Strictly’s Anton Du Beke says his late dad physically abused him as a child

Strictly star Anton Du Beke has told how his late dad beat him when he was a kid.

The professional dancer, 54, said he "didn't have a relationship" with his Hungarian father Antal and "didn't care" when he died in 2001.

Anton claimed his dad was a heavy drinker and "beat him" with a belt – but was never violent towards his mother or siblings.

Anton told The Times: "He was the hard, eastern European type. Heavy drinker, heavy smoker.

"It was a different time and you'd have the belt taken to you and stuff like that."

He added his dad would "just fly off the handle" and he was always "slightly aggressive anyway".

The dancer said during his childhood there was "always the moment" when he came home and opened his front door and hoped his father was "not home".

Anton said he would try and avoid his dad and not go into the room he was in because there was "no benefit of being in the same room as him".

Anton also said his dad "wasn't supportive of his ambition to become a dancer" and any comment about his talent would have been "derogatory".

When Anton's parents divorced he cut all contact with Antal.

Anton revealed he was at his mum's house in 2001 when they received a call from the coroner's office informing him his dad had died.

The Strictly star said: "I knew he was going to tell me my father had died and I didn't care. Or want to know. He was a stranger to me. That sounds a bit harsh and I don't mean to sound like that."

Anton has been paired with former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith on this year's Strictly.

After the pairing was announced last week, former pro dancer on the show James Jordan shared his annoyance about the decision.

He said in a tweet: "Jacqui and Anton – predictable.

"I love Anton but it’s the same thing another year. #Strictly."

The outspoken dancer added: "She seems lovely but I’m not expecting too much.

"She looks a bit better than Teresa May though Thumbs up."

Meanwhile, one fan moaned: "Anton and Jacqui," before adding a shocked face and rolling eyes emoji.

"It’s really boring now. Who knew that Jacqui Smith would be paired with Anton? #Strictly," a second added.

A third continued: "#Strictly Jacqui and Anton not a surprise but they will get on well."

The first of the live Strictly Come Dancing shows kicks off tonight (October 24).

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