Anton du Beke has spoken out for the first time about how he feels filling in as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing, describing it as an ‘absolute honour’.
On Friday 13 November, it was confirmed that Strictly professional dancer Anton was going to fill in for judge Motsi Mabuse on the show after she was forced to pull out of this week’s show.
Motsi explained on social media that she needed to travel to Germany for an ‘urgent reason’, and so needs to remain in self-isolation for the next two weeks.
A statement released by the BBC outlined that Anton, the ‘King of the Ballroom’, would sit on the judging panel alongside Craig Revel Horwood and Shirley Ballas in Motsi’s absence.
‘Good luck Anton!’ the statement added.
During Friday evening’s episode of Strictly – It Takes Two, Anton spoke to presenter Gethin Jones about temporarily taking on the senior role on the show.
‘I can’t tell you how excited I am. I’m so thrilled,’ the 54-year-old professional dancer said.
‘I just love the show, and just to be asked to fill in for Motsi for the next couple of weeks is an absolute honour.’
Anton also provided Gethin with an insight into what kind of judge he will be, saying he will be ‘enthusiastic’ and ‘kind’, while also remaining aware that ‘everyone is trying their best’.
Anton and his partner, former Labour politician Jacqui Smith, were the first pair to be eliminated from this year’s competition.
During his appearance on It Takes Two, Anton also addressed Nicola Adams and Katya Jones’ shock departure from the show, after the professional dancer tested positive for coronavirus.
Anton said that he had been excited about Nicola and Katya’s potential as a pairing, saying that they ‘started really strongly’ and describing their Greased Lightning-themed jive as ‘tremendous’.
‘The quickstep they put together at the beginning was genius,’ he recalled.
‘I was really excited by what they were going to be doing over the next few weeks.’
In a goodbye message shared by Nicola following the news of her exit from the show, the boxer vowed that she would ‘keep breaking boundaries’.
Following the news of Katya’s positive Covid-19 diagnosis, Nicola has to remain in isolation for two weeks.
‘Hey everyone. I just wanted to say thank you for the lovely messages and the support, like, it’s been unbelievable, and I did not expect such a nice response,’ she said in her video message.
‘It’s completely blown me away. I’ve never received so much love from people that I don’t even know and it really hit home to me what this journey meant, not just to me but to everybody else as well.’
Strictly Come Dancing returns on Saturday at 7.10pm on BBC One, while Strictly – It Takes Two airs on weekdays at 6.30pm on BBC Two.