Anton Du Beke is on cloud nine after it was confirmed he will be joining the judges panel for the next series of Strictly Come Dancing. The professional dancer, who is stepping in for Bruno Tonioli for the 2021 series, expressed his delight and called it as an "honour" to be given the role.
Appearing on Steph's Packed Lunch on Friday, the star said: "I can't tell you how happy I am though. It is such an honour to have been asked. Everyone knows how much I love the show. Having been there since the beginning, I have seen the show develop and grow. It is just a joy and a pleasure to be involved with."
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Anton, 54, has been on the show since the series began in 2004, and has been partnered with stars including Emma Barton, Patsy Palmer, Lesley Garrett and Katie Derham.
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Asked what type of judge he is going to be, Anton replied: "I am going to be as I was last year. I'm going to be positive and encouraging, because they aren’t going to get much of that from the other end of the desk…
"I'm going to come from the perspective that I know what it is like. I know what they are trying to achieve…so I shall take all of that into perspective really. I hope they all dance wonderfully, I know they'll be doing their best, and I’ll be encouraging."
The professional dancer is stepping in for Bruno Tonioli
However, many were left wondering if his new judging role meant that we would not see Anton dance on the show anymore. "That is the double edge sword about it," he explained. "The thing I love most is being the room… It is my favourite place in the whole world and I’m going to miss all of that part of Strictly Come Dancing.
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"I feel a bit bereft thinking about it, and I'll probably get a bit emotional. But I won't miss getting voted off. It is the worst feeling in the world whilst watching everyone else have a great time. BUT at least I’m guaranteed to make the final."
He concluded: "I'm just delighted to have been asked and thrilled to be on the panel and just be involved from that side and sitting down. I can't tell you how exhausting moving around to music is."
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