Former Strictly pro says Bruno Tonioli provides “entertainment value but nothing else”

The judge will not appear on this year's show.

Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli

Strictly Come Dancing professional Ian Waite said judge Bruno Tonioli is only good for “entertainment value”.

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The liveliest member of the judging panel has been one of Strictly Come Dancing‘s biggest personalities since the very beginning, but his involvement in the 2020 series is uncertain due to travel restrictions necessitated by coronavirus.

Tonioli had previously planned to appear on both Strictly Come Dancing and the US version Dancing with the Stars, flying back and forth each week to do so.

When asked about the judge’s potential absence during an interview FUBAR Radio’s Access All Areas, Strictly choreographer and former pro Waite seemed remarkably unconcerned.

He said: “Do you want the honest truth? I love Bruno for the entertainment value, but nothing else. He doesn’t really say anything technical. He’s not really the technician of the panel.

“It’s like, how many arms can I flail around and how expressive can I be?”

Waite has competed in several series of Strictly Come Dancing, securing a second place position with athlete Denise Lewis in the first series and reaching third place the following year with presenter Zoe Ball.

His latest comments aren’t the first time that he’s spoken candidly about colleagues on Strictly, adding that it has caused some tension in the past.

“There are some pros who don’t like you saying anything against them, but they can stuff it,” he said.

Strictly will look different this year, as it will be the first series to forego a live studio audience and the show’s group routines will be pre-recorded in isolation.

Among the contestants, there are rumoured to be two same-sex couples, including an all-male and all-female pairing, with the show packing a smaller line-up overall.

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