Anton du Beke is one of Strictly Come Dancing’s original dancers, having appeared in every series to date. Despite some speculation that Anton would be stepping behind the judges’ desk this series, the dad of twins is returning to the dancefloor.
Here’s what you need to know about Anton ‘The Entertainer’ du Beke.
Who is Anton du Beke?
Born Antony Beke in Kent, 51-year-old du Beke is a Ballroom specialist. He first started dancing at the age of 14.
He shot to widespread fame in 2004 with the first series of Strictly, which saw him partnered with Lesley Garrett – finishing in third place.
Despite having been with the show from the very beginning, Anton is yet to lift the Glitterball trophy. His third place finish with Garrett was his highest so far. Over the years on Strictly Anton has had some, shall we say, memorable dance partners, famously shepherding Ann Widdecome and Judy Murray around the dancefloor among others.
Strictly has made Anton a TV favourite. He was even rumoured to be in the running for Len Goodman’s vacated spot on the judging panel before Shirley Ballas was named as the new head judge.
Anton was again touted as a potential judge when Dame Darcey Bussell left the panel ahead of the 2019 series, but she was eventually replaced by Motsi Mabuse and Anton stayed in the dance cast.
The dancer has also branched out from dancing, releasing an album of songs and publishing a debut novel.
He became the father of twins – one boy and one girl – with his wife, Hannah Stephens in 2017. “Oh my! The little dancing feet have arrived. Mum and twins are perfect and dad is ridiculously excited!” Anton announced on Instagram.
Away from dance, Anton – who was a talented boxer and footballer in his youth – likes to play golf.
Favourite dance: The Foxtrot – “It’s a proper dance with proper music,” says Anton, whose idol is Fred Astaire.
Best-ever Strictly finish: Anton made it to the final with news presenter Katie Derham in 2015, coming fourth. However, his best-ever result was third place with Lesley Garrett in series one.
Worst-ever Strictly finish: In 2018, Anton left the competition first and in 15th place with partner Susannah Constantine.
Former celebrity partners on Strictly: Lesley Garrett, Esther Rantzen, Patsy Palmer, Jan Ravens, Kate Garraway, Gillian Taylforth, Laila Rouass, Anne Widdecombe, Nancy Dell'Olio, Jerry Hall, Fiona Fullerton, Judy Murray, Katie Derham, Lesley Joseph, Ruth Langsford, Susannah Constantine
Current celebrity partner: Emma Barton
Did you know? Anton’s dad is Hungarian and his mum is Spanish.
Photo credits: David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock