Strictly professional ‘tipped’ to replace Craig Revel Horwood on judging panel

Craig Revel Horwood had plan to retire at 50

Former Strictly Come Dancing star Joanne Clifton believes Giovanni Pernice could end up replacing Craig Revel Horwood on the judging panel.

Ever since Craig said he had plans to retire when he was 60, the bookmakers and former Strictly stars have been coming up with their own suggestions about who will replace the fierce judge.

Professional dancer Joanne has also shared her thoughts and as Giovanni already has a close bond with Anton du Beke, she thinks the Strictly star would be the right fit for the judging panel.

On behalf of Betway, Joanne said: “Many of us would like to have a go at judging.

“I completely get why Anton wanted to. I can see Giovanni Pernice going for it in a couple of years’ time.

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“He could definitely be a type of Bruno Tonioli on the panel as he and Anton have their show together. He has a great personality.”

Joanne, who is the sister of Kevin Clifton, went on to praise Anton for being a “brilliant” addition to the panel.

Anton became a judge after Bruno Tinioli decided to leave the BBC show, and he sits alongside Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse, and Craig.

Joanne continued: “He is absolutely brilliant! Shirley and Motsi are more Latin-based dancers, and Craig comes from a theatre background. So, it’s really good that Anton is there.

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“He’s ballroom through and through, like me, and it’s good to have another expertise on the panel.

“He’s just always himself, and it’s like he was made for it. He’s a natural and he completely deserves it, too.

“He’s been there from the very beginning. I also think the couples really respect his opinion, because he was there week after week in their position.”

In a new interview, Craig, who has sat on the judging panel since 2004, said he was ready to “hang up his dancing shoes”.

When discussing his retirement plans, Craig shared: “I’m working hard while I can, especially as I love what I do. It keeps me on my toes, darlings!

“I’m now the same age as the late, great Len Goodman was when he first started – that’s scary, isn’t it?!”

He added to Best Magazine: “The reason I look forward to it every year is because the cast changes.

“I think that’s what’s fun about it, it doesn’t age. And this year’s line-up is fab-u-lous!”

Strictly Come Dancing returns on Saturday at 6.20pm on BBC One.

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