Bruno Tonioli breaks his silence after Strictly bosses confirm shock exit - 'I'm done'

Anton Du Beke is officially joining the judging panel

Bruno Tonioli has broken his silence following the news that he is leaving Strictly Come Dancing after 18 years.

READ: First Strictly Come Dancing contestant has signed up for 2022 show - report

The 66-year-old revealed that his decision to leave was down to the fact of his exhausting travel schedule, which saw him travelling back and forth between the UK and the States each week.

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"I'm done," he told the Sun, adding: "I just can't do it anymore." The Italian judge, who has appeared on Strictly since the first series, will now concentrate on being a judge on the US version, Dancing With The Stars.

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Bruno explained: "Last year I changed my [plane] ticket every week - they need continuity. I absolutely support them, it's my decision." He added: "Anton [Du Beke] has done a fantastic job. He deserves to be on that seat."

Despite being an original cast member, for the past two years due to the pandemic, Bruno's appearances had been minimal. Last year, he was replaced on the UK judging panel by professional dancer Anton Du Beke, and the year before he was only able to make appearances via video links.

Bruno has been part of the Strictly family since the show began

It has since been announced that Anton will join Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse on the judging panel this year.

SEE: Inside the Strictly Come Dancing judges' fabulous homes

Of his return to the panel, Anton said: "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!"

Bruno is being replaced by Anton Du Beke

Motsi was also thrilled to be returning, saying: "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!"

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