Because of his courtly style and unqualified support, Anton has long been paired with the contestants producers think most likely to need his help, but this has often excluded him from the running for the Glitterball trophy enjoyed by the other professional dancers on the show.
However, Anton - now in his 14th year on the show - reveals that he considers his 2016 pairing, with actress Lesley Joseph, his best chance yet.
“Lesley is doing incredibly well; I’m amazed it’s so good,” he tells the Mirror, simultaneously apologising for saying the same thing about each of his partners in previous years. “I lied - sorry girls!”
Anton has previously been partnered with less confident partners including Gillian Taylforth, Jerry Hall and Nancy Dell’Olio. His best showing came in 2004 when he and opera singer Lesley Garrett came third, although his most memorable year remains 2011, with the indomitable Anne Widdecombe.
This year’s series got off to a blazing start last week with record figures for the show now in its 14th year.
According to the bookies, the early favourites to toe-tap off with this year’s Glitterball are singer Will Young with dancer Karen Clifton, closely followed by gymnast Claudia Fragapane with AJ Pritchard. This year’s biggest outsiders are currently Ed Balls with dancer Katya Jones, at an impressive 100/1. ie NOT Anton. He’s currently second last favourite, with odds of 66/1. Perhaps don’t be polishing that mental glitterball just yet...
‘Strictly’ continues on BBC One on 23 September. at Tap the first picture below to open our slideshow on this year’s pairings:
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