The Strictly Come Dancing professionals have welcomed Anton Du Beke’s promotion to the judging panel for the upcoming series.
The likes of Oti Mabuse, Johannes Radebe, Aljaž Škorjanec and Graziano Di Prima posted congratulatory messages after it was announced Anton will replace Bruno Tonioli as a regular judge this year.
Bruno is unable to fulfil his commitment to the BBC ballroom show as travel restrictions mean he cannot appear on Strictly and the US version at the same time.
Following the official announcement of Anton’s new role after 17 years as a pro dancer, Oti posted on Instagram: “He made it! JUDGE @mrantondubeke super proud of you Anton and so happy!
“Feels like positivity is in the air – everyone gets what they’ve wanted and hoped for for years and it’s a beautiful sight to see with the @bbcstrictly first @jmanrara now @mrantondubeke nothing but joy and pride for both of you we will miss you Anton in rehearsals- you were my first ever strictly professional partner but it will be better to see you doing what you love #strictly.”
Strictly host Tess Daly commented on Oti’s post: “You beauty Anton!”
Johannes tweeted: “This is amazing news!!! my oh my we’ll miss our @BrunoTonioli.”
Graziano posted on Instagram: Youuu Made it!! New Judge on @bbcstrictly!!
So proud of you!! The one and only @mrantondubeke.”
Janette Manrara, who has quit her role as a pro dancer on Strictly to replace Zoe Ball as the new host of spin-off It Takes Two, wrote: “Yes yes yes!!!!! What wonderful news!! CONGRATULATIONS @mrantondubeke on becoming our new judge on @bbcstrictly
“So many amazing years on the dance floor, and now a truly deserved spot on that infamous desk! Just so ‘chuffed’ for you!!! Love you to bits and cannot wait to see you in action.”
Her husband Aljaž posted a video of him and Anton and wrote: “Yes Yes Yes! Massive congratulations to @mrantondubeke for becoming a new judge on @bbcstrictly.
“First I am beyond happy for you! But than I am gonna miss rehearsals with you more than u know. Every day something that we would be laughing to or at. U’ve been such a role model of mine since I came to UK and I am proud to call u a friend.
“Already last season for a couple of weeks u showed how incredible u will be as a judge and now to get to be judged by u every week it is a privilege and bliss.
“Ps. Every single dance of yours on Strictly I would score a 10. At least 9….. Food for thought.”
Karen Hauer posted on her Instagram Story: “Massive congratulations to this amazing, funny, hard working human. Beyond happy! It’s about time you’re a judge baby!!”
Gorka Marquez shared on his Instagram Story: “So happy to see Anton as a judge this series.”
Nancy Xu added: “Our king of the ballroom. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! IT’S GONNA BE AMAZING.”
“Dust off that 10 paddle,” Dianne Buswell wrote on her Instagram.
In a statement about his new role, Anton said: “My loves I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to be stepping into Bruno’s brogues for the next series of Strictly.
“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, Bruno 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!”
Bruno 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.”
Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One in the autumn.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.