Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli has said he would like to see former series champion Kara Tointon replace Alesha Dixon on the panel.

Speaking to the Sunday Mirror, Bruno also revealed that 2004 champion Jill Halfpenny is also in the running to take over from Alesha, who announced earlier this month she was quitting the show to join the judging panel of Britain’s Got Talent.

However he said that whoever gets the job the show would continue to be a success without Alesha and would return later in the year “bigger and better than ever”.

“I think Kara would be very good as a replacement as she is a champion and feisty,” he told the paper. “Jill Halfpenny would also be very good for the same reasons.

“I’m surprised Alesha quit, but that’s the industry and I think she will be great on Britain’s Got Talent.”

However Bruno warned that whoever stepped into Alesha’s shoes may have a difficult time.

“Judging is not as easy as it seems. There is a funny idea that we all just sit there and then say whatever comes in to our minds,” he told the paper.

“But you actually only have a very short space of time in which to make your point, make an ­impression and try to make it entertaining. A lot of people fail at it.”