Co-Star Exposes Bruno Tonioli’s True Feelings

Getty Bruno Tonioli

One of Bruno Tonioli’s co-stars has made some revealing remarks about the longtime “Strictly Come Dancing” and “Dancing With the Stars” judge. Craig Revel Horwood revealed during an April 2022 performance how Tonioli really feels about the character he plays on TV and he also adds some more fuel to the fire that Tonioli is not returning to the U.K. dancing competition series.

Craig Revel Horwood Says Bruno Tonioli Finds His Character ‘Exhausting’

Speaking during his All Balls and Glitter tour show (via The Sun), Horwood, who has been a judge on “Strictly Come Dancing” from the very beginning alongside Tonioli, said that he misses Tonioli on the judges’ panel because they’re “great mates” outside of the show.

But he also said that Tonioli has admitted to finding his own persona “exhausting.”

“I miss his energy,” said Horwood. “But he always used to come off [stage] and say, ‘Darling, I am exhausted.'”

To this, Horwood reveals he used to tell Tonioli, “Well, you created this character, darling. I will just sit there. My job is easy.”

The larger-than-life Italian dancer started on both “Dancing With the Stars” and its British counterpart “Strictly Come Dancing” in their very first seasons, and he has been known for his flamboyant persona on both shows. But due to global travel restrictions during the pandemic, he only appeared on “Strictly Come Dancing” season 18 as a guest judge via video. However, now that travel restrictions have been lifted in most countries, fans have been wondering if Tonioli would return to “Strictly.”

Anton Du Beke Is Returning to ‘Strictly Come Dancing’

On “Strictly Come Dancing” season 19, Tonioli was not asked back and was instead replaced by professional dancer Anton Du Beke. Du Beke was a pro dancer on “Strictly Come Dancing” every season until he moved to the other side of the judges’ table for season 19. Whether he would be asked back for season 20 has been up in the air until Horwood revealed that Du Beke will, in fact, return.

Horwood revealed during his stage show that he has been informed by the higher-ups at the show that Du Beke “is going to [judge] again this year.”

“I really love Anton. I think he is fantastic,” said Horwood. “I think last year he did a great job on ‘Strictly’ as a judge.”

But does this mean Tonioli is out for good? That remains to be seen. He was part of the “Strictly Come Dancing” live tour that ran from January 20 to February 13 in the United Kingdom, which had fans wondering if that meant he would be asked to return to the show.

Both Horwood and judge Shirley Ballas have said they think the panel could have five judges.

Speaking with MailOnline in December 2021, Horwood said he’d love to see both Du Beke and Tonioli on the panel, saying, “I’d love to see Anton stay on permanently and Bruno back. I think that would be good for all of us. Bruno adds something Anton can’t and vice-versa, if you look at it that way, so I think they’ve both got different opinions which I think is perfectly good. We could easily have five people on that panel. I think our time would be limited because there are only two minutes for the judges to talk but we would make it count. … I love Bruno’s energy and his madness and I think there’s a place for all of us really.”

Then in March 2022 on the red carpet for the Royal Television Society Awards, Ballas told The Mirror that she loves what Tonioli brings to the table and thinks they “could have five seats” on the judges’ panel.

“I just did the tour with Bruno and he was on point and on form,” said Ballas. “There is nobody like Bruno. He is a force to be reckoned with.”

But when MailOnline asked Horwood if he had taken the five-judge idea to the BBC executives, he said no, he is taking more of a grass-roots approach.

“No, I’m speaking to the press about it. That’s the way to get it done!” said Horwood. “You can write about it and then we can make it happen.”

What do you think, “Strictly Come Dancing” fans? Is there room for five judges on the panel? Sometimes the U.S. version runs out of time for the judges with only four on the panel, but the U.K. version does have one leg up on the U.S. version — it still has a separate results show, so there is more time during the performance broadcast for the judges to comment. The U.S. version has to leave time for the weekly elimination at the end of the two-hour show.

“Strictly Come Dancing” returns in the fall for its 20th season. “Dancing With the Stars” has not yet been renewed for season 31. If it is renewed, it will return in September 2022.

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