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Anton du Beke reveals he was turned down as Strictly Come Dancing judge

The professional dancer auditioned to replace Len Goodman

anton du beke steph packed lunch
Francesca Shillcock
Francesca ShillcockSenior Features Writer
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Anton du Beke has revealed he was turned down by show bosses to replace Len Goodman as head judge on Strictly Come Dancing.

MORE: Strictly's Anton du Beke talks 'awkward' night following Motsi Mabuse's return as judge

The professional dancer, who was partnered with former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith for 2020's series, explained that after head judge Len Goodman decided to leave the panel in 2016, Anton auditioned for the role – but with no such luck.

WATCH: Anton du Beke reveals he auditioned for Len's job

Speaking on Thursday's edition of Steph's Packed Lunch, the King of Ballroom said: "You know what they say about you lose more than you win?

"When Len left Strictly Come Dancing, they interviewed and auditioned a number of people to take over… I auditioned for it and I got turned down!"

Looking on the bright side, Anton added: "[Rejection] doesn't mean it's the end, it just means you go 'well ok, I can go again'".

Luckily, Anton got to experience sitting on the judging panel during the recent series of the BBC competition, after regular judge Motsi Mabuse was forced to temporarily drop out due to coronavirus quarantining rules.

MORE: Steph McGovern's surprising admission to Susanna Reid revealed

MORE: Strictly fans stick up for Anton du Beke after Craig Revel Horwood dig

anton steph packed lunch© Photo: Channel 4

Anton told the story on Steph's Packed Lunch

After being voted off early in the series, Anton stepped in for two weeks alongside Craig Revel Horwood and head judge Shirley Ballas. The 54-year-old was delighted with his appointment, telling Mail on Sunday at the time: "My wife cried when I told her but I also thought that it would give me something to do for the rest of the series."

He added: "When you're voted off at the beginning, it's easy not to feel part of the show because you're sitting in the audience watching everyone else dance. So thank goodness they gave me the judging job."

MORE: Shirley Ballas reveals how she lost 20lbs for Strictly Come Dancing

anton strictly© Photo: BBC

Anton appeared as a judge for two weeks during the last series of Strictly

Discussing the possibility of being a permanent judge one day, Anton said back in December: "I never gave it any thought, because I was only going to be there for a couple of weeks anyway.

"I was just there to clap, 'Well done, you're all marvellous, I'd have given you a ten, I don't know about him, I don't know what's wrong with him, I'd have given you a ten!' It was lovely to be there and great to see."

Steph's Packed Lunch airs weekdays at 12.30pm on Channel 4.

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