4, Channel 5, Netflix, and Hat Trick Productions.