Bruno Tonioli will NOT return to Strictly Come Dancing

EXCLUSIVE: Bruno Tonioli, 65, will NOT return to Strictly Come Dancing for the remainder of the series as his comeback from the US is deemed ‘too dangerous’ by bosses

  • The Italian judge, 65, was due to join the panel following his return to the UK after his role on Dancing With The Stars , the US version of Strictly 
  • But show bosses and Bruno have decided it will be safer for the veteran judge to remain in the US and continue his cameo role on the Sunday night results show
  • Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse, will return to the panel this weekend following her own period of isolation, will complete as a trio
  • In August, Craig, who has appeared on the show alongside Bruno since 2004, said he was confident the choreographer will make a ‘triumphant return’ in 2021

Bruno Tonioli will not be returning to Strictly Come Dancing for the remainder of the current series, MailOnline can reveal. 

The Italian judge, 65, was due to take his place on the panel for the live shows following his return to the UK after completing the recent series of Dancing With The Stars, the US version of Strictly. 

But show bosses and Bruno have decided it will be safer for the veteran judge to remain in the US and continue his cameo role on the Sunday night results show via satellite link up. 

Bruno Tonioli will not be returning to Strictly Come Dancing for the remainder of the current series, MailOnline can reveal (pictured earlier this week)

A source close to Bruno said: ‘After much consideration, it’s just too dangerous for Bruno. Strictly has already been hit so heavily by Covid…

‘They didn’t want to take the risk. Bruno loves the show and will watch as ever from the States and give his feedback on Sunday’s show.’ 

Bruno was due to isolate for two weeks after returning from the US before making his comeback on the BBC1 series, yet the plan has been thwarted. 

Current judges Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse, who will return to the panel this weekend following her own period of isolation after an urgent trip to Germany, will complete the series as a trio.

Starring role: Current judges Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse, who will return to the panel this weekend following her own period of isolation, will complete the series as a trio

It was originally reported in August, that her would make a comeback later this year after ditching the show amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Bruno usually jets between London and Los Angeles to sit on the panel for both the long-running UK show as well as its US counterpart. 

But due to the global coronavirus pandemic impacting travel restrictions, the Italian choreographer had favoured the US version when forced to pick just one.

At the time, insiders said BBC bosses were keen to get Bruno to the UK and hope that he could make a comeback for the Strictly final later this year. 

The whole gang: Bruno is pictured alongside his fellow judges last year 

A source told The Daily Star at the time: ‘Everyone at Strictly was devastated when they found out Bruno was going to pull out of this year’s series.

‘Travel restrictions in place because of coronavirus meant he couldn’t fly back and forth to do both shows this year, so he picked Dancing With The Stars. But Strictly’s producers were still keen for him to make an appearance if it was possible.’

The plans have now been thwarted due to the concerns around travelling in the pandemic, meaning Bruno will continue with his remote appearances. 

Hard work: Bruno was due to isolate for two weeks after returning from the US before making his comeback on the BBC1 series (Bruno, pictured on Dancing With The Stars earlier this month)

In August, fellow judge Craig, who has appeared on the show alongside Bruno since 2004, said he was confident the choreographer will make a ‘triumphant return’ in 2021.

He said: ‘They might throw guest judges in for fun. Then when everything’s back to normal, Bruno can make his triumphant return!’

There was speculation about big-name stars as a possible replacement for Bruno including Cheryl. But Craig said he doubted whether the pop star would appear on the upcoming series, saying: ‘Lovely girl, but I don’t think it will happen.’

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