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Strictly's Giovanni Pernice brings the birthday cheer as Anton Du Beke celebrates turning '21 again'

The duo wined and dined

giovanni pernice
Phoebe Tatham
Phoebe TathamContent Writer
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Strictly star Giovanni Pernice treated Anton Du Beke to a London lunch date on Wednesday to celebrate his 56th birthday.

MORE: Exclusive: Giovanni Pernice on fitness, his BAFTA win, and learning BSL thanks to Rose Ayling-Ellis

Bringing the birthday cheer, the professional dancer took Anton to an Italian restaurant in Covent Garden called '21' where the duo tucked into a celebratory meal.

WATCH: Giovanni Pernice pays tribute to his 'leading lady'

Taking to his Instagram Stories, the Sicilian-born star filmed snippets of their joyous outing. At one point, Giovanni made a hilarious tongue-in-cheek comment, poking fun at Anton's age. He quipped: "Twenty-one again!!"

Exclusive: Anton Du Beke and Erin Boag talk 25 years of dancing, friendship and family life

SEE: Anton du Beke's country home is full of rustic charm

Pointing at the restaurant's menu, Anton replied: "It must be right because this is what I'm looking at... Must be true."

giovanni pernice anton du beke birthday© Photo: Instagram

Giovanni pulled out all the stops 

Giovanni followed up his cheeky comment with a heartfelt "Happy Birthday!", to which Anton replied: "Thank you, my darling". 

Their sweet reunion preludes their impending appearance on the brand-new series of Strictly Come Dancing which will be making a return to our screens this autumn. The duo will be joined by fellow judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Shirley Ballas.

The dad-of-two is set to replace former Strictly judge, Bruno Tonioli.

View post on Instagram

The duo will be making a return to Strictly Come Dancing

Delighted by the news, Anton said: "Woohooo! This is BRILLIANT news. Everyone knows how much I absolutely love the show and I'm utterly delighted to be continuing as a regular judge."

He added: "And I get to make the final again – now I know how Giovanni feels!"

After 18 years on the show, Bruno, 66, made the difficult decision to leave Strictly so that he could prioritise his judging role on Dancing with the Stars. Speaking on BBC One's The One Show, Bruno said: "I miss it so much."

View post on Instagram

Anton shares four-year-old twins with his wife Hannah 

He added: "Unfortunately Dancing with the Stars has moved to Disney+, which is a big deal. Because of the travel situation, I will be there."

The Italian judge praised Anton by saying: "I think he has done a fantastic job. He deserves to be on that seat. It's a 10 from me. Carry on. Do me proud."

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