Pro dancer is taking over from Bruno Tonioli as regular judge
Anton Du Beke is joining the judging panel of Strictly Come Dancing full-time, the BBC has announced.
Du Beke is taking over from regular judge Bruno Tonioli on the panel, as the latter will not be able to appear on both Strictly and its American counterpart, Dancing with the Stars. This is due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding international travel restrictions caused by Covid-19
“My loves, I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to be stepping into Bruno’s brogues for the next series of Strictly,” the professional dancer said.
“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.”
Addressing his absence, Tonioli joked: “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… haha!”
He added: “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.”
Du Beke has been Strictly’s longest serving professional dancer, having appeared on the show since it first began in 2004. Last year he was paired with politician Jacqui Smith and was the first to be eliminated from the competition.
In 2020, Du Beke sat on the panel for the first time for a two-week stint, standing in for Motsi Mabuse.
The 2021 panel will be made up of Du Beke, Mabuse, Craig Revel Horwood and Shirley Ballas.