Strictly's Bruno Tonioli gives Cheryl his blessing to take spot on judging panel

26 June 2020, 09:36

Cheryl's no stranger to judging dance competitions
Cheryl's no stranger to judging dance competitions. Picture: Getty

Cheryl has previously judged on a dance show panel for the BBC so she is a likely replacement.

Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli has spoken out about who his potential replacement might be if he isn't able to make it to the UK for this year's season.

The Italian professional dancer has spent a whopping 15 year flying back and forth from America for his roles on the judging panel of Strictly and its American version, Dancing with the Stars, and has admitted it's possible he won't be able to do so in 2020.

Bruno, 64, has backed singer Cheryl, 36, to take his spot on the BBC1 judging panel this season if coronavirus-imposed travel restrictions mean he is forced to miss his first series.

Bruno might not be able to film the show this year
Bruno might not be able to film the show this year. Picture: PA

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. We all have different things to offer but I’ve heard nothing concrete.”

Cheryl judged twice on X Factor before quitting and did two series of BBC1’s The Greatest Dancer before it was axed.

Bruno has appeared on both Strictly Come Dancing and the show’s US version since they launched in 2005.

In both of the last two series of Strictly, he was replaced by Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star Alfonso Ribeiro for Week Five due to clashes in filming.

Cheryl is a strong contender
Cheryl is a strong contender. Picture: Getty

He said: “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.”As we revealed yesterday, Strictly is being pushed back to October with fewer episodes because of a tighter filming schedule due to the coronavirus.Professional dancers and their partners may have to isolate together to keep the show on air.

Bruno added: “Dancing with the Stars has been confirmed but there are no confirmed starting dates but there’s been no official Strictly announcement yet.

“I know everyone is working very, very hard behind the scenes to make the show happen with or without me this year.

“But whatever happens, the main thing is that it has to be done within the guidelines. It’s a case of watch this space.”