Strictly Come Dancing’s Motsi Mabuse has hinted that Bruno Tonioli will not be replaced by a guest judge during his absence from the show.
The flamboyant judge, 64, will be absent from the Saturday night judging panel when the BBC One show returns.
Tonioli, who is in the US for Dancing With The Stars, will appear full-time towards the end of the series.
“I think everybody has a special spot on the judging panel and Bruno is not replaceable,” judge Mabuse, 39, told Hello! magazine.
Tonioli will be involved remotely in the Strictly results show on Sunday nights.
“We all have to adjust,” Mabuse said.
“(Remote judging) may be an aspect of the show that we never knew was missing. We will have to see what works as we go.”
Asked if a guest judge will fill in for him, Tonioli previously told The Sun: “That’s up to them, it’s not my call.
“On Dancing With The Stars we only have three judges and that works fine.”
Mabuse said of returning to the show after making her debut alongside Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Tonioli last year: “I’m like lightning – I came, did my thing on Strictly and I think I left an impression.
“This year, I will be able to leave even more ‘Motsi’ behind.”
The full interview is in Hello! magazine, out now.