Strictly Come Dancing will be waltzing back onto screens tonight (September 18), starting with a special pre-recorded launch show ahead of the start of the 19th series.
The line-up, as always, includes plenty of famous faces from all corners of the showbiz world.
McFly’s Tom Fletcher, baker John Whaite (dancing as part of Strictly’s first ever male same-sex partnership) and comedian Judi Love are all some of the names signed up to face scrutiny from the professional judges.
This year, those judges will include returning faces Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Shirley Ballas, however, one long-standing judge, Bruno Tonioli, who has been a fixture on Strictly since 2004, will not be returning.
He’ll be replaced by former pro dancer Anton Du Beke. But why isn’t Bruno doing Strictly this year?
Why is Bruno not on Strictly this year?
Bruno will not appear on the BBC show this year due to the uncertainty regarding international travel restrictions when the series was being planned.
Bruno spends a lot of his time in the United States, where he appears as a judge on the hit series Dancing With the Stars.
Speaking about becoming a full-time judge after filling in temporarily last year, Anton 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.’
Bruno supported Anton, adding in a statement: ‘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…haha!
‘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.’
Strictly Come Dancing’s launch show airs tonight at 7:45pm on BBC One.
Credit: Original article published here.