Tonioli announced his temporary exit from the show on Instagram after months of fans and outlets speculating whether he would return or not.
“Sadly due to current travel regulations and previous work commitments I’ll miss @bbcstrictly this year will miss you all but I know you will be AMAZING,” he wrote on Instagram.
The wording of the post seems to suggest that Tonioli will return for the next season of the show as long as restrictions are lifted. Tonioli has been on the judging panel of “Strictly Come Dancing” since 2004, though he only appeared virtually in 2020.
Tonioli Was Reportedly Involved in Talks With Show Executives
According to The Sun, Tonioli recently traveled to the UK from his home in Los Angeles to talk with executives at “Strictly Come Dancing.”
The outlet reports that they would very much like Tonioli to be returning for the upcoming season, but Tonioli’s agreement with “Dancing With the Stars” could impact that, as they’re filmed at the same time and require a lot of running back and forth.
Tonioli was back in the UK for a few months filming a travel project, but it seems that he could not work out how to make both “Dancing With the Stars” and “Strictly Come Dancing” work in 2021. According to Deadline, the travel show is titled “Craig and Bruno’s Great British Adventure” and features Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood traveling around the UK.
The Daily Mail reported on January 2 that Tonioli had been paid £125,000, which is around $170,000, for just five minutes of screentime on the 2020 season, which is something that the show may be trying to avoid in 2021.
“This time last year, Bruno had been signed up but things are so much less certain now,” a source told the outlet. “It is very unlikely the BBC will allow themselves to be in the same position they were this year and end up spending so much money for such little value.”
Tonioli has already announced that he will be on “Dancing With the Stars” for season 30.
“Can’t wait to be back in the ballroom with my friends @tyrabanks @carrieanninaba @derekhough @grumpylengoodman and our amazing professional dancers for the most fabulous sparkling exciting season ever,” he wrote on Instagram.
Horwood Previously Teased Tonioli’s Return
“We really do want him there in the seat… whether he stays in the seat or not, as he’s generally up and down like a yo-yo!” Revel Horwood said on Good Morning Britain, Bustle reported.
According to Horwood, the cast would really like it if Tonioli were able to return to “Strictly Come Dancing.”
“Of course we want him back,” Revel Horwood told the outlet. “If he can’t come back then he’ll do what he did last time, you know, due to restrictions, and just do lives and crosses and feeds to the studio, which was great fun as it was anyway.”
“Dancing With the Stars” returns for season 30 in September 2021.