Strictly Come Dancing's Anton Du Beke Speaks Out On Judging Role

The professional dancer has received advice from former head judge Len Goodman about sitting on the panel.

Anton Du Beke has said he is “honoured” to be stepping up to the judging panel on Strictly Come Dancing this weekend.

The professional dancer will be sitting in for Motsi Mabuse on Saturday night, who has been forced to miss two weeks of live shows as she is self-isolating after an “urgent” trip to Germany.

Following the announcement on Friday, Anton appeared on spin-off It Takes Two, where he said: “I can’t tell you how excited I am.“I am so thrilled for so many reasons.

“I just love, love, love the show as everybody knows and to be asked just to fill in for Motsi for the next couple of weeks is just an absolute honour.”

Anton Du Beke
Anton Du Beke
BBC/Guy Levy

He described his temporary job as the “biggest compliment”.

Anton also said he has been given advice by former head judge Len Goodman on how to approach the role.

“He said: ‘Be yourself and say what you see’. And I’m going to do absolutely that, really,” Anton revealed.

He added that he would be an an “enthusiastic” and “kind” judge.

“I know everyone’s going to be trying their best but I shall say what I see,” he said.

Anton is sitting in for regular judge Motsi Mabuse
Anton is sitting in for regular judge Motsi Mabuse
BBC/Ray Burmiston

Anton, who has been a professional on Strictly since its inception in 2004, previously made a play for a role on the judging panel in 2017, when he was in the running to replace Len.

However, Shirley Ballas was later announced as his replacement.

Anton said he is pleased to have been able to remain with Strictly for so long.

“To be part of the show since the beginning and the only one left, I’m thrilled about that let me tell you. It just fills my heart with joy really,” he said.

Anton and partner Jacqui Smith were first to be voted off this year's Strictly
Anton and partner Jacqui Smith were first to be voted off this year's Strictly
BBC/Guy Levy

The dancer, who was the first to be eliminated from this series with former home secretary Jacqui Smith, also discussed the departure of Olympic boxer Nicola Adams and her partner Katya Jones.

The pair were forced out of the competition earlier this week after Katya tested positive for coronavirus.

“I was really excited by what they were going to be doing over the next few weeks and what sort of choreography Katya was going to be putting together for them,” Anton said. “(They) started really strongly.”

This year’s Strictly Come Dancing has been hit by a number of complications due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Regular Strictly judge Bruno Tonioli is missing from the series due to travel restrictions, as he’s currently also a judge on the US version of the show.

It Takes Two presenter Rylan Clark-Neal has also been forced into self-isolation after coming into contact with someone who has the virus outside of work, meaning he will miss two weeks of hosting the spin-off show.

Strictly Come Dancing airs on Saturday at 7.10pm on BBC One, while It Takes Two airs weeknights at 6.30pm on BBC Two.


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