He is Strictly Come Dancing's longest-ever serving professional dancer, having appeared in all 17 series since the show's inception in 2004. And now, Anton du Beke is preparing for his second final with his latest celebrity dance partner, EastEnders actress Emma Barton. Speaking at the Strictly final press conference earlier this week, the pro dancer revealed that it has been an absolute joy to share this adventure with "Strictly superfan" Emma. "This is beyond exciting. I can't even tell you what that feels like," he remarked. "I wish I could remember what it was like the last time.
WATCH: Emma Barton and Anton du Beke talk about the judges comments
"Like Emma, I'm a huge Strictly Come Dancing fan, that's why I do it – I love it! The thing I love more than anything else is to be dancing with a fan of the show, and Emma is a superfan so for Emma to experience the whole journey and then take me along with her has just been wonderful. Seeing Emma develop and grow as a dancer, as a performer [has been amazing]."
MORE: Strictly's Caroline Flack compares show's partnerships to being in a relationship
Looking ahead to the final on Saturday night, Anton added: "For me the whole experience has been wonderful but most of all, I've enjoyed Emma's love of doing the show. That's been the best thing for me really. So to make the final is just a joy."
Anton and Emma are hoping to lift this year's glitterball trophy
Although Anton has built a reputation of being paired with challenging partners, he has previously achieved success on the show. In the first ever series, the ballroom dancer came in third place with Lesley Garrett, while he also finished in fourth place with Laila Rouass and fifth place with Patsy Palmer. He made it to his first ever final in 2015 with Katie Derham, but sadly finished fourth.
GALLERY: The presents any food lover would want this Christmas
Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.