He has been announced as Bruno Toniolo’s replacement on the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel for the next series of the BBC ballroom show.
And Anton Du Beke has shared his delight as being named as the show’s new judge, after Bruno was forced to pull out due to travel restrictions caused by Covid-19.
Speaking about his new appointment on Friday’s episode of BBC Breakfast, Anton, 54, said: ‘Everybody knows how much I love the show, so just being involved is an enourmous thrill every year.’
Elated: Happy days: Anton Du Beke has shared his delight as being named as the show’s new judge, after Bruno was forced to pull out due to travel restrictions caused by Covid-19
Appearing via video link from his Buckinghamshire home, Anton continued: ‘To be asked to come in and judge for this year, I’m so delighted, I can’t even begin to tell you. It hasn’t sunk in yet, really.’
‘I can’t wait to get started, get on the panel and sit with the other three judges and watch the show unfold in front of me.
‘I’ll have that feeling of, I know exactly what you meant to do, and I know exactly how that has gone for you.’
Standing in! The pro will replace Bruno, 65, who will not be able to take part in the 19th series due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding travel restrictions caused by COVID-19 (Bruno, pictured in 2019)
Speaking about his new appointment on Friday’s episode of BBC Breakfast, Anton, 54, said: ‘Everybody knows how much I love the show, so just being involved is an enourmous thrill every year’
It comes after Anton, who will join returning judges Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse, and Craig Revel Horwood, said on Thursday: ‘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!…
Appearing via video link from his Buckinghamshire home, Anton continued: ‘To be asked to come in and judge for this year, I’m so delighted’
‘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!’
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 hoped his role on the panel on Saturday night could lead to a full-time position.
Friends of Anton said he had been eager ‘for quite some time’ to have a judging role and had been disappointed when outsiders were 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.
‘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.’
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!’
Big fan! Anton’s appearance as judge last year won rave reviews as he stood in for Bruno and Motsi