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Bruno Tonioli 'quits' Strictly Come Dancing after 18 years

Bruno Tonioli on ABC's Dancing With the Stars
Bruno might not be back on the Strictly panel anytime soon... (Image credit: Getty)

Bruno Tonioli has quit Strictly Come Dancing after 18 years, it has been reported.

The Italian choreographer has been a member of the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel since its launch in 2004.

However, Bruno Tonioli hasn't been a regular on Strictly for two years now. Due to pandemic-related travel restrictions, he's been unable to travel between the UK and the US where he is a judge on Dancing With The Stars

According to The Daily Mail (opens in new tab), Bruno will not be returning to the beloved BBC show in the future and will instead be focusing solely on the dancing competition across the pond. Their source said: "Bruno has quit the show for good.

"He's going to be a judge only on Dancing With The Stars from now on."

Bruno was part of the original judging lineup alongside Craig Revel Horwood, Arlene Phillips and his fellow Dancing With The Stars judge, Len Goodman.

Last year, Bruno's place on the panel was filled by professional dancer Anton Du Beke, who judged the show alongside Motsi Mabuse, Craig Revel Horwood and Shirley Ballas. 

There has since been speculation that Anton could become Bruno's permanent replacement. In April, it was rumored that Anton Du Beke was set to return as a Strictly judge again later this year. 

According to The Sun (opens in new tab), Craig Revel Horwood reportedly said at his stage show: "I really love Anton. I think he is fantastic. I think last year he did a great job on Strictly as a judge. And we have just found out he is going to do it again this year."

However, Anton is said to have denied having heard from Strictly bosses. Speaking to the Express (opens in new tab), the fan-favourite revealed: "The absolute truth is that I don't know. I haven't been told. They literally haven't spoken to me about it. So, whatever you've read, it is just a rumor."

Anton nevertheless left the door open for being a judge again in the future. He added: "I'm hoping to get a call to say: 'Look, here you go, come back judging please', but we'll wait and see. I would like to think I'd be on the show in one way or another."

Strictly Come Dancing is set to return to the BBC later this year.

Martin Shore
Martin Shore

Martin is a Staff Writer with WhatToWatch.com, where he produces a variety of articles focused on the latest and greatest films and TV shows. 

Some of his favorite shows are What We Do In The Shadows, Bridgerton, Gangs of London, The Witcher, Doctor Who, and Ghosts. When he’s not watching TV or at the movies, Martin’s probably still in front of a screen playing the latest video games, reading, or watching the NFL.