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Where's Bruno Tonioli on Strictly Come Dancing? Why judge is missing from this year's show

Strictly Come Dancing kicks off this weekend on BBC One but regular judge Bruno Tonioli will not be there - at least in person.

Bruno Tonioli's infectious energy has delighted Strictly audiences ever since Strictly first launched on BBC One a decade ago.

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However he'll be missing from much of this year's series due to the current pandemic travel restrictions making it impossible for him to fly between London and Los Angeles to film Strictly.

As a result, he won't appear on the judging panel for the live shows at the start of the series.

But Bruno will be keeping a close eye on the series throughout the run and will be involved remotely in the Sunday night Results show each week.

Bruno said: "I absolutely adore being part of Strictly and can't wait to see what incredible dancing this year has in store! Lockdown has resulted in me being in LA for the foreseeable, but I'm excited to be involved as much as I possibly can. There was no cha-cha-chance I'd miss out!"

All going to plan, Bruno will be making his grand return to the show in person towards the end of the series.

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Bruno appears on the panel with Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse and Craig Revel Horwood, who will be sitting at separate, socially distanced judges' desks this year.

Appearing on FUBAR Radio recently, Craig told hosts Bobby Norris and Stephen Leng on Access All Areas that he'd miss Bruno sitting alongside him.

Craig said: "I’ve been on the show since May 2004 with Bruno and we’ve become great mates over the past 15 years. It’s really going to be hard without him there.”

Craig may miss Bruno's antics behind the scenes more than he does on screen, as he revealed: “At Elstree where we record it of course and where it goes live, Bruno’s and my dressing room are next door to one another and the walls are paper thin. I can hear everything. We have conversations whilst we’re doing our makeup and powder darling, through the walls.

"You can hear absolutely everything! So I can hear all his complaints, I can hear the fact that he got red wine instead of white wine on his rider. It’s hilarious! So I will definitely miss that.”

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Craig added: “It is going to be sad not having him but he is going to be making comments throughout the whole season and he’ll be with us I believe for the semi-final and the final, so that’ll be good.”

Strictly Come Dancing airs Saturday night on BBC One from 7:50PM.