Strictly: Anton Du Beke says he’d ‘love’ to replace Bruno as judge
King of Ballroom Anton Du Beke stepped in to temporarily replace Motsi Mabuse for two live shows during Strictly Come Dancing’s 2020 series. Bruno Tonioli was unable to take his usual spot on the judging panel due to commitments to filming Dancing with the Stars in America and joined his co-stars for a virtual catch-up on Sunday’s results show. However, Bruno has since revealed to The Sun he “can’t commit” to returning to Strictly’s panel later this year and Anton could be just the person to replace him.
On Steph’s Packed Lunch, host Steph McGovern discussed the news with regular guest Anton.
Steph asked: “Anton I want to ask you about the papers over the weekend about Bruno saying he won’t be able to judge Strictly this year. Does this mean [you’ll be stepping in?]”
“I don’t know,” Anton replied. “We’ll have to wait and see what they have to say about it.
They’ve not [called]. I’ve been waiting for the phone to ring but it hasn’t arrived yet.
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“Anton are you worried you’d be too camp to replace him,” comedian and Packed Lunch regular, Russell Kane joked.
The Strictly star laughed and added: “We’ll have to wait and see.”
“But you’d love it though, wouldn’t you?” Steph asked.
“I would love it,” the Ballroom and Latin dancer confirmed.
Elsewhere on Steph’s Packed Lunch, Anton virtually met with internet sensation Handforth parish councillor Jackie Weaver.
The councillor previously revealed how excited she was to be meeting Anton during an interview on BBC Breakfast.
Jackie was teased about signing up to Strictly by Steph and Anton agreed this was a brilliant idea.
He said: “I’d love it you could do Strictly Come Dancing. I think we’d make a fabulous team.”
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“I think we would as well, Anton,” she replied. “I’ve always felt very fond of you and I still hope there’s going to be a series that you win and, sadly, I know that would not be with me.”
When asked what it is she likes about Anton, Jackie said: “Whoever his partner is, whatever their level of skill, and I’m mindful it’s perhaps not always as high as he might hope for, he always makes them feel like they are a princess.”
Anton told the councillor she would “ideal in front of Craig Revel Horwood” and asked her to “reconsider [her] stance on dancing on Strictly Come Dancing” with him.
“I feel like a princess already!” Jackie remarked.
Discussing the viral meeting that spiralled out of control, she said: “In the moment, you try and hold it together but I look back on it thinking ‘that was a tough night.’”
The Channel 4 presenter asked: “What were you thinking during that meeting?”
Jackie said: “For me, the underlying point was about, you had three councillors who had done everything right, they had totally played by the book.
“Then you have, if you like, the three ruffians come in and they were determined that meeting wasn’t going to happen. And I was equally determined that it was going to happen.”
Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One later this year. Steph’s Packed Lunch airs weekdays on Channel 4 at 12.30pm.
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