Bruno Tonioli admits he rarely knows who 'Strictly Come Dancing' celebrities are

·Contributor
·2-min read
Bruno Tonioli has been a beloved part of the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel since the show first began. (Getty)
Bruno Tonioli has been a beloved part of the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel since the show first began. (Getty)

Bruno Tonioli has confessed that he often had to ask for help when he didn't recognise the celebrities who sign up for Strictly Come Dancing.

The Italian dancer recently announced his full-time departure from the Strictly judging panel after several years of not appearing due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Read more: Bruno Tonioli's most outrageous Strictly moments

In a new interview with Mail Online, he confessed that on Strictly Come Dancing and on a US version of the show Dancing With the Stars — on which he still appears — he often has to ask fellow judges to identify contestants.

"I never know who anybody is. I go 'who the hell is that?'," said Tonioli.

Watch: Bruno Tonioli explains how COVID-19 thwarted Strictly return

He added: "It's actually better [not knowing contestants identities] because you don't have any preconceived ideas of what they should [do] or what they can [do] and you look at it as if it was you. For me they are all the same."

Addressing the prospect of a Strictly return, Tonioli described the team behind the show as "my family" and said "you never know" what will happen in the future.

"At the moment, you know it's just as impossible, you know the situation is too complicated," he said.

Read more: Strictly Come Dancing reveals pro dancers for 2022

Tonioli added: "But they're all my brothers and sisters, we're all loving each other, you know, no hard feelings. They're great, they do a great job.

"No one knows what's going to happen in the future. At the moment I do the American show, but I can't do the travel. It's impossible."

Bruno Tonioli still appears as a judge in the USA on Dancing With the Stars. (Getty)
Bruno Tonioli still appears as a judge in the USA on Dancing With the Stars. (Getty)

Tonioli will be replaced on the Strictly panel by Anton Du Beke, who has filled his shoes for the last two series during his absence.

"He's very good because he's done it his way and the only way to make it work is to make it yours," said Tonioli of his replacement.

Read more: Camilla says the royals voted for Rose Ayling-Ellis on Strictly

Strictly Come Dancing is set to return to screens in the autumn, with the likes of Andrew Garfield, Rosie Jones, Louis Theroux and Scarlett Moffatt rumoured to be taking to the ballroom.

Last year's series crowned EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis as the first deaf winner of the glitterball trophy, alongside professional partner Giovanni Pernice.

Watch: Giovanni Pernice thinks he's more qualified Strictly judge than Anton Du Beke

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting