One of Dancing with the Stars‘ most effervescent judges, Bruno Tonioli, has revealed his decision to quit the UK version of the show after 18 years, saying juggling both shows had become “unsustainable”, following the former’s move to Disney Plus.
Tonioli, who has been on the British show Strictly Come Dancing since it began 18 years ago, has not appeared for the last two seasons due to travel restrictions during the Covid epidemic.
He travelled back and forth between the UK and US to appear on both Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing with the Stars for 14 years, but that became impossible when the pandemic took hold.
He said doing both sides on either side of the Atlantic became “impossible because the rules changed, getting through the airport was not like it used to be, it created a situation that was unsustainable”.
Travel rules may have got lighter but now, as Tonioli explained this week, Dancing with the Stars’ move to Disney Plus has made it equally challenging.
He said: “Dancing with the Stars has moved to Disney Plus, which is a big deal. Because of the travel situation, I will be there.
“It is going to be streaming live which is a big deal. It is very, very, exciting.”
“And again because of the travel situation, I cannot really guarantee that I’m going to be there, because anything can happen. Two years ago, I changed my tickets every week and they need continuity. I absolutely support them and it’s my decision”.
Tonioli’s permanent exit leaves Craig Revel Horwood as the only original judge to remain on the UK show.
Tonioli may not have disappeared from the show altogether, saying: “I may do the tour. I am not gone forever. Don’t count me out. I will always be part of the family. We created the show.”
Strictly‘s 20th series is expected to launch in the autumn, with former dancing professional Anton Du Beke confirmed to be replacing Tonioli as a permanent judge.