Prince Harry surprised Strictly Come Dancing viewers as he made an appearance on Saturday night’s show to wish his friend JJ Chalmers good luck by video.
The Duke of Sussex, 36, made his first public appearance in the UK since he and his wife Meghan Markle stepped down as senior members of the royal family earlier this year.
Viewers were also thrilled to see Anton du Beke make his debut on the judging panel as he filled in for Motsi Mabuse who was self-isolating at home following an ‘urgent trip’ to Germany.
Cameo: Prince Harry surprised Strictly Come Dancing viewers as he made an appearance on Saturday night’s show to wish his friend JJ Chalmers good luck by video
Prince Harry greeted JJ and Amy on video, saying: ‘Nice tan JJ! When I first met JJ he was a shell of himself but then to see you shine through Invictus and to be yourself again, that was the start of an amazing journey.’
JJ, who performed a jive to Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy by Bette Midler, told viewers: ‘The simple fact is, if Prince Harry had not created the Invictus Games, I wouldn’t have had that moment to change my life forever.’
Harry then added: ‘You’re definitely having an impact on society now especially when you’re wearing those tight blue shorts and the socks pulled up.
It doesn’t get better than that! I’m genuinely proud. You’re not a dancer, proving that you can actually do whatever you put your mind to which is amazing.’
Overjoyed: Anton du Beke looked over the moon as he made his debut on the judging panel during Saturday’s show
Surprise: The royal, 36, made his first public appearance in the UK since he and his wife Meghan Markle stepped down as senior members of the royal family earlier this year
JJ told viewers: ‘The simple fact is, if Prince Harry had not created the Invictus Games, I wouldn’t have had that moment to change my life forever’
Prince Harry and JJ met following the Royal Marine’s injuries after an explosion when he was serving in Afghanistan.
JJ said that he ‘should be in a box in the ground’ after nearly dying when an IED exploded near him causing him to suffer a crushed eye socket, burst eardrums and the loss of two fingers.
The TV presenter joined the Royal Marines Reserve in 2005 before quitting teaching and transferred to the regular service in 2010.
JJ formed such a close friendship with Harry that he and his wife Kornelia were invited to all three parts of his wedding to Meghan in May 2018.
Viewers took to social media in droves to react to Prince Harry’s appearance on the show, with one writing: ‘Just cried at Prince Harry on Strictly. I love him so much’.
Friendship: Prince Harry and JJ met following the Royal Marine’s injuries after an explosion when he was serving in Afghanistan
Harry said: ‘When I first met JJ he was a shell of himself but then to see you shine through Invictus and to be yourself again, that was the start of an amazing journey’
Harry then added: ‘You’re definitely having an impact on society now especially when you’re wearing those tight blue shorts and the socks pulled up’
Another viewer said: ‘Lovely touch for Prince Harry to call in on @JJChalmersRM on @bbcstrictly’, while another wrote: ‘Oh Prince Harry was very sweet on Strictly – such a genuine guy.’
Another fan added: ‘That was so lovely of Prince Harry. @JJChalmers you did brilliantly! Jive such a hard dance.’
Harry helped JJ during his recovery and the paralympic athlete later took part in the Invictus Games where he took home a gold medal in cycling.
Meanwhile, Anton looked over the moon as he made his debut on the judging panel during Saturday’s show.
The dancer, 54, replaced regular judge Motsi Mabuse on the panel after she was forced to self-isolate for two weeks at home following an ‘urgent trip’ to
Anton was introduced by hosts
Reaction: Viewers took to social media in droves to react to Prince Harry’s appearance on the show, with one writing: ‘Just cried at Prince Harry on Strictly. I love him so much’
Tess told viewers: ‘As you can see we are missing Motis tonight who sadly won’t be here for the next two shows.’
Claudia jokingly added: ‘So Anton has stepped in after much persuasion, we love you Anton!’
Grinning from ear to ear, Anton said: ‘I will endeavour to be much more generous than these two have been to me over the last few years. We should have a lovely night.’
Meanwhile, Tess and Claudia also told viewers that Katya Jones and Nicola Adams would not be returning to the competition after Katya tested positive for COVID-19.
Show: Anton was introduced by hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman who said the judging panel was ‘different’ as he joined Shirley Ballas and Craig Revel Horwood
Entrance: The dancer replaced regular judge Motsi Mabuse on the panel after she was forced to self-isolate for two weeks at home following an ‘urgent trip’ to Germany
Claudia said: ‘Unfortunately Nicola and Katya had to withdraw from the competition after Katya tested positive for Covid 19. They both feel fine and are isolating separately.’
Tess said the dancer and the former boxer were watching, adding: ‘We know you are watching and we are so sad your time has come to an end. We are sending all of our love to you here.’
Claudia then nervously added: ‘Tess I ask you, with a certain amount of trepidation, any other updates?’ to which she replied: ‘Fingers crossed, hopefully not’.
Viewers quickly took to social media to react to Anton making his judging debut, with one saying: ‘actually Anton will make a good judge being voted off early in the competition actually has its perks this year.’
Another fan said: ‘My heart is so full of joy that Anton is back as a judge for the next two weeks’, while one fan said: ‘Anton is going to milk this for all it’s worth and I can’t WAIT!!’
Meanwhile, the BBC’s Strictly account shared a clip of Anton making his grand entrance and wrote: ‘ 18 series, more than 120 #Strictly routines, now one judging role…Anton du Beke, this is your moment.’
It was confirmed on Friday that Anton would be standing in for Motsi on the judging panel this Saturday.
In a statement the show wished the dancer ‘good luck’ as he prepared to make his debut as a judge on the show, after Motsi announced on Thursday she would be isolating for two weeks following an ‘urgent trip’ to Germany.
