'Strictly Come Dancing' judge Bruno Tonioli says series is missing romance this year

Albertina Lloyd
Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
Bruno Tonioli admits Strictly can be a bit dull without the curse (Credit: AP)

Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli has admitted he is missing the romance in this year’s series.

The BBC dance show has become famous for the Strictly Curse - which has seen numerous celebrity’s relatioships breakdown as they fall for their professional dance partners.

Tonioli told The Sun: “I’ve never had anything wrong with the romances - it’s actually quite nice when they get together. Its life. It adds a bit of frisson of excitement when it happens on the dancefloor. So I think I was missing that a little bit in this series.”

Read more: Motsi Mabuse: 'You have to be open to the Strictly curse

This year’s final will feature EastEnders actress Emma Barton and Anton du Beke, CBBC presenter Karim Zeroual and Amy Dowden and Emmerdale’s Kelvin Fletcher and Oti Mabuse. Despite impressing the judges with their dance moves, none of the couple’s have conveyed quite as much passion on the dancefloor as in previous years.

Kelvin Fletcher and Oti Mabuse are favourites to win the show this year (Credit: BBC)

Judge Craig Revel Horwood was forced to apologise to last year’s winner Stacey Dooley after he quipped all celebrity contestants should sleep with their professional dance partners if they want to win the show.

Strictly 2018 champion Dooley, 32, is now in a relationship with her dance partner Kevin Clifton, 37, having split from boyfriend of three years Sam Tucknott in March.

During pre-recorded filming for the launch episode of the current series host Tess Daly asked the panel – Horwood, Tonioli, Shirley Ballas and new judge Motsi Mabuse - if they had any advice for this year’s contestants.

Horwood, 54, said: “Of course, if you sleep with your dance partner that helps...”

Read more: Caroline Flack compares 'Strictly Come Dancing' coupling to a relationship

The comment was not broadcast and Horwood later issued a statement saying: “I recognise that what I said was hurtful, cruel and incredibly disrespectful. It was a huge error of judgment that I very much regret.”

Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton won the show last year and are now a couple (Credit: BBC)

Since Strictly Come Dancing began in 2004 numerous celebrities have fallen victim to the curse, with their relationships breaking down as a result of taking part on the show.

After the very first series, newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky split from her long-term partner Mike Barnard and her dance partner Brendan Cole ended his engagement to Camilla Dallerup.

Other victims of the curse include singer Louise Redknapp, rugby player Ben Cohen and dancers Katya and Neil Jones.

Strictly has sparked numerous romances including Countdown’s Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev who are expecting a baby together this month.