Former judge Bruno Tonioli is set to make a surprise return to Strictly Come Dancing for the Christmas special.
The dancer, 66, officially left the show in May, with Anton Du Beke, 56, taking his seat as judge after traveling between the UK and US became too much.
But MailOnline has learned that Bruno plans to appear in the show’s Christmas Special and will be singing instead of putting on a dance show.
EXCLUSIVE: Bruno Tonioli is set to RETURN to Strictly: Beloved Former Judge to make a surprise return on the Christmas Special with a performance by SINGING (pictured on the show in 2019)
The source said: ‘Bruno loves to sing. He made an opera album called An Italian Romance in 2016, and who knows, it could turn into a new career for him.
A Strictly spokesperson told MailOnline: “Strictly are still working on all plans for the Christmas special so we won’t be commenting on this at this time.”
Bruno famously performed You’re Just To Good To Be True on Strictly in 2019 to huge applause.
A source told MailOnline: “Bruno loves to sing and who knows, it could turn into a new career for him.” Sang in Strictly in 2019 – pictured
The Italian choreographer left the show after 18 years in May, admitting that flying back and forth between the UK and the US for the show had become “too much” for him.
Bruno has been juggling his role on the BBC dance show with his performance as a US judge on Dancing with the Stars since 2005 and it was just wearing him down.
After his departure from Strictly, Bruno broke his silence to say that he “just can’t do the 10-hour flights anymore and it’s over.”
Bruno has been at the heart of the BBC’s dance program since its launch in 2004.
However, he hadn’t been a regular on the panel during the pandemic due to travel restrictions amid his filming on Dancing with the Stars.
Last year, Bruno was replaced on the UK judging panel, Anton, amid difficulties traveling back and forth.
Whereas the year before, Bruno appeared via video link due to the same issues.
Previously, Craig Revel Horwood suggested that Bruno might re-judge alongside Anton, but now it looks like he’s staying in the US.
Bruno was part of the original line-up of Strictly alongside Craig, Arlene Phillips and his Dancing With The Stars co-star Len Goodman.
The latest news comes after Tyler West became the eighth contestant to leave Strictly when he went up against Molly Rainford at the dreaded dance on Saturday night.
Molly and Carlos Gu he performed his Barry Manilow Jive to Bandstand, followed by Tyler and Dianne Buswell dancing to their mega mix of KC and the sunshine band in an attempt to impress the judges and stay in the competition.
After both couples danced a second time, the judges delivered their verdicts and with two votes for Molly and one for Tyler, the deciding vote went to Head Judge Shirley Ballas.
Craig Revel Horwood chose to save Molly and Carlos, saying, ‘Wow, both couples danced so much better, they really did.
‘Tyler, amazing hips, this time, amazing. Molly, lighter, brighter, much more precise.
“I’m finding this really difficult for the first time this season, but I’d like to save Molly and Carlos.”
Motsi Mabuse also opted to save Molly and Carlos, adding: “Yes, both pairs were better in this performance, I have based my decision on technical and presentation styles and I am going to save Molly and Carlos.”
However, Anton Du Beke decided to save Tyler and Dianne saying, “This is a testament to how amazing all couples are, at this point in the competition.”
‘We have a situation here, where neither of these competing couples deserve to be here, whereas they could easily have made it to the final.
“To me, a brilliant performance from both couples, but one of them was more dynamic, the couple I’d like to save is Tyler and Dianne.”
When asked about his time on the show by host Tess Daly, Tyler said: ‘I’m more than a two-step now! When you watch the show at home, you wonder what it must be like to dance on it, it’s everything and more, it has changed my life.
‘This girl here, she has changed my life for sure. To think that she was a shy child who never spoke to anyone, who danced in front of millions, I can’t put it into words.
‘It’s my mum’s favorite programme, I bought it for Blackpool, my grandmother bless her, she always looked after me on this trip.
“But more importantly, this show has changed my life in the sense that it has given me confidence, a new family, every dancer, everyone with their hair and makeup, the costumes.
‘The judges, it’s been amazing dancing in front of you every week, I mean it.
“But this girl here, I’ve been blessed with the best, she’s what Strictly is all about and she’s changed my life, I have no doubt she’ll be in my life forever.”