Bruno Tonioli jokes his replacement Anton du Beke 'needs the money'

‘He was desperate’: Strictly’s Bruno Tonioli jokes Anton Du Beke agreed to replace him on the judging panel because he ‘needs the money’

Strictly Come Dancing’s Bruno Tonioli has joked that Anton Du Beke only agreed to replace him on the judging panel because he ‘needs the money.’

The dancer, 65, has been unable to appear on the BBC show due to travel restrictions imposed during the Covid pandemic, with bosses announcing last month that Anton will replace him for the 2021 series.

Despite clearly being please for the former pro, Bruno said Anton was ‘desperate’ for the judging role, and playfully added: ‘Good for him. He needs the money.’  

Moving on: Strictly Come Dancing’s Bruno Tonioli has joked that Anton Du Beke only agreed to replace him on the judging panel because he ‘needs the money’

Bruno added that he thinks Anton is the ‘obvious choice’ to replace him, having been a professional dancer on the show since its inception in 2004.

Bruno is unable to appear on the panel for the next series due to uncertainty over Covid-19 travel restrictions. 

Instead he’s opted to stay will stay in the US and continue as a judge on Dancing With The Stars.       

In an interview with The Sun on Sunday Bruno admitted none of his fellow judges have been in touch since he had to step away from the show for the second year. 

New judge: The dancer, 65, has been unable to appear on the BBC show due to travel restrictions, with bosses announcing last month that Anton (pictured) will replace him

He revealed although he had received a lot of supportive messages from fans — fellow judges Craig Revel Horwood, 56, Shirley Ballas, 60, and Motsi Mabuse, 40 — have yet to get in touch. 

He said: ‘I haven’t heard from them. But I’m not going to cry, we all have very separate lives.’  

Bruno added that he will see Craig on an ITV project they are working on together.

Road trip! Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno have taken to the roads for their new TV show, Craig And Bruno’s Great British Road Trip

Hard to watch: The former Strictly judge says that he will not watch the new series of the show when it airs later in the year

The longterm pals have taken to the roads for their new TV show, Craig And Bruno’s Great British Road Trip.  

The former Strictly judge says that he will not watch the new series of the show when it airs later in the year. 

He said: ‘Watching Anton would be not fair. It’d be weird, like watching an ex with someone new — you just get on with it honey.’

He also added that when people ask his opinion on the show he doesn’t want to be able to ‘stick his nose in’ as he is no longer part of the show. 

Bruno also offered up some advice for Anton advising him to not get too close to the dancers as it is not a good idea to have favourites. 

Pay rise! This comes after it was revealed Anton is in for a hefty pay rise when the show returns this year, with his new salary reported to be ‘between £175,000 and £200,000’

This comes after it was revealed Anton is in for a hefty pay rise when the show returns this year, with his new salary reported to be ‘between £175,000 and £200,000’.

According to The Sun, Anton earned ‘around £65,000 as a pro dancer’, meaning the star has trebled his earnings, with a source telling the paper: ‘He will be paid handsomely.’

They added: ‘[Anton] and many of the other dancers felt that they were underpaid but now he can’t complain.’

However, doting father Anton – who unsuccessfully auditioned to be a judge after Len Goodman left the show in 2016 – won’t be raking in as much as his predecessor, with the source continuing: ‘He won’t earn as much as Bruno due to experience.’  

Exciting: Speaking about his new appointment on BBC Breakfast, Anton said: ‘Everybody knows how much I love the show, so just being involved is an enormous thrill every year’

MailOnline has reached out to representatives for both Anton and Strictly Come Dancing for comment.

The paper also explained that Bruno is ‘normally paid £250,000 for a full series’ but pandemic travel restrictions meant that the Italian dancer had his salary halved, as he could only appear on Strictly via videolink from the US. 

On Friday, Anton shared his delight at being named as the show’s new judge. 

Speaking about his new appointment on BBC Breakfast, Anton said: ‘Everybody knows how much I love the show, so just being involved is an enormous thrill every year.’

Appearing via video link from his Buckinghamshire home, Anton continued: ‘To be asked to come in and judge for this year, I’m so delighted, I can’t even begin to tell you. It hasn’t sunk in yet, really.’

‘I can’t wait to get started, get on the panel and sit with the other three judges and watch the show unfold in front of me.

‘I’ll have that feeling of, I know exactly what you meant to do, and I know exactly how that has gone for you.’

Not bad: Bruno is ‘normally paid £250,000 for a full series’ but pandemic travel restrictions meant that the Italian dancer had his salary halved

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