Anton du Beke reveals how close he was to joining Strictly judging panel when Len Goodman left

Show bosses are looking for the new Darcey Bussell

Anton du Beke has revealed how he auditioned for the role of Strictly judge back in 2017 when head honcho Len Goodman quit. The Strictly pro and fan favourite actually did a screen test to see if he would fit the bill, but sadly he was not chosen. Len was replaced by Shirley Ballas instead.

With show bosses now looking to replace Darcey Bussell, Anton told the Mirror: "I don't know if it will be me but if they asked me I would love to. People say they are real fans of mine but we will have to wait and see if they ask me first. I did a screen test last time when Len left and they know that I want to do it this year."

Anton did a screen test two years ago

Anton, who has been on Strictly since its launch in 2004, added of Darcey: "I am massively disappointed that Darcey is leaving. Will the show be lacking without Darcey? Well it depends who they get... she won't like me saying this but she is such a British institution."

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The retired ballerina announced that she was quitting the show after seven years in April. In a statement, Darcey said: "I have enjoyed every minute of my time and will miss everyone from my fellow judges, the presenters, the dancers, the musicians, the entire backstage team, and especially the viewers of the show, who have been so supportive.

Darcey has quit the show after seven years

"I am not leaving because of any upset or disagreement at all, I am just stepping away to give more focus to my many other commitments in dance, after seven truly wonderful years that I can't imagine having gone any better. I know I will miss being part of this unique show and the fact that it celebrates dance is something I am so passionate about. I hope that I may be very lucky to be asked back again one day."

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It's not known who will replace Darcey yet. Earlier this week, Craig Revel Horwood said on This Morning: "They haven't told me, but they have told me that it is someone that can actually dance, so that's good. And also, it needs to be someone opinionated. I love Anton, he would be great. Any of the ex-dancers would be fantastic, but I don't know is the honest truth. They won't tell me because my gob's too big!"

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