Strictly’s Anton Du Beke Reveals He Was Stabbed By His Father As A Child

The Strictly professional turned judge was attacked by his alcoholic father one Boxing Day and spent several days in hospital recovering.
Anton Du Beke on Kate Garraway's Life Stories
Anton Du Beke on Kate Garraway's Life Stories
ITV/Callum McCarron/Shutterstock

Strictly Come Dancing star Anton Du Beke has revealed that he was stabbed by his dad as a child, spending several days in hospital after the attack.

During an appearance on Kate Garraway’s Life Stories, the Strictly dancer turned judge said that his father Antal, who Anton described as an alcoholic, stabbed him in the leg and the stomach in an incident which took place on Boxing Day at the family’s home in Kent.

“I got stabbed in the leg and in the stomach because of a fight on Boxing Day and it was an idiotic situation,” Anton said.

“I remember walking out of the house to walk up to the hospital holding my leg and a police car drove past and I waved them down and I said ‘he’s in there with a knife’.

“Anyway, they carted him off and I ended up in hospital for three or four days. My only concern was getting back into the studio and dancing and the embarrassment of it.”

“The alcoholism and the violence... [it was] towards me, because I was a boy, a young man I suppose,” Anton added. “You’ve got an alcoholic father and a situation where if you’re in the house, [he’s] drinking then you end up with the fights and stuff.

“You’d move room to get away from all of it and then he follows you in and the next thing you know the violence starts and then it came to a head one evening, I ended up in hospital for three days.”

The Strictly Come Dancing judge opened up to former dance partner Kate Garraway
The Strictly Come Dancing judge opened up to former dance partner Kate Garraway
ITV/Callum McCarron/Shutterstock

The dance pro revealed that he has never spoken about this childhood incident with family and friends, as he doesn’t “like to look back”.

“Everything was about moving forwards,” he explained. “I felt sorry for my mum, this was her husband. She’s working two jobs and he chose to drink and be violent. It’s just life and you carry on.”

Whenever he was asked about the leg injury, he told people that he had “pulled a hamstring” to avoid sharing the story.

Anton’s father was eventually cleared in court for the attack. When he died, his son chose not to attend the funeral.

The Strictly pro’s sister Veronica was in the audience during his interview, and teared up as he made the revelations.

She went on to explain how their father was “not so impressed” with Anton’s dancing aspirations as a child and “used to call him gay”.

“He took a turn against Anton,” she added. “My dad’s drinking affected his mood, he wasn’t a nice person when he was drunk. He was mean.”

Anton would go on to change his name from Anthony Beke to Anton Du Beke, in part to distance himself from his father.

“I wanted a new start and a new beginning and I wanted to leave what went before behind and then move on,” he told Kate, who he was paired up with on Strictly back in 2007. “I just wanted to be me. I started with Anton Du Beke and I went from there really.”

Anton joined Strictly when the show began in 2004, partnering with stars including Ann Widdicombe, Judy Murray and Emma Barton. He went on to become its longest-serving professional dancer, before joining the judging panel on a permanent basis in 2021, replacing Bruno Tonioli.

Kate Garraway’s Life Stories airs on ITV tonight at 9pm.

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