Anton Du Beke says 'Strictly Come Dancing' professionals love that he's now a judge

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Anton Du Beke has been a popular addition to the 'Strictly Come Dancing' judging panel this year. (Kieron McCarron/BBC)
Anton Du Beke has been a popular addition to the 'Strictly Come Dancing' judging panel this year. (Kieron McCarron/BBC)

Anton Du Beke says the other Strictly Come Dancing professionals love the fact that one of their own is now part of the show's judging panel.

The 55-year-old ballroom veteran has been a member of the show's pro roster since its first series in 2004 and stepped up to the judging panel this year as a replacement for Bruno Tonioli, who is unavailable due to COVID-19 travel rules.

Read more: Anton Du Beke reacts to Strictly Come Dancing vaccine speculation

Du Beke said there's no awkwardness about his new role between the people he once considered to be peers on the dance floor.

“They’ve loved me being a judge. They’ve said they’ve completely agreed with what I’ve said," he told the Mirror.

Watch: Anton Du Beke delighted to become full-time Strictly Come Dancing judge

He added: “That’s because I’m one of them and I know exactly what they’re trying to achieve and I know exactly what they want to hear from the judges.”

Du Beke said he had an advantage over previous new judges because he "didn’t have to find my feet or get to grips with it all because I was already so familiar with it".

Read more: Anton Du Beke says he wasn't ready to be a dad before turning 50

The dancer said he is excited to be part of the late stages of the competition, given that his history as a professional dancer seldom led him to the grand stage of the semi-final or final.

"It’s lovely being still involved at this point because there have been lots of times when I’ve been sitting on the sidelines by now,” he said.

“You do feel a bit on the outside because once you’re out, you’re out. That’s especially the case now with COVID because all the group dances are done in advance.”

Anton Du Beke says he hasn't yet discussed whether he will return to the 'Strictly' judging panel for the 2022 series. (Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
Anton Du Beke says he hasn't yet discussed whether he will return to the 'Strictly' judging panel for the 2022 series. (Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)

As for his future on the show, Du Beke remained tight-lipped, saying he hasn't yet had discussions about potentially judging again next year.

His fellow judge Craig Revel Horwood said in a White Wine Question Time podcast earlier this year that there is room for both Du Beke and Tonioli on the panel.

Read more: Rose Ayling-Ellis confirms Strictly injury ahead of semi-final

Strictly Come Dancing will return to screens tonight for the semi-final, with all four of the remaining couples set to perform two numbers.

EastEnders actor Rose Ayling-Ellis is the favourite to win the show, alongside professional partner Giovanni Pernice.

Watch: Rose Ayling-Ellis on being Strictly's first deaf contestant

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