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Bruno Tonioli bids farewell to Strictly Come Dancing as he begins week-long break

The Italian judge is being replaced by Alfonso Ribeiro

hellomagazine.com

Bruno Tonioli is taking a break from Strictly Come Dancing. The flamboyant Italian judge took to Twitter to bid farewell to the fans and stars of the show – but fear not, Bruno's departure from the BBC dance show is only on a temporary basis. The 63-year-old will be absent from this week's live show because of his prior commitments with the US version of the show, Dancing With The Stars. Stepping in to replace him on the judging panel is none other than Fresh Prince of Bel Air actor Alfonso Ribeiro. "I'm going to miss you guys, stay safe and see you in a week…xxx," Bruno tweeted on Tuesday.

Bruno Tonioli will be absent from this week's Strictly Come Dancing

It's not the first time that Alfonso has stood in for Bruno. The 48-year-old proved a big hit with audiences and fans when he appeared on the show for one week during last year’s series. Alfonso is well qualified to take his place alongside fellow judges Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse; he won Dancing With The Stars in 2014.

MORE: Strictly fans vent their anger after show announces week 5 songs and dances

Speaking last week, Bruno promised his replacement would prove "even more energetic" during this week's show. He shared: "Alfonso has been briefed and he is going to be even more energetic than me! You are going to have so much trouble, I am telling you. I am coming straight back and I will be firing on all cylinders."

The celebrity contestants and their pro partners are hard at work rehearsing for week five of the competition. Here's what's in store for Saturday's live show…

The songs and dances for week five of the competition have been announced

Alex Scott and Neil Jones: Charleston to Pump Up the Jam by Swingrowers

Catherine Tyldesley and Johannes Radebe: Tango to Little Bird by Annie Lennox

Emma Barton and Anton du Beke: Paso Doble to Nothing Breaks Like A Heart by Mark Ronson and Miley Cyrus

Emma Weymouth and Aljaž Skorjanec: Viennese Waltz to Saving All My Love for You by Whitney Houston

Michelle Visage and Giovanni Pernice: Rumba to Too Good at Goodbyes by Sam Smith

Saffron Barker and AJ Pritchard: Foxtrot to Theme From New York, New York by Frank Sinatra

Chris Ramsay and Karen Hauer: Quickstep to Let's Go Crazy by Prince

David James and Nadiya Bychkova: Jive to Such A by Night by Michael Buble

Karim Zeroual and Amy Dowden: Salsa to Who Let the Dogs Out by Baha Men

Kelvin Fletcher and Oti Mabuse: Cha Cha Cha to Get Stupid by Aston Merrygold

Mike Bushell and Katya Jones: Samba to Jump On It by The Sugarhill Gang

Will Bayley and Janette Manrara: Couple's Choice: Contemporary to 7 Years by Lukas Graham