Strictly’s Anton Du Beke is CONFIRMED as judge


Anton Du Beke has joined the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel.

The BBC has confirmed the star, 54, the longest-serving pro dancer on the show, will make the step up to a judging seat this year for the entire series following a successful two-week stint as a panellist last year.

He will replace Bruno Tonioli, who will not be able to take part in the 19th series due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding travel restrictions caused by COVID-19.

Anton Du Beke has joined the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel

Anton, who will join returning judges Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse, and Craig Revel Horwood, said: ‘My loves I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to be stepping into Bruno’s brogues for the next series of ‘Strictly’.

‘It’s a dream come true to be judging alongside the best of the best and I promise to be kinder to all the couples than any of them have ever been to me.’

The announcement was made via the official BBC Strictly account, as dazzling portraits of the judges were shared alongside the words: ‘It’s the judges!…

‘Please welcome back to Strictly, Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse AND Anton Du Beke, who’ll be stepping into Bruno Tonioli’s shoes for 2021!’

Happy days: The BBC has confirmed the star, 54, the longest-serving pro dancer on the show, will make the step up to a judging seat this year for the entire series following a successful two-week stint as a panellist last year (Anton pictured last year)

 Happy days: The BBC has confirmed the star, 54, the longest-serving pro dancer on the show, will make the step up to a judging seat this year for the entire series following a successful two-week stint as a panellist last year (Anton pictured last year)

Happy days: Bruno - who has been a 'Strictly' judge since 2004 - is 'gutted' about missing this year's show, but he is 'so excited' to see Anton on the programme (Bruno, pictured in 2019)

Happy days: Bruno – who has been a ‘Strictly’ judge since 2004 – is ‘gutted’ about missing this year’s show, but he is ‘so excited’ to see Anton on the programme (Bruno, pictured in 2019)

Bruno – who has been a ‘Strictly’ judge since 2004 – is ‘gutted’ about missing this year’s show, but he is ‘so excited’ to see Anton on the programme.

ANTON’S PARTNERS AND PLACEMENTS  

SERIES 1 – Lesley Garrett 3rd 

SERIES 2 – Esther Rantzen 8th 

SERIES 3 – Patsy Palmer 5th 

SERIES 4 – Jan Ravens 9th 

SERIES 5 – Kate Garraway 8th 

SERIES 6 – Gillian Taylforth 15th

SERIES 7 – Laila Rouass 4th 

SERIES 8 – Ann Widdecombe 6th 

SERIES 9 – Nancy Dell’Olio 11th 

SERIES 10 – Jerry Hall 13th 

SERIES 11 – Fiona Fullerton 9th

SERIES 12 – Judy Murray 9th 

SERIES 13 – Katie Derham 4th  

SERIES 14 – Lesley Joseph 11th  

SERIES 15 – Ruth Langsford 9th 

SERIES 16 – Susannah Constantine 15th  

SERIES 17 – Emma Barton 2nd

SERIES 18 – Jacqui Smith 12th  

He added: ‘Whilst I am gutted to not be on the show this year there is one person and one person only that could take my place – it’s just a shame they weren’t available … ha ha.

‘Darlings, I’m kidding, I’m kidding! Seriously though, I have to tell you, Anton is Mr Strictly and if anybody is filling in for me, it has to be him. I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way and I am so excited to see him waggle his paddle.’

Anton will bring a lot of experience to the panel after he joined ‘Strictly’ during its first series, and he is the only pro dancer to have danced in every series to date. 

While he has performed in all 18 series, Anton has sadly never walked away victorious. 

The highest place he has scored was coming in second with Emma Barton in 2019. 

His second highest was in 2004’s inaugural season, where he came in third with Lesley Garrett.

Anton’s appearance as judge last year won rave reviews as he stood in for Bruno and Motsi. 

He proved to be a hit with viewers after he stood in for the South African dancer, who was isolating for 14 days, after rushing home to Germany due to her dance school being ‘targeted’.

Viewers called for Anton to become a permanent judge on the show. The Mail On Sunday reported at the time that Anton hopes his role on the panel on Saturday night could lead to a full-time position.

Friends of Anton say he has been eager ‘for quite some time’ to have a judging role and has been disappointed when outsiders have been brought in.

One friend told The Mail on Sunday: ‘This is a dream come true for Anton. For many years now he has fancied the role but has been beaten to it when the likes of Motsi and before that Shirley Ballas were brought in.

Here they are! The announcement was made via the official BBC Strictly account, as dazzling portraits of the judges were shared alongside the words: 'It’s the judges!'

Here they are! The announcement was made via the official BBC Strictly account, as dazzling portraits of the judges were shared alongside the words: ‘It’s the judges!’

‘He has been a trouper for Strictly, he has been given some less-than-able celebrities to dance with over the years and never complains.’

The exciting news comes after Anton discussed his £10,000 hair transplant and said that the procedure ‘immediately transformed his life’.

The Strictly star – who had the transplant in 2017 – said he started to lose his hair ‘years ago’ and when he looked in the mirror ‘it was all he could see’.

Anton's appearance as judge last year won rave reviews as he stood in for Bruno and Motsi

Anton’s appearance as judge last year won rave reviews as he stood in for Bruno and Motsi

Speaking on Steph’s Packed Lunch, the ballroom star explained that the worry over how his hair looked started to ‘consume him’ but also admitted that the procedure ‘was painful’.

 He said: ‘I started to lose my hair a few years ago… Every time I looked in the mirror it’s all I could see.’

He continued: ‘I had a period of time when I tried to do all my photos in profile… It’s sort of always on your mind. It starts to consume you.’

Asked whether losing his hair knocked his confidence, Anton said: ‘It does in certain aspects, not as a performer… In normal life.

Happy days: One friend told The Mail on Sunday: 'This is a dream come true for Anton. For many years now he has fancied the role but has been beaten to it when the likes of Motsi and before that Shirley Ballas were brought in'

Happy days: One friend told The Mail on Sunday: ‘This is a dream come true for Anton. For many years now he has fancied the role but has been beaten to it when the likes of Motsi and before that Shirley Ballas were brought in’

‘You’re either ok with it or you’re not ok with it so if you know you’re not ok with it then, for me, it was a case of do something about it.’

Anton explained how the transplant came about, saying: ‘I was playing golf with Jimmy Nesbitt who’s famously had hair transplants and I went to his guy… It immediately transformed my life… All of that stuff that was going on went away.’

Steph also asked Anton whether it was painful to which he responded: ‘It is a painful procedure, so you accept it for what it is. It doesn’t hurt as much as looking into the mirror and seeing your hairline disappearing.’

Honest: The exciting news comes after Anton discussed his £10,000 hair transplant and said that the procedure 'immediately transformed his life' (pictured on Steph's Packed Lunch earlier this month)

Before: Anton is pictured in 2015 before the transplant

Honest: The exciting news comes after Anton discussed his £10,000 hair transplant and said that the procedure ‘immediately transformed his life’ (left on Steph’s Packed Lunch earlier this month and right in 2015 before transplant)



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