24/06/2021 10:09 BST | Updated 24/06/2021 10:19 BST

Anton Du Beke Joins Strictly Come Dancing Panel As Full-Time Judge

He'll be taking over from Bruno Tonioli on the panel this year.

Anton Du Beke will be taking a full-time seat at the Strictly Come Dancing judging table this year, the BBC has confirmed.

On Thursday morning, it was announced that Anton would be taking over from regular judge Bruno Tonioli on the panel, as the Italian star will not be able to appear on both Strictly and its US counterpart, Dancing With The Stars.

He said: “My loves I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to be stepping into Bruno’s brogues for the next series of Strictly.

“It’s a dream come true to be judging alongside the best of the best and I promise to be kinder to all the couples than any of them have ever been to me.”

Karwai Tang via Getty Images
Anton Du Beke

Addressing his absence, Bruno joked: “Whilst I am gutted to not be on the show this year there is one person and one person only that could take my place – it’s just a shame they weren’t available... haha!”

Bruno added: “Darlings I’m kidding, I’m kidding! Seriously though, I have to tell you, Anton is Mr Strictly and if anybody is filling in for me, it has to be him.

“I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way and I am so excited to see him waggle his paddle.”

Karwai Tang via Getty Images
Bruno Tonioli

Anton has been a Strictly professional for the last 17 years, and has made no secret of his hopes to join the judging panel in the past, having previously auditioned for the role of Head Judge prior to Shirley Ballas’ appointment.

Last year, he sat at the panel for the first time for two weeks, while Motsi Mabuse was unable to fulfil her usual judging role.