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Strictly Come Dancing star Craig Revel Horwood has said it's "about time" Anton Du Beke joined him at the judging desk and that the time has come for him to hang up his dancing shoes.
The TV judge is known for being Mr Nasty on the panel, but despite some harsh critiques of Anton's dances over the years, he told Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield on Thursday's This Morning that he couldn't be happier about Anton being a judge for the next series of Strictly.
Anton has just been announced as a replacement for Bruno Tonioli, who again will not be able to take part in Strictly because of travel restrictions, and Craig said: "I was told yesterday afternoon.
"(Bruno and I) were talking about whether he was going to fly backwards and forwards and of course he can't, it's just too risky.
"So delighted when Anton got the job I was over the moon, in fact I spoke to him on the way to the studio here today and he's super excited as we all are."
Craig gushed: "Isn't it about time, darling, I mean there is a point in your life when you have to give up the dance shoes and hang them up at some stage."
Phil questioned whether travel restrictions would still be in place by the time Strictly's live shows begin in late September or early October.
But Craig said: "Well you say that but will it, it's still risky. The decision had to be made in order to get the show on the road. Decisions have to be made in advance. There was a lot of juggling with Strictly last year and really it's the best possible solution."
He assured fans: "Bruno's not out out, he may come back next year, who knows, but I'm so delighted to welcome Anton."
Last year, Bruno called in by video to the Sunday show each week but could not judge as he has filming commitments in the US and could not travel regularly between the two countries without quarantining, which is also expected to be a problem this year.
Craig added that he hoped the studio audience would be able to return this year after being missing for most of last series.
He said: "I hope we can have a studio audience otherwise there's no one to boo me, darling, I had to boo myself.
"It felt really flat, we had 10 of the crew in screaming and shouting which helped but I did miss the studio audience."
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