The reason Anton Du Beke was a 'lunatic' before Strictly Come Dancing

Anton Du Beke will step into Bruno Tonioli's shoes as part of the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel this year

Anton Du Beke arrives at Strictly Come Dancing rehearsals
(Image credit: Getty)

Anton Du Beke is best known for being the charming, patient and smooth operator on Strictly.

He's regularly partnered with the no-hopers and rarely bats an eyelid at the fact he's never made it to a Strictly final. Instead he seems genuinely thrilled to be involved at all.

But, the dancer—who will step into Bruno Tonioli's shoes and become a judge on this year's series—hasn't always been that way.

In fact, the 55-year-old has revealed that during his competition days he was far from the man people see and love today. 

"I used to be an absolute lunatic," he told the Daily Mail. "In my competitors days I used to be the polar reverse of the affected person, charming particular person you see on Strictly. I used to be the least affected person particular person you possibly can think about."


Now married to wife Hannah and father to four-year-old twins, Anton can reflect on the person he once was.

"I wasn’t charming. I used to be uncontrolled, a bit damaging to myself, to my dance accomplice Erin, impatient to win. I wished all of it, and 5 minutes in the past. I ought to apologise to Erin, actually."

While most of his fellow dancers had started at the age of three or four, Anton felt he was on "catch up," having started when he was a teenager.

And he was desperate to be a young Fred Astaire.

He admitted, "I wished to be Fred Astaire however could not see how I might get from a church corridor in Sevenoaks, dancing a 4 step by the boys’ bogs, to the silver display. 

"Everybody else on the competitors circuit had began after they have been three or 4, and I used to be on the hurry-up. I used to be an outsider, by no means on the prime desk."

Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli show their paddles

(Image credit: Getty)

Despite never lifting the glitterball trophy throughout his 17 years on the show, Anton has arguably bagged the best prize of all—a spot on this year's judging panel.

The dancer will be joining Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Shirley Ballas, as Bruno Tonioli is forced to miss another series due to covid-19 travel restrictions.

On bagging the gig of a lifetime, Anton 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.”

Georgia Farquharson
Georgia Farquharson

Georgia writes across Woman & Home and Good to Know and specialises in all things royal. Previously labelled the "Queen of the royals," Georgia knows the whose who and what's what when it comes to the monarchy. When she's not eagerly following the royal family, Georgia enjoys shopping and self-care. She lives with this motto in mind; "if your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough."