Strictly star says Anton Du Beke brings ‘more credibility’ as a judge

Strictly: Anton picks up on Fleur's dance-off blunder

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One former Strictly Come Dancing star has spoken out about Anton Du Beke’s appointment as a permanent member of the judging panel this year. He was confirmed after veteran judge Bruno Tonioli stepped down due to his commitments to Dancing With the Stars in America. Anton, 56, has now become a firm favourite with the nation for his balanced critique.

Anton has been part of Strictly Come Dancing since it first started back in 2004, serving as a professional.

Some of his celebrity partners have included Loose Women host Ruth Langsford, Patsy Palmer, Kate Garraway and Ann Widdecombe, among others.

He has remained a loyal part of the show and a firm fixture on screens but has never held back from his desire to become a member of the Strictly panel.

Anton’s wish finally came true after he was confirmed earlier this year and he has been proving popular with audiences.

He even won the Best Judge accolade at the National Television Awards this year, much to Anton’s surprise and delight.

Speaking about his permanent appointment, Kristina, 45, saying: “I’m absolutely delighted to hear that.

“All of us, the pros were cheering for him to be the proper judge not the stepping in judge.”

Kristina continued: “He a hundred percent deserves that. Having someone like him is crucial for the show because I think it brings more credibility actually.

“Because that’s the person who’s been there from the very first season. He’s kind of paid his dues as a professional dancer.”

Kristina said his time as a pro helped prepare him for becoming a judge and really understanding how to offer constructive critique out.

She said: “He knows how it feels for us being there and being judged. I actually quite find him a fair judge.

“I think it’s good he has perspective and foresight as a pro, who is dancing with a celebrity and a judge now.”

Adding: “I’m a big fan and a friend and I’m absolutely delighted he is there in a full capacity. I think it’s absolutely great.”

Kristina also reflected on returning to the BBC show, saying she wouldn’t come back as professional having previously done it between 2008 and 2015.

However, she wouldn’t say no to joining the judge panel to offer up her own feedback to the celebrities.

She said: Judging, yes, why not? It would be good to do something like that.

“Well, in my mind, because I judge normal competitions quite a lot at [my dance school] Bespoke Ballroom and I have 60 kids in the school, they’re all competitive, I take them to competitions.”

She concluded: “Sometimes I judge too and you have to be completely fair and unbiased.”

Kristina is still very much ensconced within the dance world with her school where she is bringing up the next generation of professionals, who one day may grace Strictly themselves to perform with celebrities.

Strictly Come Dancing concludes on BBC One on Saturday at 7.05pm.

For information about Kristina Rihanoff’s dance school, please visit

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