Anton Du Beke: Strictly pro hits back at complaints about drag routine ‘It’s a shame’

Steph McGovern is interrupted by Anton du Beke during show

Anton Du Beke, 54, has hit back at those who criticised his and his Strictly Come Dancing colleagues’ opening number from Priscilla Queen Of The Desert last Saturday. The professional dancer also discussed cruel accusations that judge Motsi Mabuse “seemed drunk” while on the show.

Discussing criticism toward Johannes Radebe, Gorka Marquez and Giovanni Pernicewho donned dresses to perform the cult hit musical tribute, Anton said: “I don’t know. It’s silly really and it’s a shame.

“It is a movie and this wasn’t just camp time, we weren’t just frocking up for sake of it.

“It is the movie Priscilla and if you’ve seen the movie you’ll know what it’s all about.

“I thought they did a great job of it,” he added on Steph’s Packed Lunch.

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The host of the show Steph McGovern responded by asking if Anton is ever affected by comments from trolls.

Steph noted: “It’s hard though, when you’re getting trolls who send horrible things to you.”

 “Don’t read it,” Anton answered.

“Easiest thing is don’t read it. It’s the easiest thing to do in the world is to tap away – don’t like you very much – bosh. 

“Just don’t read it. As far as I’m concerned, I’m absolutely marvellous, I don’t need to know the truth. 

“I do care what people say as we’re in show business and it’s the worst thing.”

The dancer said that when he performs, he ignores anyone who is not engaging with his work.

Anton continued: “If I have a room of 2,000 people in an audience, I’m concerned about the one person there who doesn’t seem to be laughing at everything I say or clapping every time I dance…it ruins it for myself.

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“You have to do the best you can, perform the best you can and forget about the trolls.

“They know it’s so damaging because we talk about it so much, and it’s one of those things you can’t say, ‘We can’t talk about it’ because we’ve got to highlight it, and it’s easy to say, ‘Don’t read it’ as it doesn’t really help but…avoid reading it.”

While many enjoyed the opening performance on Saturday, as they labelled it “inclusive” others said it would be “confusing their grandchildren.”

One typed on Twitter: “Used to be a family show. Will stop watching.”

Another replied: “It is one thing to support equal rights and completely another to promote homosexuality etc.“

Steph then discussed how Motsi had deleted her Twitter account after trolls claimed she was “drunk”.

She said: “If you look at Motsi – she’s had loads of abuse and she’s actually deleted her Twitter account because of them saying she looked like she was drunk – which of course she wasn’t!”

Anton, who stood in as a judge while Motsi isolated following an emergency trip to Germany, explained that she struggled with her paddle because there is so little space underneath the table. 

Anton replied: “No of course not and I can’t imagine why they thought that, and I don’t even know why you’d say that because she couldn’t get her paddle out. Ridiculous!”

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