Anton Du Beke speaks out on leaving Strictly: ‘I’d be mortified if they told me to leave’

Strictly Come Dancing: Anton Du Beke on becoming a judge

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Strictly Come Dancing fans are excitedly awaiting the launch of the new season which will air on BBC One this Saturday. The hit celebrity dance contest is returning with its 19th series, which will see 15 famous faces team up with professional dancers as they battle it out to win the iconic Glitterball Trophy. In previous years Anton Du Beke has been one of those pro dancers, however this year he’s been promoted to the judging panel. In a recent interview, Anton opened up about his love of the show and how he’d feel if he was ever asked to leave it.

Anton will be taking a seat on the judging panel this year joining Motsi Mabuse, Craig Revel Horwood, and head judge Shirley Ballas.

Chatting in a recent interview about his new role on Strictly Come Dancing, Anton revealed he was “amazed and elated” when he got the call to join the judges.

He’s taking the place of Bruno Tonioli, who has sat on the judging panel since Strictly began in 2004.

Sadly, Bruno cannot take part in the show this year as he is also a judge on Dancing With The Stars in the US, which runs at the same time as Strictly, and COVID travel restrictions will not allow him to travel between the two countries.

When asked if he’s expecting to revert to being a dancer in 2022, should Bruno return, Anton replied: “It’s not for me to decide.”

Speaking about his fellow dancers, he said: “All of us are always waiting for the phone call about next year.

“The most important thing is just being on the show, because I love it.

“I’d be absolutely mortified if I had to leave. Bereft. It’s such a huge part of my life.

“I hope they never decide to get rid of me,” the dancer confessed.

However, Anton insisted he takes nothing for granted: “I’m always thinking it’s all going to end tomorrow.

“It’s a fear and a motivation. I’ve no control over who wants to employ me. It’s a lifetime of being judged,” the Strictly star revealed to Radio Times.

Anton has been on the show since it first began in May 2004, but has sadly never won the competition.

In the first-ever series of the BBC dance show, Anton came in third place with partner Lesley Garrett.

However, since then he’s become renowned for having a very unlucky run on the show.

12 seasons later Anton made it to the final once again with Katie Derham, but still missed out on the Glitterball Trophy.

The third and final time Anton made it to a Strictly final was in 2019 when he was partnered with EastEnders actress Emma Barton, however he once again lost out on first place.

The new series of Strictly Come Dancing is set to kick off this weekend and the national will finally find out which professional dancer each celebrity contestant is being paired with.

The male celebrities taking part this year are: Olympic swimmer Adam Peaty, BBC Breakfast’s Dan Walker, actor Greg Wise, Great British Bake Off’s John Whaite, CBBC’s Rhys Stephenson, comedian Robert Webb, McFly’s Tom Fletcher and former England rugby player Ugo Monye.

Meanwhile, the female stars competing in this series are: TV presenter AJ Odudu, Loose Women’s Judi Love, Coronation Street turned Hollyoaks actress Katie McGlynn, former EastEnders icon Nina Wadia, current EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis, Dragons’ Den’s Sara Davies, and presenter Tilly Ramsay.

Strictly Come Dancing 2021 premieres Saturday at 7:45pm on BBC One.

Read the full interview with Anton Du Beke in this wee’s Radio Times, out now.

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