Anton Du Beke Speaks Out On Strictly Judging Role, Revealing What Type Of Judge He Will Be

Anton Du Beke has insisted he will be a “kinder judge” on Strictly Come Dancing when he takes up a full-time place on the panel later this year.

However, the professional dancer, who is replacing Bruno Tonioli on this year’s series of the BBC ballroom show, said he will not be “gushing” about every contestant.

Appearing on The One Show on Thursday following the official announcement he would be a new judge, Anton said he would approach the role from the perspective of someone who knows the challenges of the competition.


Anton Du Beke

He said: “I think I am going to be a kinder judge. I am not going to be gushing about everybody. I shall be expecting them to dance well, as they would want to dance.

“But I shall be understanding and I shall try and show a bit of positivity because there won’t be much coming down from that end of the chairs, will there?

“So I shall do my best to give them something look forward to.”

Anton, who was Strictly’s longest-serving professional dancer, described finding out about his appointment as “so wonderful”.

He added: “I can’t tell you how it feels to be asked to do it because I love the show. As everybody knows, I absolutely love the show, and doing the judging last year was a great thrill.

“Being able to just go there and watch what was going on – and knowing exactly what was going on in their heads, and knowing what they have been through.

“It sometimes on the Saturday night isn’t quite what you have been practicing all week… and so I know what that is like.

“I have experienced that over the years and so as a judge I take that into consideration and judge accordingly.”

He added: “I know everyone is trying their best. I shall be kind but I shall want it to be great.”

Karwai Tang via Getty Images

Bruno Tonioli (left) will not appear on the Strictly Come Dancing panel this year

Bruno is unable to fulfil his commitment to the BBC ballroom show as travel restrictions mean he cannot appear on Strictly and the US version at the same time. 

Speaking about Bruno’s appointment, he said in a statement: “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 has made no secret of his hopes to join the judging panel in the past, having previously auditioned for the role of Head Judge prior to Shirley Ballas’ appointment.

Last year, he sat at the panel for the first time for two weeks, while Motsi Mabuse was unable to fulfil her usual judging role.

Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One in the autumn. 

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