Strictly Craig Revel Horwoods replacement confirmed – show pro to BBC winner
Craig Revel Horwood recently opened up on his plans to walk away from Strictly Come Dancing.
The dancer and choreographer, 58, has been a judge on the BBC series since it first kicked off in 2004, appearing in all 21 series. Ahead of this year's series, the star revealed he is hoping to "hang up [his] shoes and enjoy life" when he turns 60 in January 2025, meaning next year could well be his last as a judge.
Speaking to Best magazine, he explained: "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?!"
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He added: "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!" With Craig's plans to leave the show, Daily Star has rounded up possible replacements for the BBC icon.
One person tipped to replace Craig is Giovanni Pernice. The Italian-born star, 33, has been a professional dancer on Strictly since 2015 and lifted the glitterball for the first time in 2021 with Rose Ayling-Ellis.
His journey on the competition was cut short during this series after his dance partner Amanda Abbington abruptly quit the show. Former Strictly pro Joanne Clifton tipped Giovanni as the one to take over from Craig, citing his close bond with Anton Du Beke, who placed Bruno Tonioli on the panel in 2021.
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.
"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." Daily Star also put the question to one of the world’s most popular artificially intelligent “creative” tools Bard AI, and the programme admitted there is one dancer who "stands out".
The programme said: "Giovanni Pernice is a highly skilled and experienced dancer, having won a number of competitions. He has also been a professional dancer on Strictly Come Dancing since 2015, and has reached the final four times."
The program went on: "In addition to his dancing skills, Pernice is also a charismatic and engaging personality. He is known for his positive attitude and his ability to connect with the audience. He is also a good communicator, and is able to give clear and constructive feedback."
Kevin Clifton and Stacey Dooley
Other stars tipped to join Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse and Anton Du Beke on the panel are Kevin Clifton and Stacey Dooley, who first met when they were partnered on Strictly in 2018. According to a survey carried out by Betfair Casino, 14 percent of people would love to see former Strictly star Kevin, 41, swap the ballroom floor for the judging panel. Behind Kevin is girlfriend Stacey, 36, who was crowned champion of the series five years ago.
Another frontrunner to join the judging panel is dancer Cynthia Erivo, who has been given odds of 3/1 by Labrokes. This wouldn't be the 36-year-old's first time on the show, as she replaced Craig back in 2021 after he tested positive for Covid-19.
The Oscar-nominee was a hit with fans and even stepped in for a second time that same month after Motsi Mabuse was forced to miss the show after being in close contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19. Craig later had his say on his replacement, admitting he thought she was "brilliant".
Speaking to MailOnline, he said: "It was brilliant to be replaced with someone so amazing and I think she did a great job. She was so interesting and that's all one can hope for."
Fleur East is another name that has been thrown into the mix.The singer found fame when she appeared on X Factor in 2014, finishing in second place behind Ben Haenow.
The 36-year-old is no stranger to the world of Strictly, making it all the way to the final last year alongside Vito Coppola. She now presents on It Takes Two, meaning there is every change she could hop onto the judging panel in her next career move.
Bard AI suggested Johannes Radebe as another dancer who could become a judge. The system said: “Johannes is another highly skilled and experienced dancer.
He is a South African Latin Champion and a World Cup Finalist. He joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2019, and has quickly become one of the most popular dancers on the show.”
It went on: "Johannes is known for his flamboyant personality and his energetic dance performances. He is also a good communicator, and is able to give clear and constructive feedback."
“Of course, there are other pro dancers on Strictly Come Dancing who could also become judges. However, Pernice and Radebe are two dancers who stand out as having the potential to follow in Anton Du Beke's footsteps."
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