Strictly’s Bruno Tonioli returning to BBC’s festive show – but not as a judge

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    Bruno Tonioli is reportedly returning to Strictly Come Dancing – to sing.

    The Italian star left the judging panel of the BBC ballroom contest earlier this year after 18 years, and former pro dancer Anton Du Beke has filled his seat on the panel.

    But according to the Daily Mail, Bruno is planning to make his Strictly comeback for the Christmas special this year.

    READ MORE: Strictly judge Shirley Ballas in tears as son Mark wins Dancing with the Star US

    However, the star won’t be serving up critiques alongside judges Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse and Craig Revel Horwood, as it seems that he will be giving a vocal performance.

    A source said it’s something the star “loves” to do, adding: “He did an opera album called An Italian Romance back in 2016 and who knows, it might turn into a new career for him.”

    Bruno, 66, was on the judging panel from the first series of Strictly in 2004 and he is also a judge on the US version of the show, Dancing With The Stars.

    Having the two jobs on either side of the Atlantic got tricky in 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic hit, because travel rules meant it was tough for the star to travel back and forth.

    He managed to juggled it by appearing via video link but in 2021 Anton stood in for him.

    Bruno’s exit was confirmed earlier this year and he later explained that all the flying between the UK and America had taken its toll.

    “I just can’t do it any more," he told The Sun. "Going back and forth was too much."

    He also said that Anton had been “brilliant” on the programme.

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    “He deserves to be on that seat,” he added.

    And Anton has certainly made his mark and has quickly become one of the favourite judges on the panel where he is joined by Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse and Craig Revel Horwood.

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