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Bruno Tonioli reveals whether new US travel rules will impact Strictly return

Bruno Tonioli arrives for a performance of Anything Goes (Jonathan Brady/PA)
Bruno Tonioli arrives for a performance of Anything Goes (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Bruno Tonioli has dismissed suggestions relaxed restrictions on arrivals from the US mean he is returning as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing.

Since Monday, people fully vaccinated in the US and most of the EU have no longer had to quarantine upon arrival.

It comes after former professional partner Anton Du Beke joined the Strictly judging panel for this series while Tonioni, who lives in the US and is a judge on Dancing With The Stars, remains unable to take part due to travel uncertainty due to the pandemic.

Speaking on the red carpet for Anything Goes at London’s Barbican Theatre, the 65-year-old told the PA news agency: “Blame the travel insanity. It is like anyone. It is impossible to schedule. It is a mutual agreement because they have to go ahead. They have to produce a show. They need people available.

Anything Goes arrivals – London
Bonnie Langford, Bruno Tonioli and Dame Arlene Phillips (Jonathan Brady/PA)

“I am in America. I used to do it because I used to spend three days here and three days in LA. It is impossible. But the show is going to be fantastic regardless.”

Addressing the change in travel rules, he added: “It is only for Americans coming in but I have to go back. I am fully vaccinated but it is not just once. I have to do it every week.

“All it takes is somebody changes the rule and they are without a judge. It is too risky until things are back to normal and they say, ‘Everyone vaccinated can go backwards and forwards – no restrictions, no quarantine, then it may be possible’.

Anything Goes arrivals – London
Sinitta arrives for a performance of Anything Goes (Jonathan Brady/PA)

“But there aren’t enough planes as well. There used to be three flights a day so if for some reason there is a problem you are put on the next one.

“But when you have these big shows, they don’t want to take the risk. I understand.”

There have been suggestions Strictly will feature its first male same-sex pairing after Olympic boxing champion Nicola Adams made history alongside professional Katya Jones last year as an all-female duo.

Anything Goes arrivals – London
Christopher Biggins and Gyles Brandreth at the Barbican Theatre in London (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Tonioli said he would love to watch Olympic diving gold medallist Tom Daley appear on the show in such a partnership.

He said: “He is a nice boy. I know him. He is a nice, nice guy. He used to come to shows actually quite often.

“He would be brilliant because he is very fit. Can you imagine? I cannot comment but he would be great to watch.”

The red carpet event was also attended by famous faces such as Sinitta, Bonnie Langford and former Strictly judge Dame Arlene Phillips.

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