Bruno Tonioli has ‘ruled out’ returning to Strictly Come Dancing in person this year, according to reports.
The popular judge, 65, has not appeared on the BBC show since 2019 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Sources have now claimed Bruno has decided to give the 2021 series of the BBC1 dancing show a miss too.
Why might Bruno Tonioli skip Strictly Come Dancing in person?
The Italian star, who is based in Los Angeles, is also a judge on the US series Dancing with the Stars.
A friend told The Sun: “Bruno can’t commit to both shows right now and is staying put in LA – it’s a better lifestyle there, with great weather, which is good for his health.
“He earns close to £1million a series in America, so he has to prioritise that.”
The pal added that Bruno is still “part of the Strictly family” and is planning to appear via video link in some episodes again.
Entertainment Daily! has contacted Bruno’s rep for comment.
Where was Bruno during Strictly Come Dancing 2020?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bruno was unable to travel from the US to the UK for Strictly Come Dancing last year.
He usually bounces back and forth across the pond, judging both Strictly and Dancing with the Stars at the same time.
But the restrictions on international travel made this too tricky during 2020.
Instead, Bruno made a weekly appearance via video link to critique the stars during the Results Show.
Strictly bosses kept his main seat open and the contestants were judged by Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse.
Anton du Beke did make a guest judging appearance, after Motsi had to self-isolate following an emergency trip to Germany.
But according to The Sun, Strictly bosses are not considering replacing Bruno with the pro dancer for the 2021 series.
What did Bruno Tonioli say about his Strictly 2020 role?
Bruno has been a Strictly Come Dancing judge since the show began in 2004, so was sad to miss the 2020 series.
Before it launched, he spoke about the role that had been especially created for him.
During an appearance on Good Morning Britain, Bruno said: “What I’ll do is I’ll watch the show and there will be a little segment that will be on the results show.
“It’ll be like another view, because I think it wouldn’t be right for me to interfere in the judging process because I am not there.
“The things that you see when [the dancers] are eight feet away from you are not quite the same when it is a shot, cut in different ways.
“And Craig, Motsi and Shirley all know exactly what they are doing. So I am not going to be interfering.
“It’s not fair, it’s a bit naff actually. So, it’s going to be my point of view overall.”
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