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20th May 2022

Bruno Tonioli confirms departure from Strictly Come Dancing

Katy Brennan

“The travelling situation is so unpredictable.”

Earlier this week, it was reported that Bruno Tonioli had quit Strictly Come Dancing, after serving as a judge on the panel for 18 years.

Now, the Italian choreographer and dancer has confirmed the news, saying he left due to travel commitments.

He announced his departure on The One Show on Thursday night, saying he will instead be concentrating on his other role as a judge on Dancing With The Stars, which films around the same time of year in the US.

“What’s happened with Covid, the travelling situation is so unpredictable. I used to leave on a Sunday and fly back on Thursday to do the show in London,” he said.

“It was impossible because the rules changed, getting through the airport was not like it used to be, it created a situation that was unsustainable. I miss it so much.

“Unfortunately Dancing With The Stars has moved to Disney+ which is a big deal. Because of the travel situation I will be there.”

Back in 2020, Tonioli could only appear via video-link to give his opinions on the performances during the Sunday night results show.

Last year, his role was replaced by professional dancer Anton Du Beke.

“I think Anton has done a fantastic job, he deserves to be on that seat… its a 10 from me, carry on, do me proud,” Tonioli said.

Speaking to the other judges, Motsi Mabuse and Shirley Ballas, Tonioli added: “Shirley my love, you will be much safer with Anton.

“Motsi don’t worry about Craig, he is just jealous because he cannot wear your clothes, Craig is just Craig and behind the scene he is more fun than me, he is so cool and laid back.”

Tonioli said that this may not be the last Strictly fans see of him, however, as he may take part in the post-show arena tour.

“I may do the tour, I am not gone forever, don’t count me out, I will always be part of the family. We created the show.

“I am not going anywhere, it is impossible I cannot do it. The panel were so good last year, they were brilliant they have all my support, so hopefully we will do something else.”