Strictly Come Dancing's Anton Du Beke Addresses Bruno Tonioli Feud Rumours

Anton was recently handed Bruno's old spot on the Strictly judging panel on a permanent basis.
Anton Du Beke and Bruno Tonioli
Anton Du Beke and Bruno Tonioli
Ian West - PA Images via Getty Images

Anton Du Beke has addressed rumours of a feud with his Strictly Come Dancing judging predecessor Bruno Tonioli.

For the past two years, long-standing judge Bruno was unable to appear on the panel due to Covid travel restrictions, with professional dancer Anton occupying his seat during the most recent series.

Earlier this year, it was announced the change would be permanent, with Bruno leaving to focus on his role on the US version of the show, Dancing With The Stars.

There had been rumours of a feud between the pair after Bruno made a quip about Anton, saying: “Good for him. He needs the money.”

However, Anton has told The Sun: “I think he was just mucking around. I can imagine him saying it.

“I think it looked more punchy than it was. So I didn’t get the hump over it at all. It actually made me laugh.”

Anton on the Strictly Come Dancing panel
Anton on the Strictly Come Dancing panel
Guy Levy/BBC via PA Media

However, Anton admitted he hasn’t spoken to Bruno since landing his old job full time.

“I haven’t spoken to him. I haven’t spoken to any of the judges,” he said.

“It was all down to circumstance really. The situation with flying still isn’t ideal – we all know how many flights are being cancelled – and Bruno said to the BBC, ‘Listen, I can’t do both shows. Thank you very much and good luck’.”

Italian dancer and choreographer Bruno had been a judge since the BBC dance show launched in 2004.

He has held a spot on the Dancing With The Stars panel since its launch in 2005, resulting in frequent flying back and forth between the UK and the US while both shows were running.

Bruno last appeared alongside Criag, Motsi and Shirley in 2019
Bruno last appeared alongside Criag, Motsi and Shirley in 2019
Karwai Tang via Getty Images

Back in July, he spoke candidly about his decision to leave Strictly and focus on his working commitments in America.

“There is no animosity, it was a mutual decision with both of us saying, ‘Listen, this is not going to work like it used to’,” he explained to the Daily Mail.

“I just couldn’t do the flying any more,” he said. “I don’t know how I survived that schedule. To be honest, it’s a miracle.”

He added: “I have no idea what it did to my health, don’t go there!”

Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One on Saturday 17 September.


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