Bruno Tonioli could still appear in the final of 'Strictly Come Dancing' this year, despite prioritising 'Dancing with the Stars'.

Bruno Tonioli

Bruno Tonioli

The 64-year-old judge usually flies between the UK and the US to sit on the panel for both dance competitions, but due to coronavirus travel restrictions, he has decided to drop out of 'Strictly' in favour of 'DWTS'.

However, sources have now said that BBC bosses are still keen to get him on the show, and think he could make it to the 'Strictly' final, as 'DWTS' wraps filming "a few weeks" earlier than 'Strictly'.

A source told the Daily Star Sunday newspaper: "Everyone at 'Strictly' was devastated when they found out Bruno was going to pull out of this year's series.

"Travel restrictions in place because of coronavirus meant he couldn't fly back and forth to do both shows this year, so he picked 'Dancing with the Stars'. But 'Strictly's producers were still keen for him to make an appearance if it was possible.

"'Dancing With The Stars' usually ends a few weeks before 'Strictly's final. So the plan is for Bruno to jet back to the UK as soon as he's finished with his commitments in the US.

"There will be enough time for him to do two weeks in quarantine if needed. And then he will be free to make his big comeback on 'Strictly'."

The news comes after fellow 'Strictly' judge Craig Revel Horwood - who has appeared on the show alongside Bruno since 2004 - said he was confident the choreographer will make a "triumphant return" in 2021.

He said: "They might throw guest judges in for fun. Then when everything's back to normal, Bruno can make his triumphant return!"

In recent weeks, various big-name stars have been mentioned as a possible replacement for Bruno, including Cheryl.

But Craig doubts whether the 37-year-old pop star will appear on the upcoming series.

He added: "Lovely girl, but I don't think it will happen."

This year, 'Strictly' is set to start in October instead of the usual start in August, and will be several weeks shorter than normal.