Strictly's Bruno Tonioli to return to show in Christmas special as Anton du Beke lands judging panel job

STRICTLY Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli is set to make a spectacular return to the show in the Christmas special.

Bruno was unable to commit to the BBC contest for the second year because of uncertainty over Covid travel restrictions.

Instead Bruno, 65, will stay in the US as a judge on Dancing with the Stars.

Anton du Beke, 54, will take on the judging role in Bruno’s absence.

Bruno said: “Whilst I am gutted to not be on the show this year there is one person and one person only that could take my place — it’s just a shame they weren’t available.

“Darlings I’m kidding, I’m kidding. Seriously though, I have to tell you, Anton is Mr Strictly and if anybody is filling in for me, it has to be him.

“I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way and I am so excited to see him waggle his paddle.”

Anton will join returning judges Motsi Mabuse, 40, Craig Revel Horwood, 56, and head judge Shirley Ballas, 60, on the panel.

He said: “My loves, I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to be stepping into Bruno’s brogues for the next series of Strictly.

“It’s a dream come true to be judging alongside the best of the best and I promise to be kinder to all the couples than any of them have ever been to me.”

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