Anton Du Beke reveals what kind of judge he will be on Strictly
Anton Du Beke has said he will be a “kinder judge” on Strictly Come Dancing but will not be “gushing” about every contestant.
The professional dancer, 54, joined the judging panel during the 2020 series for a two-week stint, but has now been announced as a permanent fixture for the 2021 series, taking over from Bruno Tonioli.
The BBC said Tonioli, who is in the US and a judge on American series Dancing With The Stars, is unable to take part due to “uncertainty over international travel restrictions” as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Appearing on The One Show on BBC One, Du Beke said he would approach his new role from the perspective of someone who knows the challenges of the competition.
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.”
Du Beke, the show’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.
“I know everyone is trying their best. I shall be kind but I shall want it to be great.”
Du Beke joins the returning judging panel of Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Shirley Ballas.
Oti Mabuse and Johannes Radebe were among the fellow dancers who congratulated Du Beke on his new role as a full-time judge.
Following the announcement, Tonioli said: “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! 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 is the show’s longest-serving professional dancer, having been a fixture on the BBC One series since it began.
The BBC said further details regarding the forthcoming series of Strictly Come Dancing would be announced in due course.