Strictly Come Dancing’ judge Bruno Tonioli is to miss his first episode of the BBC’s Saturday night favourite in 13 years, because of “a very busy work schedule”.

This Saturday’s episode (October 21st) is set to be the first ever show that 61 year old Tonioli will miss in his time on the panel since 2004. A spokesperson for the show said: “As was always the plan, Bruno Tonioli is not on the judging panel this weekend.”

However, he will be back the following weekend for the Halloween episode and is set to be a part of the panel for the rest of the current 15th series.

Bruno TonioliBruno Tonioli is to miss this weekend's episode of 'Strictly Come Dancing'

It’s not known precisely what Tonioli is doing that entails such a frantic weekend, but he tweeted on Thursday (October 19th) that he had watched a production of the hit musical ‘Hamilton’, meaning that he is currently in the United States.

The popular Italian choreographer’s absence is not being filled in by a stand-in judge, meaning that Tonioli’s fellow judges Craig Revel Horwood, Darcey Bussell and Shirley Ballas will all have a greater say in the awarding of marks.

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“They've known for some time but it's a new situation for them to be in with a judge down,” a source working on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ told the Daily Mail this week.

It is known that Tonioli juggles his commitments to ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ with judging duties on the American version of the show, ABC’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’.

That means he travels to Los Angeles every week, where he spends three days before flying back to Britain each Saturday for ‘Strictly’ filming. Impressively, he’s been going through this schedule for 12 years without missing a single show.

More: Brian Conley denies reports he’s about to quit ‘Strictly Come Dancing’