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Bruno Tonioli says he’s ‘done’ with Strictly Come Dancing and reacts to Anton Du Beke replacing him

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JANUARY 20: Bruno Tonioli backstage at Utilita Arena Birmingham on January 20, 2022 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

Bruno Tonioli has explained his reasons for leaving Strictly Come Dancing behind as the BBC show judge spoke out on the news fellow dancer Anton Du Beke will be replacing him permanently.

Along with Craig Revel Horwood, Bruno is one of the original pros who sat on the panel for every season until 2020, when the panel was one down. 

Anton, 55, then took over the 2021 season while the Italian star was working in America and earlier this week it was confirmed that the pro dancer would remain as a judge for good. 

And now after 18 years on the hugely-popular dance competition, Bruno, 66, admitted he finds the travel too tough.

Bruno Tonioli has explained his reasons for leaving Strictly Come Dancing

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With an incredibly tiring commuter schedule, the ballroom dancer said it simply “got too much” for him.

Speaking to The Sun, Bruno shared: “I’m done. I just can’t do it anymore. Going back and forth was too much.”

The star had been taking the 10-hour flight backwards and forwards between London and Los Angeles ever since he started working on Dancing With The Stars in 2005.

For use in UK, Ireland or Benelux countries only Undated BBC handout photo of Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli during the BBC1 dance contest, Strictly Come Dancing. PA Photo. Issue date: Saturday November 23, 2019. See PA story SHOWBIZ Strictly. Photo credit should read: Guy Levy/BBC/PA Wire
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Bruno was one of the original show judges alongside Craig Revel Horwood

In response to what he thought of his replacement, Bruno added to the publication: “Anton is brilliant. He will be brilliant.”

It comes as Bruno confirmed it was “his decision” during an appearance on The One Show.

“Unfortunately Dancing With The Stars has moved over to Disney+ to stream live,” he said, going on to explain the travel restrictions last year were “impossible” and “getting through airports was not what it used to be”.

Strictly Come Dancing's Anton du Beke will be a permanent fixture on the BBC show's panel
Strictly Come Dancing’s Anton Du Beke will be a permanent fixture on the BBC show’s panel

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“I miss it so much,” Bruno went on to say of Strictly before adding: “Because of the travel situation I cannot guarantee I’m going to be there.”

Strictly also lost one of its fan favourite pros and a long time member of the dance team in Aljaž Škorjanec this year.

The star announced it was time for him to move on and seek other opportunities as he followed in the footsteps of his wife Janette Manrara, who know hosts Strictly: It Takes Two.

Oti Mabuse also decided to part ways from the show ahead of the 2022 series, having won two seasons in a row. She now sits on the panel of Dancing On Ice as a judge.

Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One later this year.

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