Strictly judge Bruno Tonioli says it was too much as he breaks silence on exit

Strictly Come Dancing star Bruno Tonioli has revealed the reason why he has quit the show after 18 years.

The judging panel veteran confirmed he was bowing out of his role on the hit BBC dance competition on Thursday (May 19) after reports leaked that he was planning to step down.

Bruno, 66, has now confessed that juggling his responsibilities on Strictly as well as filming Dancing With The Stars in the US since 2005 had "got too much" for him.

Admitting that the constant travel between Los Angeles and London had simply become too for him the popular Italian judge confirmed: "I'm done."

He added: "I just can’t do it anymore. Going back and forth was too much."

Bruno already missed the last two series of Strictly due to Covid-19 travel restrictions keeping him from being able to travel on the 10-hour flight between LA and the UK.

Fans saw former Strictly Professional Anton Du Beke fill in for Bruno last year, with him appearing by videolink in the year before.

Now Anton, 55, will join Head Judge Shirley Ballas as well as Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse as a full-time member of the judging panel.

Bruno complimented his replacement saying: “Anton is brilliant. He will be brilliant.”

Bruno explained how he had to decide between Strictly and Dancing with the Stars in an appearance on The One Show on Thursday.

He said: "Dancing with the Stars has moved onto Disney+ and will be streaming live. It's a big deal, it's very very exciting.

"And because of the travel situations, I can't guarantee that I am going to be there because anything can happen.

"Last year I changed my ticket every week – they need continuity. I absolutely support them, it's my decision."

He added: "Anton has done a fantastic job. He deserves to be on that seat."

Bruno has worked as a judge on Dancing with the Stars since its debut in 2005.

Anton commented on his new role in the show: "Everyone knows how much I absolutely love the show and I'm utterly delighted to be continuing as a regular judge."

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