Alfonso Ribeiro to step in as Bruno Tonioli misses 'Strictly'

Julia Hunt
Contributor
Bruno Tonioli on Dancing with the Stars (Eric McCandless/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)

Bruno Tonioli is apparently missing Saturday night’s instalment of Strictly Come Dancing because of his commitments across the pond.

The dancer’s seat on the panel will reportedly be taken by Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air star Alfonso Ribeiro, who was a big hit when he last appeared on the BBC show.

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According to The Sun, Tonioli will have to miss Strictly on October 19 because of work commitments in America, where he is also a judge on Dancing With The Stars.

Ribeiro, 48 – who starred as Carlton alongside Will Smith in the hit series - was drafted in to take over for Tonioli when he had to miss Strictly last year.

Alfonso Ribeiro arrives at the Disney/ABC 2018 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton in 2018 in Beverly Hills (Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)

He was a huge hit, and some people said at the time that they would like to see him given a permanent position.

Ribeiro will join head judge Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and new judge Motsi Mabuse on the Strictly panel.

Tonioli sits alongside former Strictly panellist Len Goodman and US TV personality Carrie Ann Inaba on the US competition.

Ribeiro competed on season 19 of Dancing With The Stars and won it alongside professional dance partner Witney Carson.

Craig Revel Horwood (left), Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli (right) arriving at the red carpet launch of Strictly Come Dancing 2019, held at BBC TV Centre in London, UK.

Fans were particularly pleased when he cracked out his Fresh Prince character’s signature moves - the “Carlton dance” – during the series.

Tonioli also had to miss a Strictly show back in 2017 as a result of his busy schedule.

Read more: Motsi Mabuse a hit on Strictly

That time the show’s bosses did not replace him and let the panel continue as a trio.

Strictly Come Dancing has been contacted for comment.