Anton du Beke grateful to be judge after elimination left ego 'around my ankles'

Anton Du Beke says he has no plans to quit Strictly Come Dancing. (BBC Pictures)
Anton Du Beke says he has no plans to quit Strictly Come Dancing. (BBC Pictures)

Strictly Come Dancing pro Anton du Beke is grateful for show bosses asking him to judge as his ego was “around my ankles after getting booted off first”.

The star partnered former Labour home secretary Jacqui Smith in this series of the popular dance show, but the pair were the first to be eliminated when she failed to impress.

But du Beke was offered the chance to fulfil a long-held ambition of being a judge on the show when regular judge Motsi Mabuse was forced to self-isolate after she needed to fly to Germany for an emergency.

Read more: Anton Du Beke finally becomes a Strictly Come Dancing judge - and he's a generous scorer

Now the star has told of the gratitude he feels that BBC bosses asked him to step in, helping his bruised ego in the process.

He told The Sunday Mail: “Thank goodness they gave me that job. My ego was around my ankles after getting booted off first this year.

Watch: Anton du Beke’s first week as a Strictly judge was eventful

“I love the show. I love everything about it, so to finally get a chance to judge it was incredible. My wife cried when I told her but I also thought that it would give me something to do for the rest of the series.

“When you’re voted off at the beginning you have nothing to do. It’s easy not to feel part of the show because you’re sitting in the audience watching everyone else dance.

“So thank goodness they gave me the judging job.”

Read more: Motsi Mabuse to miss Strictly as she self-isolates after Germany trip

During his first appearance as a judge last weekend, du Beke promised participants he would be a generous scorer.

He said: “I will endeavour to be much more generous than these two (Shirley Ballas and Craig Revel Horwood) have been to me over the years.”

The 54-year-old is the only pro dancer who has been involved with the show since its inception back in 2004 and vowed to “never” quit during an appearance on Lorraine last year.

Watch: Jacqui Smith tribute to Anton du Beke