Anton Du Beke waltzes in to become Strictly Come Dancing judge

Previous incumbent Bruno Tonioli had to pull out because of Covid-related travel restrictions

Anton Du Beke has been confirmed as a judge for the new series of Strictly Come Dancing, replacing Bruno Tonioli.

Tonioli, who has been a fixture on the show since 2004, is being replaced as he cannot fly over from the US, where he is based as a judge on Dancing with the Stars, because of Covid travel restrictions.

Du Beke, who joined the show during its first series and is the only professional dancer to have performed in every series so far, will be joined by Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, and Shirley Ballas on the judging panel.

Du Beke’s confirmation as a permanent judge on the panel comes after he was a temporary judge for two episodes of the 2020 series. He 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.”

Tonioli said while he was “gutted” to not be able to appear 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.”

The BBC has confirmed that further details regarding the upcoming series, which is due to air this year, will be announced in due course.


Tobi Thomas

The GuardianTramp

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