Strictly’s Anton Du Beke opens up on being ‘really poor’ before show

Anton Du Beke reflects on becoming a Strictly judge

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Anton Du Beke has revealed how Strictly come Dancing saved him from being “poor” and “a lunatic” as he reflected on his younger years in the competitive dance world. The 56-year-old got into detail about his life before the spotlight as he reflected on becoming a dad for the first time aged 50.

The judge has five-year-old twins Henrietta and George with his wife Hannah Summers.

Anton said having children at an older age was beneficial as he was “more sensible and more settled” than he was in his younger years.

Reflecting on life in his mid-twenties/early thirties, he told Rob Beckett and Josh Widdicombe he was a “an absolute lunatic”.

He spilled: “I was really really poor for a start, I mean like I had holes in my shoes and second hand shirts, all that sort of stuff as a young man.

“And also not equipped, and an absolute lunatic as well, a competetive animal, ambitious and focused soley on me and what I was going to be doing and my next competition.”

Anton went on to say he always strived to be the best dancer at competitions which made him “hate everyone”.

“Everyone was against me,” he added recalling his thoughts at the time on the Parenting Hell podcast.

“I was an absolute lunatic.”

Anton went on to say it was getting a job on Strictly Come Dancing which made him change his ways.

At the time of being approached for the show, he had just finished competing in a big competition in China.

He agreed to sign up as a professional, believing it would last for just one series.

Over a decade later, Anton is the show’s longest-serving cast member.

He officially replaced Bruno Tonioli on the judging panel this year after previously stepping in temporarily. 

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According to The Sun, he earns between £175,000 and £200,000 for his expertise.

Anton gives his critique alongside head judge Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse and Craig Revel Horwood.

Earlier this year, he won a National Television Award for Best Talent Show Judge.

In his acceptance speech, he said: “I can’t tell you how delighted I am.

“I’m overwhelmed, really, because everybody knows how much I love the show… and I’m so proud to have been on the show since the very beginning.

He went on to say: “Everybody on the show is the best of the best and I’m eternally grateful to everybody at home who voted for me, of course, and all the viewers.

“They’re such an integral part of the show and without them – the viewers voting – it doesn’t work.

“I’m eternally grateful, and I’m very lucky.”

Strictly Come Dancing continues Saturday at 7pm on BBC One. 

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