Strictly’s Anton du Beke talks life after Bruce, his partners over the years and the possibility of becoming a judge
One of the nation’s best-loved television stars opened up to us about life on Strictly, his new album and his relationship with Bruce Forsyth.
Q: The show has had phenomenal success – did you ever think it would be so successful?
“No, not really, I don’t think anybody did because television is so fickle, you know, here today, gone tomorrow. But we knew we were on to something because during the first year we did two series – which is remarkable really, I don’t know anything else that’s happened to – so we knew immediately that we’d stumbled onto something pretty marvellous, but then, of course, Brucey was doing it so we knew that it would be a big show if Brucey was involved.”
Q: How did the dynamic Change after Bruce retired?
“It was a little different, but it wasn’t dramatically different because Claudia had already been part of the show. I mean it was different when Shirley came in this year replacing Len because Shirley hadn’t been part of the show before so everybody was a bit: ok, we’ll have to wait and see how that one goes. I’ve known Shirley for a hundred years so she was nothing new to me but to the audiences she was going to be something a bit new. But Claudia, that was a bit of a shoo-in.
Q: Those are some big shoes to fill though?
“I don’t think you ever do. You couldn’t possibly fill shoes, like Bruce Forsyth. If you tried, you’d be foolish, so you just do your own thing.”
Q: You are an original dancer and you’ve certainly won the hearts of the public with your fun and jovial nature – is it always fun and games on set?
“It’s great fun, we have a lovely time. It’s a super show to be a part of, it’s absolutely wonderful. But it’s a lot of hard work, you work so hard on the show because you have so little time and, for all the fun we have, you still have to have something prepared for the Saturday night. You can’t just spend all week messing about and having a lovely time, you’ve got to work hard, which is what we do. We work very hard.
Q: Do you have a favourite partner to date?
“They’re all so wonderful. I’ve been so lucky. I’ve been watching Anne Widecombe on Big Brother, and she is genius, I love her to death, and even going back to Leslie Garrett and Esther Rantzen and Kate Garroway. I’ve just had the best time.”
Q: Do you think you would like to be a judge one day?
“We’ll have to wait and see if they if they ask me. I want to dance for as long as I can, there’s nothing quite like the dancing. We’ll see what they decide they want to do. At the moment, there are no chairs available so it’s the dancing if that’s all there is available to me.”
Anton Du Beke’s debut album, From The Top, featuring tracks including: City Of Stars ft. Connie Fisher; Me And My Shadow ft. Lance Ellington; Putting On The Ritz; Don’t Rain On My Parade; Fly Me To The Moon and Moondance ft. The Overtones.