Strictly Come Dancing viewers are treated to an extra special guest stepping in for Bruno Tonioli this weekend: Alfonso Ribeiro. Bruno recently took to Twitter to bid farewell to his followers and Strictly viewers, as he revealed he is taking a break from judging this weekend's show. But, rest assured, the Italian won't be gone for long, as his break is just temporary.
Alfonso is no stranger to the show after appearing as a guest judge last year. But who is the American actor? Here's all you need to know…
Alfonso Ribeiro is taking over from Bruno Tonioli on Strictly this weekend
Where is Bruno this weekend?
As fans will know, Bruno travels back and forth from the UK to the US each week as he judges both Strictly and the US version of the show Dancing With the Stars, so it's for this reason that he'll be absent from the panel. Bruno took to Twitter to say goodbye this week, "I'm going to miss you guys, stay safe and see you in a week…xxx," wrote the 63-year-old. We're going to miss you too, Bruno!
Who is Alfonso?
Alfonso Ribeiro is an American actor, singer and television personality. Born in 1971 in New York, he has been in the showbiz world since the age of eight, when he was cast as the lead in Broadway show called The Tap Dance Kid in 1983. The following year, Alfonso was cast as one the Pepsi generation kids in an advert for one of their world-renowned television commercials, appearing alongside Michael Jackson. After gaining recognition for his dancing skills in both these projects, he went on to appear in more MTV commercials, showing off his best moves. And dancing wasn't his only talent. Alfonso went on to gain recognition for acting and singing throughout his career.
Alfonso and wife Robin have three children together
Nowadays, the 48-year-old lives in LA with his wife, Angela – whom he married in 2012. The couple share two sons, Alfonso Lincoln Ribeiro Jr, aged 6, and Anders Reyn Ribeiro, aged 4, as well as daughter Ava Sue, who was born in May earlier this year. Alfonso also has another daughter, Sienna Ribeiro, from his previous marriage to Robin Stapler.
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What is Alfonso best known for?
If you recognise Alfonso, the chances are you know him from 90s cult TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in which he starred as Carlton Banks alongside Hollywood A-lister Will Smith. Carlton was in the show for the whole of its run from 1990 until 1996 playing Will Smith's preppy younger cousin. Alfonso's character Carlton was best known for his trademark 'Carlton' dance to Tom Jones' hit It's Not Unusual, something he's still adored for today. And it wasn't just 'The Carlton' that he was hailed for, Alfonso and Will took on a routine during the hit show to 'Jump On It' by hip-hop trio The Sugarhill Gang.
The pair even performed it during an appearance on the Graham Norton Show in 2013. With Mike Bushell and Katya Jones performing their samba to this song this weekend, will we see Alfonso showing off his moves? We hope so!
Alfonso and Will Smith during their Fresh Prince days
Alfonso and Will Smith have remained close friends since their Fresh Prince days, as the two were pictured at the LA premiere for Disney's Aladdin this summer, in which Will plays the Genie. Alfonso posted an image of the pair on his Instagram at the time, captioning the picture: "Great time last night supporting my big brother @willsmith at the premiere of #Aladdin with my son AJ."
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The pair have remained close friends
What else has he done?
As well as starring as Carlton Banks for six years, Alfonso has does plenty of other acting and TV work. In the 90s, Alfonso also starred in another TV show called In The House, and, prior to his Fresh Prince days, appeared in another TV series called Silver Spoons. But it's not just in the US that Alfonso has made a name for himself, he's also proven to be very popular this side of the pond in recent years. In 2013, Alfonso headed into the jungle to take part in I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! finishing in seventh place.
Alfonso won series 19 of Dancing with the Stars
In 2014, Alfonso headed back state-side to compete in series 19 of Dancing with the Stars. He proved a hit with the judges, and became to fourth contestant in the show's history to receive a score of 9 from each judge in the first week. He also proved popular with viewers and went on to become the series winner alongside his professional partner Witney Carson. Now, Alfonso is heading back into the ballroom to be a guest judge for Strictly this weekend. Viewers will no doubt be pleased to see him return after he proved popular when he appeared as a guest judge last year. Welcome back Alfonso!
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