Strictly’s Bruno Tonioli backs Cheryl Cole to ‘replace’ him if forced to miss 2020 series

Strictly’s Bruno Tonioli backs Cheryl Cole to ‘replace’ him if forced to miss 2020 series

June 26, 2020

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Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli is at the centre of a will he, won’t he tug of war as fans wait to find out whether he will make an appearance in the hugely anticipated 2020 show. With the global threat of coronavirus making things difficult for BBC bosses, Bruno has his own issues as he has other commitments with US version Dancing With The Stars, which films at the same time over in America.

If Cheryl does end up doing it there would be nothing wrong with that. She’s a lovely girl. I like her

Bruno Tonioli

While head judge Shirley Ballas branded the claims he was being “replaced” this year as “just rumours,” she remained adamant that he would do everything he could to be there for Strictly.

Speaking on talkRADIO on Thursday she brushed off concerns, saying: “They are again rumours. So it will be according to the flights – if he can get backwards and forwards safely but knowing Bruno and he’s such an amazing man, he will do everything in his power not to let the British public down,” she explained.

“So let’s keep our fingers crossed. It will all go down to guidelines and rules.”

Prior to Shirley’s radio interview, there was widespread gossip that Cheryl Cole could take over the hot seat due to her connections and experience with performing and dance.


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Bookmaker Coral speculated that the former Girls Aloud bandmate would take the reins after her popularity on BBC’s The Greatest Dancer talent show.

They slashed the odds in half, with Coral’s John Hill saying: “With doubts over Bruno Tonioli’s availability this year, we have slashed the odds on Cheryl being a judge on Strictly in 2020.

“Cheryl has been linked with being a contestant on Strictly for a while and they may just get their target this year, but in the judges’ chair, rather than the dance floor.”

Cheryl currently has odds of 2/1 in the bookies’ eyes, but would she want to take it on?

Well if she does, she knows she can do so guilt free, as Bruno gave her his blessing to take over if the time comes where he can’t make it.

Talking to The Sun about his pending absence, he backed the singer’s chances of taking his spot this year if coronavirus impedes his travel, forcing him to miss the season.

He told the publication: “If Cheryl does end up doing it there would be nothing wrong with that. She’s a lovely girl. I like her.

“Of course she’s not me, but we’re all different. We all have different things to offer but I’ve heard nothing concrete.”

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Cheryl has dabbled in reality TV before, sitting upon the judging panel twice on X Factor before stepping down and the songstress appeared in two series of The Greatest Dancer before it was axed.

Ladbrokes also predicted that 2018 show winner Stacey Dooley could be in with a chance of sitting in the judges chair this year after stealing the show two years ago with now-boyfriend Kevin Clifton.

Pricing her odds at 3-1, slashed from 8-1, they believe she’s in with a good chance to be named replacement if it comes to it.

And fans reckon she would be the perfect choice after she won over the hearts of viewers across the nation, with one suggesting that she would “add a bit of sauce” to the panel of critics.


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But Cheryl remains the firm-favourite, who last year teamed up with 2019 Strictly winner Oti Mabuse on the BBC1 dancing talent show, which encouraged dancers of any age and dance style to compete to win £50,000 and a chance to perform on Strictly.

But after the latest series of the show, it was cancelled when BBC announced they had no plans on bringing it back.

So could this be Cheryl’s chance to advance to the next level as she gets her teeth into the glitz and glam of BBC’s biggest dancing competition?

Strictly returns later this year on BBC One.

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