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Strictly Come Dancing has revealed that Anton Du Beke will remain as a judge for the 2022 series, replacing Bruno Tonioli.
Du Beke stood in for Tonioli in 2021 when Covid travel restrictions were in place. Now that Bruno has decided to leave Strictly for good due to commitments in the US, the BBC has decided to give Anton a permanent seat on the panel.
Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse and Craig Revel Horwood will also be back to offer their verdict and scores on the celebrity contestants.
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Anton Du Beke
Anton Du Beke joined Strictly during its first series and danced in every series up to 2020. He replaced Bruno Tonioli as a judge temporarily in 2021, and after a positive reception from the show's fans, has now been given a permanent seat on the panel.
"Woohooo! This is BRILLIANT news. Everyone knows how much I absolutely love the show and I’m utterly delighted to be continuing as a regular judge," said Du Beke.
"And I get to make the final again - now I know how Giovanni feels!"
Across 18 series he danced with Judy Murray, Nancy Dell'Olio, Ann Widdecombe, Patsy Palmer and Emma Barton. Although he reached the final three times, Du Beke never won the show.
Ballroom champion Shirley Ballas became Strictly’s head judge in 2017 following the departure of Len Goodman.
The Queen of Latin has a strict and technical approach to judging, which was very different to Len.
Her first series included a significant amount of controversy after she had a live TV row with Brendan Cole over her comments about Good Morning Britain's Charlotte Hawkins.
The 60-year-old began dancing at the age of seven and went on to become a Latin American dance champion in the UK and the US.
"Being a judge on Strictly is such a joy and honour for me, and I can’t wait to be back at the studio waving my paddle," said Ballas.
"Every year the wonderful production team surpass themselves and I know they have some brilliant plans in store for 2022. I’m so excited to get started."
Craig Revel Horwood
The ‘Mr Nasty’ of Strictly will be returning for his 20th series of the show this autumn
The Australian-born star has appeared in musicals such as West Side Story, La Cage Aux Folles and Me and My Girl.
"I am beyond thrilled to be returning to Strictly, I can’t believe it will be my 20th series!" said Craig. "It’s going to be Fab-u-lous!"
Past Strictly judges
- Craig Revel Horwood – Series 1-20
- Bruno Tonioli – Series 1-18
- Len Goodman – Series 1-14
- Arlene Phillips – Series 1-6
- Alesha Dixon – Series 7-9
- Darcey Bussell – Series 10-16
- Shirley Ballas – Series 15-20
- Motsi Mabuse – Series 17-20
- Anton Du Beke – Series 19-20
Past guest judges have included: Jennifer Grey, Donny Osmond, Alfonso Ribeiro and Cynthia Erivo.
The South African dancer is the older sister of Strictly professional - and two-time winner - Oti.
She joined the BBC judging panel in 2019, becoming an instant hit with fans.
She was previously a judge on the German version of Strictly Come Dancing, called Let’s Dance.
Motsi is a former South African Champion and German Latin Champion in 2009 and 2010.
"Last year’s series of Strictly was one of the highlights of my career, it has had such a real impact which has been incredible to witness," said Mabuse.
"I am so proud to be a part of this show and I am so looking forward to returning for my fourth series!"
Where is Bruno Tonioli?
Vivacious, flamboyant and rambunctious judge Bruno Tonioli has been part of the Strictly family since day 1. But due to international travel restrictions he was unable to fly in from Los Angeles to attend the 2020 and 2021 series and has now decided to leave the Strictly Come Dancing panel for good and concentrate on judging its US equivalent, Dancing With the Stars.
Bruno told BBC's The One Show that he missed Strictly very much, but explained that since the pandemic, doing both shows was impossible.
"The rules changed, getting through the airport was not like it used to be, it created a situation that was unsustainable," he said.
Of his replacement on the panel, Anton du Beke, Bruno said: "I think Anton has done a fantastic job. He deserves to be on that seat. It's a 10 from me. Carry on. Do me proud."
Bruno had been a fixture on Strictly since its launch in 2004 and has been a judge on all 31 series of the biannual Dancing With The Stars since it began in 2005.
His departure leaves Craig Revel Horwood as the only original judge still on the panel.
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Who are Strictly's former judges?
Now a Dame, Darcey Bussell left the Strictly Come Dancing family in 2018 after seven years on the panel.
Announcing her exit, Darcey said: "It has been a complete privilege for me to be part of Strictly, working with such a talented team.
"I have enjoyed every minute of my time and will miss everyone from my fellow judges, the presenters, the dancers, the musicians, the entire back stage team, and especially the viewers of the show, who have been so supportive.
"I am not leaving because of any upset or disagreement at all, I am just stepping away to give more focus to my many other commitments in dance, after seven truly wonderful years that I can’t imagine having gone any better.
"I know I will miss being part of this unique show and the fact that it celebrates dance is something I am so passionate about. I hope that I may be very lucky to be asked back again one day."
The original Head Judge retired from the show in 2017, making his final appearance in the Christmas special.
Len has continued as a judge on Dancing With The Stars in America and returned to the BBC as the host of gameshow Partners in Rhyme.
Arlene was the face of dance on the BBC in the early 00s, starring on Strictly and working on reality shows DanceX, Strictly Dance Fever and So You Think You Can Dance.
She was controversially dropped from the judge lineup after series 6, prompting complaints of ageism when she was replaced by Alesha Dixon.
Alesha was a controversial replacement for Arlene Phillips, taking on the job only two years after winning series 5 in 2007.
After a shaky start, Alesha proved to be a hit with viewers and ratings continued to rise before she was poached by Simon Cowell for Britain’s Got Talent after three series as a Strictly judge.
The Strictly Come Dancing 2022 final is on BBC One at 7.05pm on Saturday 17 December.
Strictly Come Dancing continues every Saturday evening on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.