ENTERTAINMENT
26/06/2020 6:30 PM AEST

Bruno Tonioli Backs Cheryl As Possible Strictly Come Dancing Replacement

Due to travel restrictions, it's unclear if Bruno will be able to fulfill his role as a judge on this year's series.

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Bruno Tonioli has spoken out over rumours that Cheryl Tweedy could be set to replace him as a judge on this year’s series of Strictly Come Dancing.

Earlier this week, it was reported that due to travel restrictions, Bruno might not be able to join his fellow judges on the Strictly panel this year, as he’s currently in LA.

Bookies named Cheryl – who has previously judged The X Factor and the short-lived BBC series The Greatest Dancer – as a replacement, and Bruno has now given his seal of approval.

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Cheryl Tweedy at a photocall for The Greatest Dancer

Speaking to The Sun, he said: “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,” he added. “We all have different things to offer but I’ve heard nothing concrete.”

On whether or not he’ll be able to judge, Bruno explained: “For years and years I’ve spent two days of each week on the plane flying between London and LA. I leave America on Wednesday and come back every Sunday but now it’s impossible and, because of the current travel restrictions, it’s beyond my control.

“Under normal circumstances I take a deep breath and do the travel. I love the show and love to do it and normally I’m destroyed by Christmas, but this year is different for everyone. Under the current restrictions they just won’t allow it. I don’t know what’s going to happen.” 

David Fisher/Shutterstock
Bruno Tonioli

After much speculation about whether Strictly will be able to go ahead while still adhering to social distancing guidelines, bosses confirmed this week that the show would be airing in 2020, though for a shorter time period than usual.

A statement said: “The Strictly Come Dancing team are doing everything they can to bring the nation plenty of Strictly magic later this year.

“To ensure we deliver the high standards audiences know and love, and in light of the ongoing considerations around Covid-19, this year’s series of Strictly will have a slightly shorter run than usual.

“The safety of our cast and crew is of the utmost importance to us and further updates will be made in due course.”

It was previously confirmed that bosses are considering isolating the cast of professional dancers and key production staff in a hotel together, so they can film the usual group routines. 

It has also been reported that the show will not be adding any new pros to the line up after the departures of Kevin Clifton and AJ Pritchard.