Anton du Beke opens up on volatile world of Strictly Come Dancing ahead of grand final

Strictly: Anton Du Beke opens up on missing dancing on show

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Legendary Strictly Come Dancing judge Anton Du Beke, who is playing Buttons in the Christmas pantomime version of Cinderella instead of hitting the dancefloor this year, is immensely looking forward to tomorrow’s action. The 55-year-old has also claimed during the “volatile” shows, nothing is predictable and anyone could be voted off at any time.

One week you get a fabulous dance and you finish top of the leader board, the next week you’re bottom

Anton du Beke

“One week you get a fabulous dance and you finish top of the leader board, the next week you’re bottom,” he shared.

“And the more the leader board gets concertinaed, the more chance anybody could end up in a dance-off – so it’s really volatile.

“People have been all over the place. I love that. It’s like the old days.”

To add to the tense atmosphere, after suffering an injury so intense she “projectile vomited”, AJ Odudu confirmed she will no longer be performing in the final, meaning there are now just two couples left.

The 55-year-old judge added: “I don’t have any favourites. I know it’s rubbish for you and it sounds a bit disingenuous but it’s only because I know what it’s like – every week is different.”

He added to The Metro he has missed dancing this year, “especially when I see a number that I wish I’d done”.

Anton explained: “When Tom Fletcher danced a Foxtrot to Fly Me To The Moon I wanted to nudge him out of the way and have a dance, although I don’t think he’d have appreciated that.”

On reflection, he added: “But then I’m not missing the bit where they go, ‘And not dancing next week is…’”

Anton is now able to enjoy all the action of the competition without the threat of rejection.

In his various different guises, he has been loyal to the show since the start.

“I’ve been there since day one and seen the show through every incarnation,” he commented.

“I’ve seen them all come and go.

“I think there’s an element of deference towards that experience and I’m respectful.

“Sometimes the dance on Saturday night is not what you intended on Monday morning when you walked into the studio.

“It’s just the nature of the beast, teaching a beginner how to dance. I know exactly how that feels.”

Plus warm comments from the contestants have helped him make the transition from dancer to judge.

“Nikita Kuzmin, who probably wasn’t even born when I was competing, came up to me and said, ‘I don’t know what you’re like as a dancer because I never saw you dance or compete but you’re an excellent judge.’”

Meanwhile, Anton’s fourth novel, We’ll Meet Again, is out now and is the result of his publisher recommending that he writes about what he knows best.

“I couldn’t write a sci-fi novel but can it be set in a hotel in the 1930s and have ballroom dancing in it?” he teased.

Besides writing and judging, Anton’s other side-projects include keen golfing, having recently played a round with Michael McIntyre.

The Strictly final is on BBC One at 7pm tomorrow, while Anton will be performing in Cinderella at the Richmond Theatre this Christmas season.

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