cheryl strictly

Strictly Come Dancing: Cheryl ‘tipped’ to replace Bruno Tonioli on judging panel

Bruno will be in the studio towards the end of the series

Cheryl is tipped to replace Bruno Tonioli on this year’s series of Strictly Come Dancing.

The news comes after the Italian judge was left stranded in the US because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Bruno is being forced to take a break this year (Credit: Brett D. Cove/

Why is Bruno Tonioli taking a break?

Strictly veteran Bruno, 64, is set to miss the majority of the new series because of a clash with American series Dancing With The Stars.

Under normal circumstances, Bruno would jet between America and the UK to take part in both series.

Read more: Strictly Come Dancing line-up 2020 – rumoured contestants from Michelle Keegan to Cheryl

But because of the pandemic, that is not possible this year.

Instead, Bruno will join up with Strictly via video link for the Sunday night results show only.

And because of the clash he could only feature in episodes towards the end of the series.

But all is not lost. The judge has reportedly recommended that Cheryl, 37, take his place and join Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse on the panel.

Strictly 2020 cancelled?
Could Cheryl be joining the judging panel? (Credit: BBC)

Is Cheryl now the favourite to replace him?

Bruno has appeared on both Strictly and Dancing With The Stars for 15 years.

But he told The Sun that this year’s commute would be ‘impossible’.

He said: “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 ratings winner’s executive producer, Sarah James, also 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.”

Cheryl is favourite with the bookies, with the former Girls Aloud singer 1-2 on to replace him.

Strictly Come Dancing
There’s set to be big changes on Strictly this year (Credit: BBC)

What’s happening with this year’s Strictly?

Because of the pandemic, this year’s will be a shortened series.

The newspaper says that there will be fewer episodes and it will start in October.

As a result, this year’s series will end ‘just days before Christmas’.

Read more: Is Strictly Come Dancing 2020 cancelled? Coronavirus could mean HUGE changes

Previously, it was announced that the Christmas special will be replaced by Strictly: The Christmas Countdown.

Hosted by Tess Daley and Claudia Winkleman, the countdown will feature some of the series’ best moments and dances from previous seasonal specials.

ED! has contacted the BBC for comment about Cheryl’s involvement.

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