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Anton du Beke, 54, was back on the sidelines this week after stepping in for Strictly Come Dancing judge Motsi Mabuse, 39, whilst she took a break to self-isolate. Fans applauded the fact the professional dancer had been given a promotion after being knocked out so early in the competition. However, they took to social media during Saturday night’s edition of the BBC show to request he be made a fourth citric on the panel. And according to reports, this has left Bruno Tonioli, 65, very “worried” about his future on the programme.
Earlier this year it was confirmed Bruno would be missing this year’s season as a result of the measures implemented to stop the spread of coronavirus.
As he is also a judge on Dancing With The Stars, the Italian choreographer opted to stay in America, where he was living at the point the pandemic struck.
However, he has made a few appearances over the past couple of weeks to offer his take on the couple’s performances.
Despite him being absent from the panel, it seems viewers are more interested in getting Anton a permeant promotion as one fan wrote on Twitter: “I’m missing Anton on the judging panel.”
Another passionate social media user added: “Sorry to say but #Strictly is missing Anton as a judge! @bbcstrictly Bring Anton back!”
Whilst a third commented: “Bring back Anton – we need a fourth judge that isn’t Bruno,” a fourth shared: “Petition to bring back Anton as a Strictly Come Dancing judge.”
Seeing his colleague doing so well seems to have spooked Bruno as a source explained: “He feels a bit out of the loop with the UK show and even though he hasn’t been able to film it this year, it’s really important to him.
“He has told pals he is worried about viewers preferring Anton and forgetting about him,” the insider told The Sun.
Express.co.uk have contacted a representative of the Strictly fan-favourite for comment on the reports as no official word from the judge has been printed.
Bring back Anton
Strictly Come Dancing viewer
It seems Anton is keen to step away from his role as a professional dancer, one he has held since joining the show in 2004.
“As as I’ve gotten older I don’t like to compete anymore. I don’t like match-play as I don’t want to be that competitive anymore,” the stalwart said.
“I’ve been down that road and I’m past that. But I still want to be fabulous, so I’m really competitive with myself.
“But I have this anxiety now I never used to have, maybe it’s because I’ve had children,” the father-of-two continued.
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“I’m not one of these people who says something cruel, then says, ‘I’m only joking’. They’re the most annoying in the world. I’m not mean, you see.”,” Anton told podcast host Paul McKenna.
It is currently thought Bruno will return next season to sit alongside Motsi, Craig Revel Horwood, 55, and head judge Shirley Ballas, 60, after it was confirmed by the BBC he would miss the Grand Final.
Speaking of his disappointment in missing this year’s competition, the Italian choreographer said: “I absolutely adore being part of Strictly and can’t wait to see what incredible dancing this year has in store.
“Lockdown has resulted in me being in LA for the foreseeable, but I’m excited to be involved as much as I possibly can.”
Discussing the limited role he would play, executive producer Sarah James said: “I’m overjoyed that we’ve found a way for Bruno to be part of this years’ Strictly.
“His passion and enthusiasm are such a big part of the show, I’m thrilled we can continue to deliver that to audiences this year.”
Coral bookmakers currently have 6/4 odds on Anton becoming a permanent judge next year following his success on the panel.
Spokesperson John Hill said: “Anton looked right at home on the judging panel on Strictly and our betting suggests he could have a permanent seat on the desk in 2021.”
Strictly Come Dancing continues tonight at 7:25pm on BBC One.
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