Anton Du Beke has been confirmed as judge for the new Strictly Come Dancing series, replacing Bruno Tonioli.
Tonioli, who has been on the show since 2004, is being replaced as he cannot fly over the United States, where he is based as a judge on Dancing with the Stars, due to Covid travel restrictions.
Du Beke, who joined the show in their debut series and is the only professional dancer to have performed in all series so far, will be joined by Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Shirley Ballas on the jury.
Du Beke’s confirmation as the panel’s permanent judge comes after he served as a temporary judge for two episodes of the 2020 series. He said: “My loves, I can’t tell you how thrilled I am. ‘enter Bruno’s brogues for the next Strictly series. Judging alongside the best is a dream come true and I promise to be nicer to all couples than any of them have ever been to me.
Tonioli said while he was “drained” of not being able to appear on the show this year, “there is only one person who could take my place – it’s just a shame they weren’t. not available… haha! Honey, I’m kidding, I’m kidding!
“Seriously, I have to tell you that Anton IS Mr. Strictly and if anyone takes my place, it must be him.” Honestly, I wouldn’t want it any other way and I’m so excited to see him wag his paddle.
The BBC has confirmed that further details regarding the next series, due to air this year, will be announced in due course.