Dancing with the Stars judge Julian Benson has been forced to pull out of the first two shows of the new series due to illness, with former Strictly Come Dancing champion Darren Bennett set to sit in as guest judge.

In a statement given to RTÉ Entertainment it was confirmed that the jazzy-jacket wearing dance supremo will have to sit out the first two live shows as he is unwell.

The statement reads: "RTÉ can confirm that Julian Benson is unwell and will miss the first two shows of Dancing with the Stars.

"During his absence he will be replaced by guest judge and creative director Darren Bennett."

Earlier this week fellow judge Brian Redmond tweeted his excitement about spending time with his fellow judges, Benson and Lorraine Barry. We hope it won't be too long before this toe-tapping trio are reunited. 

This is the second dramatic change the new series has had to make, with model Aoife Walsh pulling out of the show after she broke her toe. She has been replaced by fellow-model Alannah Beirne.

Dancing with the Stars returns this Sunday, January 7 for the second series with a stellar line-up.

We'll be bringing you all the news and backstage gossip throughout the weekend - stay tuned!