STRICTLY Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli will miss the rest of this year’s series and not return for the final.
BBC bosses had hoped the flamboyant Italian, 65, would return for at least the semi-final, and the grand finale just before Christmas.
Bruno Tonioli will miss Strictly’s finalCredit: ABC
But they have decided him travelling from Los Angeles is not deemed essential travel, so he will now not take part.
A source said: “Bruno has been umming and ahhing about this for weeks.
“But him and the BBC have decided that it’s nowhere near essential for him to fly halfway around the world for a few hours work so they’ll make do without him.”
The star had only appeared via videolink from his home in LA, where he films the American version of the show, Dancing With The Stars.
This year’s series clashes with his US show Dancing With The StarsCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Travel restrictions have prevented Bruno from getting to the UK from LA
Bosses had hoped he would make at least the final four episodes – including the final and the semi final.
Their worst case scenario was that if he was forced to quarantine he would film two shows minimum.
Because of Bruno’s absence from the Saturday shows this year, it has meant for the first time there have just been three judges – Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas and Craig Revel Horwood.
Bruno has failed to appear in person during this year’s Strictly Credit: Getty Images – Getty
And to make matters worse, they were forced to ask long-running professional Anton Du Beke to stand in for Motsi after she had to return back to Germany for a private emergency.
It comes after the long-serving judge – who has spent the last 15 years commuting between homes in Los Angeles and London to appear on Strictly – told The Sun it would be “impossible” for him to take part, giving Cheryl Tweedy his blessing to replace him.
Bruno has appeared on both Strictly Come Dancing and the show’s US version since they launched in 2005.
In both of the last two series of Strictly, he was replaced by Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star Alfonso Ribeiro for Week Five due to clashes in filming.
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