Strictly's Motsi Mabuse hints Bruno Tonioli won't be replaced after he's forced to miss show's return

STRICTLY Come Dancing's Motsi Mabuse hinted Bruno Tonioli won't be replaced after he's forced to miss the show's return.

The judge will not be there for most of the Saturday night judging panel when the hit BBC One show returns in the autumn due to commitments with American show Dancing With The Stars.

However, fellow judge Motsi has hinted Bruno won't be replaced by a special guest.

The Strictly judge told Hello! magazine: "I think everybody has a special spot on the judging panel and Bruno is not replaceable."

She added: "We all have to adjust. [Remote judging] may be an aspect of the show that we never knew was missing.

"We will have to see what works as we go."

Bruno hopes to make at least the final four episodes – including the final and the semi final – if coronavirus travel restrictions allow him.

But if he is forced to quarantine on his return to the UK, then he will only make the last two.

The long-serving judge has spent the last 15 years commuting between homes in Los Angeles and London to appear in Strictly.

Bruno told The Sun earlier this month: “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!”

The juggernaut’s show executive producer Sarah James added: “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.”

In June we told how Bruno had given former Girls Aloud singer Cheryl, 36, his blessing to replace him on the BBC1 show if travel restrictions meant he could not film.

He told The Sun: “If Cheryl does end up doing it there would be nothing wrong with that. She’s a lovely girl. I like her.

“Of course she’s not me, but we’re all different. We all have different things to offer but I’ve heard nothing concrete.”

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