Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli has confirmed he will appear this series live from his home in LA.Bosses confirmed on Friday that the jud
Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli has confirmed he will appear this series live from his home in LA.
Bosses confirmed on Friday that the judge, 64, will make remote appearances from his home for the Sunday night results shows at the beginning of this series, as he is unable to travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But fans need not fear as bosses vowed they hope to have Bruno back in the studio towards the end of the series, alongside judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Shirley Ballas.
He’ll be back! Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli has confirmed he will appear this series live from his home in LA
Executive producer Sarah James said: ‘I’m overjoyed that we’ve found a way for Bruno to be part of this year’s Strictly.
‘His passion and enthusiasm are such a big part of the show, I’m thrilled we can continue to deliver that to audiences this year.’
Bruno added: ‘I absolutely adore being part of Strictly and can’t wait to see what incredible dancing this year has in store!
‘Lockdown has resulted in me being in LA for the foreseeable, but I’m excited to be involved as much as I possibly can. There was no cha-cha-chance I’d miss out!’
Distanced: The judge, 64, will make remote appearances from his home for the Sunday night results shows at the beginning of this series, due to travel restrictions imposed by COVID-19
It was previously reported that Bruno could make a comeback to Strictly later this year after ditching the show amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The judge would usually jet between London and Los Angeles to sit on the panel for both the long-running UK show as well as its US counterpart Dancing With The Stars.
But due to the global coronavirus pandemic impacting travel restrictions it was reported that the Italian choreographer had favoured the US version when forced to pick just one of the shows.
Sources added that bosses were hopeful that Bruno could make an in-person appearance for the grand final in December.
He’ll be back! Bosses also confirmed that the hope can return to the Strictly studio for the end of the series in December
A source told The Daily Star: ‘Travel restrictions in place because of coronavirus meant he couldn’t fly back and forth to do both shows this year, so he picked Dancing With The Stars.
‘But Strictly’s producers were still keen for him to make an appearance if it was possible.’
The source added: ‘Dancing With The Stars usually ends a few weeks before Strictly’s final. So the plan is for Bruno to jet back to the UK as soon as he’s finished with his commitments in the US.
MailOnline contacted Bruno’s representatives for comment at the time.
The news comes after fellow Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood, who has appeared on the show alongside Bruno since 2004, said he was confident the choreographer would make a ‘triumphant return’ in 2021.
He said: ‘They might throw guest judges in for fun. Then when everything’s back to normal, Bruno can make his triumphant return!’
In recent weeks, various big-name stars have been mentioned as a possible replacement for Bruno including Cheryl.
Decisions: But due to the global coronavirus pandemic impacting travel restrictions it was reported that the Italian choreographer had favoured the US version when forced to pick just one of the shows
But Craig said he doubted whether the 37-year-old pop star would appear on the upcoming series, saying: ‘Lovely girl, but I don’t think it will happen.’
This year’s Strictly is set to start in October instead of the usual start in August and will be several weeks shorter than normal.
Last week it was reported that BBC bosses have scrapped plans for celebrities and professional dancers to isolate together.
In a last minute change of plan, the couples will instead be in a ‘bubble’ system and there will be regular testing ahead of the live shows, The Sun reports.
However, the dancers are still said to be isolating together this month so that they can pre-record group routines.
A TV source told the publication: ‘The idea of holing sexy dancers up with celebrities made it impossible to sign anybody up.’
It comes after Strictly Come Dancing bosses denied celebrities such as Michelle Keegan and Jessie J declined to be on the show this year because of the ‘low’ £60,000 appearance fee.
Speaking exclusively to MailOnline on Wednesday, a Strictly source has contested reports that several celebrities had turned them down and said only those who have signed onto the show were offered a fee.
The source explained: ‘Everyone we have offered a fee to this year have been confirmed as part of the line up, so nobody has declined appearing in the show after we’ve begun negotiations.’
Previously: The news comes after fellow Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood, who has appeared on the show alongside Bruno since 2004, said he was confident the choreographer will make a ‘triumphant return’ in 2021