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18th May 2022

Bruno Tonioli has “quit Strictly for good”

Sarah McKenna Barry

It looks like the Italian judge won’t be returning to Strictly.

Bruno Tonioli has reportedly quit Strictly Come Dancing, after serving as a judge on the panel for 18 years.

Last year, the Italian dancer was replaced by Anton Du Beke as he couldn’t be in the UK due to Covid-19 restrictions. Now, it looks like he won’t return at all, with his focus reportedly shifting to his role on the US show, Dancing with the Stars.

A source close to Strictly told the Daily Mail: “Bruno has quit the show for good.

“He’s going to be a judge only on Dancing with the Stars for now.”

Since the 19th season aired last year, there has been much speculation over whether Anton Du Beke will be made a permanent judge on the show. The Australian dancer started his Strictly journey as a professional, before crossing over to the judging panel in 2020.

He initially served as a temporary replacement for Motsi Mabuse in weeks 4 and 5 when she had to quarantine before travelling to Germany.

Anton then became a permanent judge, filling Bruno’s seat for the entire 2021 season.

Another insider told the Sun that it looks like Anton will be made a permanent judge again, after he won fans as a judge last year.

They said: “We have been told Anton’s contract as a judge is going to be renewed. The bosses were really happy with his performance.”

Longtime judge Craig Revel Horward however has expressed his desire to have both Anton and Bruno back as judges, and, in a recent interview with the MailOnline, he suggested that the show could accommodate an extra seat at the panel.

On last year’s Strictly, the judging panel was composed of Craig, Anton, Motsi and Shirely Ballas, who presided over Rose Ayling-Ellis-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice’s win.