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'Strictly Come Dancing' Dancer Anton Du Beke Admits He Would Have 'Loved' To Have Replaced His 'Hero' Bruce Forsyth As Presenter

30/06/2014 07:49 BST | Updated 30/06/2014 07:59 BST

'Strictly Come Dancing' star Anton Du Beke has revealed he would have loved to have stepped into Bruce Forsyth's shoes to present the BBC dance show, after Brucie announced his retirement.

The professional dancer was the bookies favourite to succeed the 86-year-old as presenter, but lost out to Claudia Winkleman.

But there are no hard feelings as Anton says he thinks Claudia will be 'great' as Tess Daly's co-host.

anton du beke

Anton Du Beke

He told The Sun: “Anybody would have loved that job.

“But I love being part of the show and I’m happy to be part it in any way I can be. The worst bit is the thought of not being in it at all — I’d have a heart attack.

"But I think the two girls will do a great job, they were doing it together anyway.

“We are all familiar with them, so it’s not as though we’ve got someone out of the blue."

bruce forsyth

Bruce Forsyth

Anton became firm friends with Brucie during their time together on the BBC dance show, but says he was 'overwhelmed' when they first started working together.

"The great thing about Strictly was Bruce - it was the real icing on the cake," he said.

“I was overwhelmed that I would be working with Bruce when I first started on the show.

“For us to have spent ten years doing it together and to have become friends — that’s been a real highlight of my life.

“He is an ultimate hero of mine.

“We love him and we’re going to miss him. I’m disappointed he’s retired, but when someone retires it’s their decision to do so and it’s great.

“I think he said it was quite hard for him to do it. If he’s happy with that decision, then I am happy for him.”

Not all of the show's professional dancers have been quite so complimentary about 'Strictly' though.

Earlier this month, Brendan Cole blasted bosses at the dance show for not letting the pros know if they would taking part until the very last minute.

He told The Mirror: "We never know who is doing the next series until May or June. I think it’s rude and horrible to us."

He added: "If they don’t use you, you’d think, ‘How am I going to pay my mortgage?’ So that is something you go through.”

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