'Strictly' 2022 judges confirmed: Bruno Tonioli is out while Anton Du Beke returns
Strictly Come Dancing has announced its judging line-up for 2022 - and while Anton Du Beke is set to make a return, Bruno Tonioli will not be back on the show this year.
Tonioli, 66, was one of the original judging line-up on the BBC One show, but was rumoured earlier this week to have quit after 18 years to focus his time on US version Dancing With The Stars, where he also judges.
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Now, the four judges for this year's contest have been confirmed as head judge Shirley Ballas, accompanied by Motsi Mabuse, Craig Revel Horwood, and Anton Du Beke.
Dancer Du Beke was one of the original pro cast of the series, competing every year until 2021 when he was announced as Tonioli's replacement who was unable to travel between his commitments in the US because of COVID restrictions.
Tonioli appeared by video link during Sunday episodes in the 2020 contest for the same reasons, but now BBC One has confirmed that the same judging line-up as last year will return this series.
Du Beke said of his return to the desk: “Woohooo! This is BRILLIANT news. Everyone knows how much I absolutely love the show and I’m utterly delighted to be continuing as a regular judge. And I get to make the final again - now I know how Giovanni feels!”
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This will be the 20th series of Strictly and Revel Horwood, now the only judge to have been in post since the start, said: "I am beyond thrilled to be returning to Strictly, I can’t believe it will be my 20th series! It’s going to be Fab-u-lous!"
Mabuse, who joined the show in 2019 and whose sister Oti Mabuse announced her exit from the pro dancer cast earlier this year, said: “Last year’s series of Strictly was one of the highlights of my career, it has had such a real impact which has been incredible to witness.
"I am so proud to be a part of this show and I am so looking forward to returning for my fourth series!”
Ballas, head judge since 2017, said: “Being a judge on Strictly is such a joy and honour for me, and I can’t wait to be back at the studio waving my paddle.
"Every year the wonderful production team surpass themselves and I know they have some brilliant plans in store for 2022. I’m so excited to get started.”
Strictly's original judging panel was made up of Tonioli, Revel Horwood, Arlene Phillips and head judge Len Goodman.
Goodman left his role to concentrate on US show Dancing With The Stars, which he has judged on with Tonioli since it launched.
Presenters Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman have also been confirmed to return for Strictly 2022, which is expected to begin in the autumn.
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