'Strictly' Judge Bruno Tonioli Defends Comedy Contestants
PRESS ASSOCIATION -- Bruno Tonioli has denied that having comedy contestants on Strictly Come Dancing undermines the competition.
Much of last year's series was taken over by the comedy performances of former MP Ann Widdecombe and her professional partner Anton Du Beke.
With a new line-up including Lulu, Nancy Dell'Olio and Jason Donovan, this year is bound to be as exciting as the last, and Tonioli is looking forward to the comedy acts just as much as the competitive ones.
"I don't think the comedy contestants undermine the competition at all. The point of it is that the show should be open to everyone. Some people that you think would be brilliant are not, and people you think are going to be terrible are brilliant. I think the charm is having a great variety of characters and seeing what happens once we've put them all together," he said.
He also thinks this series is going to be better than ever - especially as it's the first since host Bruce Forsyth got his knighthood.
"It will be too fabulous," Tonioli said.
"It's going to be the golden season. Last year was the best we ever had. But we're really keen to build on that achievement and make it even more exciting and more glamorous and more sexy, and finally there'll be Sir Bruce - we'll be almost royal!"
:: Strictly Come Dancing begins on BBC One on Friday, September 30.