Anton du Beke: Being a Strictly judge makes me very, very happy

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Anton du Beke is 'thrilled' to be returning as a judge on 'Strictly Come Dancing' credit:Bang Showbiz
Anton du Beke is 'thrilled' to be returning as a judge on 'Strictly Come Dancing' credit:Bang Showbiz

Anton du Beke says being a judge on 'Strictly Come Dancing' makes him "very, very happy".

The 55-year-old star initially served as a professional dancer on the BBC ballroom competition for over a decade, however, he joined Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and head judge Shirley Ballas on the judging panel in place of Bruno Tonioli for the 2021 as he faced travel complications due to COVID-19.

His place on the panel is now permanent with the four of them set to return for this year's series.

Anton told TV Times magazine: "I'm thrilled and can't wait to see the line-up this year.

"I love the show so much, and being a judge makes me very, very happy."

In a statement, Anton said: "Woohooo! This is BRILLIANT news. Everyone knows how much I absolutely love the show and I’m utterly delighted to be continuing as a regular judge. And I get to make the final again - now I know how Giovanni [Pernice] feels!"

Fellow judge Motsi - who replaced ballet legend, Darcey Bussell, as a judge back in 2019 - is "so looking forward" to her fourth series on the show after describing the 2021 edition as a career "highlight".

She said: "Last year’s series of Strictly was one of the highlights of my career, it has had such a real impact which has been incredible to witness. I am so proud to be a part of this show and I am so looking forward to returning for my fourth series!”

Shirley "can’t wait to be back at the studio waving my paddle", while Craig gushed that it is "fabulous" to be returning for his milestone 20th series.

The upcoming series of 'Strictly Come Dancing' - which is yet to reveal its celebrity lineup - will air on BBC One later this year and hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman will also be back.

Before the official announcement, it was reported that Bruno had quit the show "for good" and will now be focussing on his role as a judge on 'Dancing with the Stars' in the US.

A source told The Daily Mail newspaper's Richard Eden column: "Bruno has quit the show for good. He's going to be a judge only on 'Dancing with the Stars' from now on."

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