Bruno Tonioli returning to Strictly with new virtual role before live comeback
- Bang Showbiz
- 21 August 2020
'Strictly Come Dancing' judge Bruno Tonioli will return to the BBC ballroom competition with a new virtual role before making a full-time comeback later in the series
Bruno Tonioli will return to 'Strictly Come Dancing' with a new virtual role before making a full-time comeback.
Due to travel restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic, the 64-year-old judge – who is currently based in Los Angeles – won't be able to take part in the full show, but he will still be involved in the upcoming series of the BBC Latin and ballroom competition.
The BBC has confirmed Bruno will be keeping a close eye throughout the run, with remote appearances in the Sunday night results show.
Finally, the dancer will make his grand return full time "towards the end of the series".
In a statement, Bruno said: "I absolutely adore being part of 'Strictly' and can't wait to see what incredible dancing this year has in store!
"Lockdown has resulted in me being in LA for the foreseeable, but I'm excited to be involved as much as I possibly can. There was no cha-cha-chance I'd miss out!"
'Strictly' boss Sarah James added: "I'm overjoyed that we've found a way for Bruno to be part of this year's 'Strictly'.
"His passion and enthusiasm are such a big part of the show, I'm thrilled we can continue to deliver that to audiences this year."
Bruno usually flies between the UK and the US to sit on the panel for both 'Strictly' and 'Dancing With The Stars' but due to travel restrictions,
the latter has become his priority.
There had been some hope the team could have come up with an acceptable arrangement, and his fellow judge Craig Revel Horwood – who has appeared on the show alongside Bruno since 2004 – was confident the choreographer will make a "triumphant return" in 2021 regardless of how this year panned out.
He said: "They might throw guest judges in for fun. Then when everything's back to normal, Bruno can make his triumphant return!"