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Lebanon first Arab country to produce Strictly Come Dancing

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Lebanon is to become the first country in the Arab world to get its own version of Strictly Come Dancing.

Dancing with the Stars, the international format of Strictly that has been licensed in 42 countries already, will begin airing in Lebanon this October.

It will be produced by production company Iprod and screened on MTV Lebanon.

Cynthia Kennedy, senior sales executive at BBC Worldwide, which licenses the format, said the deal was the “result of two years of hard work”.

She added: “Dancing with the Stars is a format that needs no introduction. In the Arab world, however, there are unique cultural sensitivities that made it difficult to persuade broadcasters to produce a local version with local stars.”

She said that BBC Worldwide had had “numerous discussions with several broadcast partners and production companies throughout the Middle East” before finding a partner in Iprod.

“I then looked for a broadcaster who was willing to invest the time and resources to make Dancing with the Stars a television event for their audience and MTV Lebanon came forward as the company to do this,” she said.

MTV in Lebanon will show Dancing with the Stars for two series initially.