Bruno Tonioli fears he may be ‘forgotten’ from the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel – and replaced by Anton du Beke.
The 65-year-old choreographer has been largely absent from the 2020 season of Strictly after he ditched the show in favour of maintaining his judging seat on Dancing With The Stars in the USA instead.
As a result, the usual Strictly line-up of judges was cut to three for the current 18th season – with Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse joining head judge Shirley Ballas on the panel.
Bruno has made brief appearances during episodes as he beams in via satellite link from Los Angeles where Dancing With The Stars is filmed.
However, earlier this month, 39-year-old Mosti was forced to steer clear of the Strictly studios for two weeks to self-isolate in-line with government guidelines relating to the coronavirus pandemic as she had made an emergency trip to Germany.
With Mosti out of action, 54-year-old Anton was drafted to take her place and proved something of a hit with fans – a fact that appears to have rattled Bruno.
A source close to the star told The Sun on Sunday: “Bruno feels a bit out of the loop with the UK show and even though he hasn’t been able to film it this year, it’s really important to him.
“He has told pals he is worried about viewers preferring Anton and forgetting about him.”
Meanwhile, Anton – who was the first to be voted off the 2020 series as a professional dancer alongside contestant Jacqui Smith – has hinted he wants to hang up his dance shoes.
He previously said: “As as I’ve gotten older I don’t compete anymore I don’t like to compete now, funnily enough.
“I’ve been down that road and I’m past that. But I still want to be fabulous, so I’m really competitive with myself.
“But I have this anxiety now I never used to have, maybe it’s because I’ve had children.
“I really hate, more than anything else and it makes me ill, if I’ve upset somebody.”
Meanwhile, on Saturday night’s show, 55-year-old Craig made a catty remark – reminding Anton that he’s not on the permanent judging panel, just yet.
Anton had booed the flamboyant judge when he gave slightly scathing feedback to one of the remaining couples.
Craig then snapped back: “Is that Anton booing from the cheap seats, darling? Sorry Anton, but you’re no longer up here.”