Craig Revel Horwood says there's room for Bruno Tonioli and Anton Du Beke on 'Strictly' panel

Craig Revel Horwood spoke to Kate Thornton as part of a live recording of the
Craig Revel Horwood spoke to Kate Thornton as part of a live recording of the "White Wine Question Time" podcast at Leicester Square Theatre. (Nicky J Sims/Getty Images)

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Craig Revel Horwood says there's room for both Bruno Tonioli and Anton Du Beke on the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel, if the former makes a return to the show next year.

Horwood made the comments to Kate Thornton on a live edition of the White Wine Question Time podcast, recorded today at the Leicester Square Theatre in London, just hours before the pre-recorded launch of the 2021 series.

Du Beke has joined the judging table this year, after a lengthy tenure as a professional dancer, to replace Tonioli, who is away due to COVID-19 travel complications.

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Horwood said he "cannot wait" to have Du Beke on the panel, alongside himself, Motsi Mabuse and head judge Shirley Ballas.

"We get on so well. We've known each other since its concept. He's great, and he's funny," the 56-year-old added.

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But Horwood said the addition of Du Beke doesn't mean there won't be a return for Tonioli, who has been part of the show since the very first series in 2004.

"I really don't know [if Tonioli will be back]," said Horwood. "Certainly in my life he will because I know we're doing another programme together.

"If you can imagine travelling eight hours a day with Bruno Tonioli, it's quite a challenge to film. But it's great."

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Horwood said he "hopes" that Tonioli will be back on the show as "it's only COVID that's keeping him away".

He added: "As you will see tonight, we've got our own separate judge's podium. It's all changed. And we've got big, glass things. I felt a little bit like I needed a cash register.

"What I'm saying is that there's always room for another judge, isn't there?"

Kate Thornton asked Craig Revel Horwood about his
Kate Thornton asked Craig Revel Horwood about his "Mr Nasty" persona at the live recording of her "white Wine Question Time" podcast. (Nicky J Sims/Getty Images)

Horwood has a reputation as a Mr Nasty on Strictly, but said he enjoyed being "on the receiving end" of criticism when he appeared on The Masked Dancer earlier this year.

"Criticism makes you work harder. It's really good to actually get that criticism," he said, referring to feedback he had received when auditioning for La Cage aux Folles early in his career.

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He added: "Anything you say or do might affect that person. And that's why, on Strictly, I try to make judgments where I'll say something hopefully that will eventually hope that person be a better dancer or be better than they think they're capable of."

Horwood said he partly enjoyed filming Strictly without a packed audience last year as it made elements of the programme "less showbiz", saying it "felt like I was actually talking like I would in an audition".

Elsewhere on the podcast, he discussed whether he'd enter the I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here jungle and how he scuppered his partner Jonathan Myring's attempt at a romantic marriage proposal.

This year's 'Strictly Come Dancing' line-up features actors, presenters and Olympians. (BBC)
This year's 'Strictly Come Dancing' line-up features actors, presenters and Olympians. (BBC)

The line-up for this year's series of Strictly Come Dancing includes comic actor Robert Webb, presenter AJ Odudu, EastEnders actor Nina Wadia and Olympic swimmer Adam Peaty.

The podcast with Horwood was the first of three live editions of White Wine Question Time, with tickets still available for the Grange Hill cast reunion and episode with the cast of Dun' Breedin.

Read more: Strictly's first deaf contestant wants to break stereotypes

Previous guests on White Wine Question Time include Lorraine Kelly, Dannii Minogue and Fifty Shades of Grey author E. L. James.

Strictly Come Dancing begins tonight with a pre-recorded launch show at 7.45pm on BBC One, with the live competition shows airing from 25 September.

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