Will this dancer make it back in time for Saturday night's show?

As this year’s Strictly Come Dancing hots up, one couple are facing doubts over their next performance after being forced to draft in a REPLACEMENT during rehearsals.

Mollie King and AJ Pritchard’s chances of taking to the dance floor together are uncertain as AJ has been left bedridden by a nasty illness, meaning he’s had to skip practice sessions to avoid passing the virus on to Mollie.


MORE: Strictly’s Brian Conley brands studio ‘s***hole’ in shock rant

‘AJ has been struck down with a bug,’ a source says. ‘He really needs to lie down for the majority of the day as is temperature is up and down.

‘He’s popping in every now and then to training to advise on the choreography, but he doesn’t want to give Mollie his illness.’

Mollie, 30, is dancing with stand-in Patrick Helm in the meantime and introduced him to her followers on Instagram Stories this week.

The Saturdays star also wished AJ, 22, a speedy recovery and it sounds like he’s desperate to get back to the dance floor as soon as possible.

‘A back-up dancer called Patrick has stepped in and is dancing with Mollie,’ the insider tells The Sun. ‘But AJ is in a real race against time to make it to the show on Saturday.’

Eek, tense times. The uncertainty seems to be putting a strain on Mollie too as the singer revealed to her followers in an honest video post that it had been tricky trying to practise with different stand-ins.

‘AJ did try to come into rehearsals but he had to get sent home,’ she explained after the second day of learning the Cha Cha.

‘So in two days I’ve danced the Cha Cha with three different boys, so stressed would be an understatement.’

The news comes a week after it was revealed that judge Bruno Tonioli would miss last weekend’s show due to his busy schedule, marking the first time he’d ever had to pull out of filming.

Here’s hoping that AJ – who was an impressive third on the leaderboard with Mollie on Saturday’s show – will get well soon and make it back in time.