Strictly: Bruno Tonioli explains why he isn't judging on show
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Bruno Tonioli is one of the most beloved members of the Strictly Come Dancing family, having been a judge on the show since it started in 2004. The Italian-born choreographer has provided BBC viewers with some of the most memorable moments ever to happen on the show and fans are always eager to see him back on the panel. Unfortunately, he was been replaced by professional dancer Anton Du Beke as he is unable to film this year’s series. With Bruno missing, this has cast some doubt on whether he has quit the show altogether.
Has Bruno Tonioli quit Strictly?
This is a similar case to last year when Bruno was living in Los Angeles during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
By the time the 2020 season of Strictly was about to start, Britain was starting to see the curve of infections flatten, giving some hope the judge could make it back to the UK.
However, travel restrictions were imposed to ensure members of the public travelling in-between countries didn’t continue the spread of Covid-19.
As Bruno had other work commitments in the US, mainly being a judge on Dancing With The Stars, he would have had to fly back and forth between the countries to ensure he was in both places.
Unfortunately, with regards to quarantine and isolations periods, this would have branded his mission impossible and so he decided to stay in America.
The judging panel was cut from four to three for the 2020 season of the show and it was hoped Bruno would be back this year following the success of the coronavirus vaccination programme.
To the dismay of fans, the Italian-born choreographer announced he wouldn’t be returning to the panel this year either.
Once again, this is to do with the restrictions with regards to travel and as Dancing With The Stars has just got underway in the US, Bruno is staying put.
This does not mean he has quit his role on Strictly Come Dancing and bosses are hoping he will be able to return in 2022 after a two-year hiatus.
It’s going to be a nightmare
Earlier this year, Bruno did make a brief return to Britain and made an appearance on ITV’s This Morning to explain why he was not going to be in the UK come the autumn.
The Italian-born choreographer said: “It’s to do with COVID. It’s because I’ve signed the American contract, and at the moment the BBC has to abide by regulations.
“So we don’t know if I can go backwards and forwards. Because I used to fly in, literally three days in the UK and three days in America.
“And if I could [travel safely], I really would do it. I love the show, it’s fabulous, it really is. It hurts, but contractually it’s going to be a nightmare.”
“It can’t happen. So the BBC, together we said, ‘Let’s pass this year and see what happens,’ he continued, confirming he has not quit the show.
“But I’m there, my heart is with you guys. You’re going to do a fantastic show and I’m sorry but I can’t do it this year. Maybe in the future.”
Discussing Anton replacing him, Bruno said in a statement: “Whilst I am gutted to not be on the show this year, there is one person and one person only that could take my place.
“Seriously though, I have to tell you, Anton IS Mr Strictly and if anybody is filling in for me, it has to be him.”
When will Bruno Tonioli return to Strictly?
It has not been confirmed officially whether Bruno will be rejoining Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse as a judge in the future.
Next year’s season will try to het back to its usual format but restrictions could still apply depending on the status of the pandemic by next autumn.
Last season, Bruno made guest appearances on the show via video call during the results show on a Sunday night.
With the first results show just under two weeks away, it seems fans could be waiting a little longer to see Bruno back on their screens.
Strictly Come Dancing starts Saturday at 7pm on BBC One.
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