Anton is replacing regular judge Bruno Tonioli as he will be unable to travel to the UK for the series amid Covid restrictions (Picture: BBC)
Former Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli has spoken about the upcoming series of the show, saying he’ll be choosing not to watch his replacement Anton Du Beke.
The 54-year-old is confirmed to replace Bruno in the next run of the BBC One competition, joining Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse.
Bruno, who lives in the US, is missing the new series due to uncertainty over coronavirus travel rules.
‘Watching Anton would be not fair. It’d be weird, like watching an ex with someone new – you just get on with it honey,’ the 65-year-old told The Sun.
‘It’ll do me no good as people will ask me what I think and I don’t want to stick my nose in when I’m not part of it. I think it’s very naff.’
Bruno also spoke about the behind the scenes rules on Strictly, saying that he and Anton have different approaches to life backstage.
Anton will be on the judging panel alongside Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse (Picture: PA)
‘On the US show, it is forbidden for judges to socialise with the pros during production. You have to be careful, I’m always aware it could be misconstrued. I don’t have favourites.’
He added: ‘I love and respect them but I’ve always kept my distance. Even backstage, it’s all very nice but I don’t socialise with any of them. It’s like, “Don’t go there”. Anton is the opposite of that – very sociable.’
The rumours have already begun to spread about the upcoming Strictly line-up for 2021, with the show reportedly hoping to get GB News anchor and co-founder Andrew Neil to take part – just as the star takes a break from his news channel weeks after it launched.
Anton has been a part of the since it began in 2004 (Picture: BBC/Guy Levy)
Strictly has so far only confirmed the professional dancers and judges for 2021 with the celebrity contestants yet to be revealed.
It comes after Anton previously took a playful jab at co-star Craig, making a subtle dig at his notoriously sharp commentary.
During an appearance on The One Show, Anton said: ‘I think I’m going to be a kinder judge,’ Anton told Alex Jones and Ronan Keating on Thursday.
‘I’m not going to be gushing about everybody. I shall be expecting them to dance well as they want to dance but I shall be understanding.’
Sending an indirect message to Craig, he added: ‘I shall try to show a bit of positivity.
‘Because there won’t be much coming down from that end of the chairs, will there?’
The news follows claims Strictly have decided to ditch the ‘age ban’ and welcome the over-60s for the new series.
Strictly Come Dancing is due to arrive on BBC One later this year.
Credit: Original article published here.