Strictly’s Bruno Tonioli ‘quits BBC show after 18 years to focus on US series’

Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli has reportedly quit his role on the show to focus on new projects.

The Italian star has been a key part of the judging line-up on the hit BBC show for 18 years, taking a break the last two years due to travel restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bruno, 66, is now set to concentrate his efforts on US series Dancing With The Stars instead of returning to the UK version of the show, where former Strictly Professional Anton Du Beke has been filling in for him.

A source told The Daily Mail: "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 unable to travel during the pandemic leaving Anton to star in his place alongside head judge Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse.

The popular former dancer has previously easily fulfilled both roles in the UK and the US, having been a judge on Dancing With The Stars since the show began back in 2005.

A replacement for Bruno is yet to be announced but Anton, 55, is a firm favourite thanks to his popularity with fans during his stint last year.

Anton recently talked about his change of role on the show during his An Audience With…tour in Dunstable.

He said: “In the early days I would be down the front. It would be nice.

“We had things called grids where people were in position on the floor and then suddenly you would go back another line.

“Then they started putting you in the corners and then the tattoos started arriving and everyone with tattoos was down the front wearing a vest.

“It got to the point where I was back here. I was so far back at the end I was chatting with Lance in the orchestra.

“I did not mind not doing the group dances in the end.”

Bruno's departure will see him join Strictly Professionals Aljaz Skornajec and Oti Mabuse who have already announced they will not be returning to the show.

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