Why Bruno Tonioli could miss the 2020 series of Strictly Come Dancing

Gemma Strong

There could be some major changes on this year's Strictly Come Dancing – not least on the judging panel. It is being widely reported that Bruno Tonioli will not be taking part in the 2020 series amid the ongoing coronavirus travel ban.

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Bruno, 64, also works on the US version of the show – Dancing with the Stars – and usually travels between London and America to enable him to appear on the panel for both competitions. Insiders have stated, however, that BBC bosses are not expecting him to take part this year, and that he will instead remain in the US.

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It's not known whether a replacement will be brought in, but a number of names have been linked to the judging position, including Cheryl. Odds have been slashed on the star signing up to the show, with Coral's John Hill telling the Mirror: "With doubts over Bruno Tonioli's availability this year, we have slashed the odds on Cheryl being a judge on Strictly in 2020.

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"Cheryl has been linked with being a contestant on Strictly for a while and they may just get their target this year, but in the judges' chair, rather than the dance floor."

cheryl

Cheryl has been linked to the 2020 Strictly judging panel

However, an insider told the Sun that BBC bosses have opted not to replace Bruno and are prepared to just have three judges on the panel this year – Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse.

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Bruno has appeared on Strictly ever since the show began in 2004. In recent years, he has been given a week’s break from the show mid-series to allow him to recover from his intense travelling schedule.

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Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli

The Italian TV star is renowned for his larger-than-life personality on the BBC dance show, and when it comes to judging he is never afraid to say exactly what he thinks of the couples' dances. He is also one of the only remaining original stars still working on Strictly, along with Anton du Beke, Craig Revel Horwood and Tess Daly.