The statement, posted to Instagram on Friday, said: ‘We are pleased to announced that the King of Ballroom Anton Du Beke is stepping into our judging panel this weekend. Good luck Anton!’
Minutes later Anton re-posted the announcement to his own social media, no doubt excited about the new job after 16 years on the show.
Thrilled: In a statement the show wished Anton ‘good luck’ as he prepared to make his debut as a judge on the show
For years fans have lobbied for Anton to land a job on the Strictly judging panel, given he is the show’s longest serving professional dancer and has been a part of Strictly since it began 2004.
This year he was the first pro to be eliminated alongside former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.
Before being announced as Motsi’s stand-in, Anton said he’d love to appear on the Strictly judging panel.
Speaking on the Driven Celebrities podcast he said: ‘In a heartbeat. I wouldn’t hang up the shoes at all, because I love being out in front and performing.
‘I do have a bit of time on my hands now, so I don’t know of a better way to fill it quite frankly. If that opportunity came up, wouldn’t it be nice?
‘I’m forever pert and ready. I’m starched to an inch of my life, ready for the nod.’
Absent: Motsi announced on Thursday she would be absent from the judging panel for two weeks after jetting to Germany for an ‘urgent trip’, meaning she has to self-isolate
Last year it was reported that Anton had threatened to quit the show after missing out on landing a job in the judging panel in favour of South African dancer Motsi.
Sources claimed Anton felt he was a natural fit for the job following Darcey Bussell’s departure last year.
A source told The Sun at the time: ‘He felt if they recruited within the Strictly family, it should be him. And despite not doing a screen test for the role, he still really thought he had a chance.’
The source added: ‘So when the news broke that Motsi was the new judge, he was livid. And he claimed he would quit unless the Strictly bosses gave him an ”enhanced” position.
‘It was a real snub to his pride, especially as this is the second time he’s been overlooked.’
On Thursday Motsi announced she would absent from the show for two weeks while she quarantined after returning home from Germany.
MailOnline contacted representatives for Anton du Beke for comment.
Legend: For years fans have lobbied for Anton to land a job on the Strictly judging panel, given he is the show’s longest serving professional dancer
Motsi took to Instagram on Thursday to tell fans she would not join Shirley Ballas and Craig Revel-Horwood at the studios on Saturday, after having to travel back to Germany for an ‘urgent trip’.
She wrote: ‘Hi Guys – earlier this week I needed to travel to Germany for an urgent reason. I will of course be following the UK Government guidelines and self-isolating for 14 days.
‘I’ll be watching from home and by the power of technology, should be in your living rooms. Watch out though, I’ll be doing my own hair and make-up!’
Images emerged showing Motsi, sister of professional dancer Oti, at Heathrow at 1.30pm on Tuesday, carrying a suitcase and holding a negative coronavirus test.
UK lockdown rules prohibit international travel except in ‘limited circumstances such as for work or for education’.
Guidelines say ‘people who live outside the UK but work in the UK and travel between their country of residence and the UK at least once a week’ do not have to isolate.
Taking a break: Motsi announced she would absent from the show for two weeks while she quarantined after returning home from Germany
Saturday’s show was also the first not to feature Katya and Nicola after they were forced to leave the competition due to Katya contracting COVID-19.
A Strictly representative confirmed to MailOnline that bosses are not launching an investigation into how Katya contracted the virus as there is no way to indicate where she may have caught it.
They added that as the dancer lives alone and has only been leaving her house to train, she hasn’t been socialising with others.
It is understood that a number of crew members have also been forced to self-isolate after coming into contact with Katya.
This also means that the Strictly final next month will feature just four couples instead of the planned five.
Shortly after Strictly confirmed news of the couple’s exit, Katya posted on Instagram that her ‘heart is broken’, before paying tribute to her partner.
Tragic: Strictly bosses confirmed Nicola and Katya’s departure in a statement they posted on social media
A Strictly spokesperson confirmed to MailOnline that Katya is asymptomatic and the pair are now self-isolating separately following the latest government guidelines.
Nicola and Katya’s pairing made history as it was the first time in the show’s 16-year history a celebrity and professional partner of the same gender would be competing together.
Strictly bosses have also confirmed that Nicola will not be returning as a contestant on next year’s show.
In a statement read out by Andrea McLean on Friday’s Loose Women, bosses explained that Nicola would be too far advanced in the competition to return in the future as she would have an ‘unfair advantage.’
How is Strictly 2020 going ahead during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Strictly Come Dancing has introduced an array of strict measures to ensure the new series can go ahead during the COVID-19 crisis.
Celebrity contestants and their professional partners are tested regularly, with cast and crew told to isolate should they contract the virus.
Bosses have already confirmed any celebrity that tests positive once the series begins will be dropped from the show, with reports saying there are celebrities on stand-by.
The professional dancers have already pre-recorded their group performances after isolating together in a hotel.
It’s also been claimed that celebrities and pros will be axed from the show if they are caught kissing during filming.
Strictly 2020 has also seen the series run shortened to just nine weeks, with 12 celebrities taking part instead of the usual 15.
The show’s annual trip to Blackpool has been cancelled, along with this year’s Halloween and Christmas specials.
Only three judges – Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse – will be in the studio with separate rostrums, after Bruno Tonioli was unable to appear due to travel concerns.
Veteran judge Bruno has said he will be ‘involved remotely’ and hopes to return full-time towards the end of the series as he is filming the US version of the show in Los Angeles.
With limited studio crew, big sets may not be built – so producers will use augmented reality, which adds computer-generated elements.
To ensure the contestants can work closely with their partners, they will ‘bubble up’ to train, along with being tested regularly.
Strictly will still feature a live audience, however fans will sit in groups on separate tables, and will only attend if from the same household or bubble.