BRUNO Tonioli looked relaxed as he went shirtless in LA as Strictly Come Dancing returns without him.
Due to coronavirus travel restrictions, 64-year-old ballroom expert Bruno is stuck in the US, where he acts as a judge on Dancing with the Stars.
Strictly returned last night as the celebrity and professional dancers were paired up for the first time.
Tonioli has been able to fly between the US and the UK to film both Dancing with the Stars and Strictly in previous years, however this is no longer possible.
The Sun revealed in August that he will appear via video-link only for the Sunday night results show.
In a statement, Bruno said: “I absolutely adore being part of Strictly and can’t wait to see what incredible dancing this year has in store!
"Lockdown has resulted in me being in LA for the foreseeable, but I’m excited to be involved as much as I possibly can. There was no cha-cha-chance I’d miss out!”
Bruno has confirmed he will play a part in the newest series, but he won't "interfere" with the judging as it "wouldn't be right".
The judge said: "I will watch the show and will do a little segment, like the results show.
"It wouldn’t be right for me to interfere with the judging process because it’s not fair.
"Craig [Revel-Horwood], Shirley [Ballas], Motsi [Mabuse] know exactly what they’re doing. What I will do is my point of view, pointing out this and that – and I’m glad I am able to do it."
BBC bosses have confirmed that the flamboyant Italian will only feature in person for the tail-end of the series because of a clash with Dancing With The Stars in America.
He hopes to make at least the final four episodes – including the final and the semi final – if coronavirus travel restrictions allow him.
But if he is forced to quarantine on his return to the UK, then he will only make the last two.
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 said: “I absolutely adore being part of Strictly and can’t wait to see what incredible dancing this year has in store!
“Lockdown has resulted in me being in LA for the foreseeable, but I’m excited to be involved as much as I possibly can. There was no cha-cha-chance I’d miss out!”
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