With a new series of Strictly Come Dancing on its way, Bruno Tonioli felt nostalgic as he reminisced about the beginning of the hit BBC show. Taking to Instagram on Friday, the 63-year-old judge shared two throwback pictures of himself alongside the judging panel, featuring original judges Craig Revel Horwood, Arlene Phillips and Len Goodman. "#fbf Is there such a thing as Friday throwback," he asked his followers.
"In any case I wanted to share some of the very early pics from@bbcstrictly... 12 years ago, we have ALL come such a long way! Life changing for me and I have so many fun memories having met some incredible people along the way #history #dreambig #funtimes#strictly." Although the show started in 2004, Bruno and Craig have remained on the judging panel. Arlene, 76, left the series in 2008 and was replaced by former Strictly winner Alesha Dixon the following year.
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After three years on the panel, Alesha announced her departure and Strictly welcomed Darcey Bussell. In July 2016, Len shocked Strictly viewers when he confirmed he would be leaving the show at the end of that year's series after 12 years at the helm. It was then announced that Shirley Ballas would succeed him as the new head judge. In April, Darcey revealed she was also leaving Strictly after seven years.
The Strictly judging panel has seen some changes over the years
The former ballet dancer recently opened up about why she decided to leave, admitting that it was "not a decision that came easily". She told The Sun: "It is not a decision that came easily at all. But I knew I had the most amazing time for seven years and it is like pushing your luck to think that I could even do another seven years. So I just knew it was time for me to finish and to give that place for somebody else to judge on that wonderful show."
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On Monday, show bosses confirmed Motsi Mabuse will be taking over as the new judge. The South African-born German Latin Champion and South African Champion, who is the sister of Strictly dancer Oti Mabuse, will join the upcoming series later this year. Speaking about her new role, Motsi said: "I am absolutely overjoyed to be joining the Strictly judging panel. I have so much respect and admiration for the other three judges and hope to add my own bit of sparkle to the show. I can't wait to get started."
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