Strictly’s new judge Anton jokes he’s now ‘guaranteed to make it to the final’

Anton Du Beke can’t stop smiling having recently been named as the replacement judge for Bruno Tonioli on the next series of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.

And now, the professional dancer, 54, has joked that he is guaranteed a place in the final having never won the coveted glitterball trophy despite his 18-year tenure on the smash-hit show.

Speaking on Steph’s Packed Lunch, Anton quipped that he “won’t miss” being eliminated every year, but is delighted to be picked for the prestigious panel, which includes judges Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse.

He explained: “That is the double edge sword about it. 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.

“I feel a bit bereft thinking about it, and I’ll probably get a bit emotional. But I won’t miss getting voted off.

Anton is the new judge of Strictly Come Dancing
Anton is the new judge of Strictly Come Dancing

“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.”

Despite missing strutting his stuff on the dance floor, Anton revealed that he’s actually looking forward to the rest, saying: ‘I’m just delighted to be involved from that side and sitting down. I can’t tell you how exhausting moving around to music is.”

Speaking about his pride at being asked to step up to the judging panel, the dancer 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.”

Anton has said it's an honour to be asked to become a judge on the show
Anton has said it’s an honour to be asked to become a judge on the show

When asked about what kind of judge he thinks he’ll make, Anton said he will be positive and encouraging teasing that “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 show stalwart’s new job will see him swapping from the dance floor to the coveted judges seats and be required to give contestants and former colleagues his professional opinion on their performances.

He will join judges Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse, and Craig Revel Horwood for the 19th series of the BBC’s hit show.

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!…”

Anton replaces judge Bruno Tonioli
Anton replaces judge Bruno Tonioli

Bruno, 65, will not be able to take part in forthcoming series due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding travel restrictions caused by COVID-19.

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

Although he has performed in all 18 series, Anton has never taken the top spot but secured second with partner Emma Barton in 2019.

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