28/05/2019 13:52 BST | Updated 29/05/2019 09:33 BST

Strictly Come Dancing: 2019 Series Will See A Major Change To The Current Format, According To Judge Craig Revel Horwood

We did not see this coming.

Apart from increasingly bigger budgets and an ever-changing judging panel, Strictly Come Dancing has remained pretty much unchanged in its 15 year history.

But this year’s series is set for a bit of a shake up, according to judge Craig Revel Horwood.

During an interview on Tuesday’s This Morning, Craig revealed that all four judges will be partnering up with the celebrity contestants and taking to the dance floor.

Craig Revel Horwood

He told hosts Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford: “This year is going to be very interesting. Like Australia, they’re taking a leaf out of Australia’s book, and of course Dancing with the Stars in America, the judges will be dancing.”

He then added that not all the judges even know about the planned change to the existing format - including a certain head judge.

“I don’t know that Shirley Ballas knows that yet, but she will. Scoop! ... We’ll dance with the contestants. You put yourself on the line, so to speak.”

He continued: “I did it in Australia and I absolutely loved it there… I danced with Courtney Act, which was absolutely fantastic.

“It was brilliant to come into the room to choreograph and to actually create an entire scenario and star in it yourself. And then be judged, that’s sort of the big thing… And I’m up, as most people know, for absolutely anything.”

Karwai Tang via Getty Images
darcey Bussell (second from right) will not be returning to the judging panel alongside Craig, Bruno Tonioli and Shirley Ballas.

The judges taking to the floor isn’t the only change coming to the 2019 series of the BBC dance show, as there will also be a new judge, following Darcey Bussell’s announcement that she won’t be returning to the panel.

Craig admitted that he wasn’t aware of the former ballerina’s decision to quit the show, and only found out when the rest of us did.

“I was shocked, I’ve got to say, because I didn’t know that was going to happen,” Craig said. “There was only a slight suggestion on the tour, but nothing more and I never thought that would actually happen because she is one of my best mates and I love sitting next to her. I love the fact she was whacking me with her paddle!”

SOPA Images via Getty Images
Darcey Bussell

However Craig remained tight-lipped on who Darcey’s replacement might be - but did rule out one former Strictly professional.

“They haven’t told me, but they have told me that it is someone that can actually dance,” he explained. “So that’s good. And also, it needs to be someone opinionated… I love Anton, he would be great. Any of the ex-dancers would be fantastic, but I don’t know is the honest truth. They won’t tell me because my gob’s too big!”

When Eamonn suggested that Darcey’s replacement could be James Jordan, Craig responded: “That’s unlikely, darling.”

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