Bruno Tonioli speaks out after Strictly Come Dancing exit

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Bruno Tonioli has spoken out after quitting Strictly Come Dancing.

It was confirmed earlier this year that Bruno would not return to Strictly having missed the most recent two series due to the pandemic.

Bruno had been a judge on the BBC One series since its debut back in 2004.

Anton Du Beke, who stepped in for Bruno last year, will take up a permanent role on the judges desk alongside Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Head Judge Shirley Ballas

anton bruno

Bruno will continue to appear on the US show, Dancing With The Stars.

Speaking about his departure, Bruno insisted there was “no animosity” and said he couldn’t continue travelling between the UK and America.

“There is no animosity, it was a mutual decision with both of us saying, ‘Listen, this is not going to work like it used to’,” he told the Daily Mail. “I just couldn’t do the flying any more.

“I don’t know how I survived that schedule. To be honest, it’s a miracle.”

Meanwhile asked about his replacement on the panel, Bruno enthused to The Sun: “Anton is brilliant. He will be brilliant.”

He added: “Anton has done a fantastic job. He deserves to be on that seat.”

Strictly Come Dancing will return this autumn for what will be its 20th series.

Anton Du Beke - (C) BBC - Photographer: Ray Burmiston
Anton Du Beke – (C) BBC – Photographer: Ray Burmiston

Speaking about returning, the show’s now last remaining original judge Craig Revel Horwood said: “I am beyond thrilled to be returning to Strictly, I can’t believe it will be my 20th series! It’s going to be Fab-u-lous!”

Anton Du Beke said: “Woohooo! This is BRILLIANT news. Everyone knows how much I absolutely love the show and I’m utterly delighted to be continuing as a regular judge.

“And I get to make the final again – now I know how Giovanni feels!”

Celebrities on the 2022 line up will be revealed in due course. The professional dancers on Strictly’s new series were announced earlier this year.

Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly will return to present the series with a start date to be announced.