Strictly star Anton du Beke says he'd happily be paired with a man next year


Anton du Beke says he has no problem dancing with a man and will happily give it a whirl if Strictly bosses ask next year.

The professional dancer said: “It’s just dancing, isn’t it? Fred Astaire danced with Gene Kelly. I’d have been very happy to dance with Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire, I don’t mind.”

In August, the Mirror revealed BBC bosses were considering a same-sex Strictly pairing next year.

Anton, 53, recalled dancing with fellow pro Vincent Simone on the show before he left in 2012 and with the late Bruce Forsyth when he was host .

He said: “This isn’t going to be new for me – I’ve already done it.”

Anton Du Beke is a professional on the show

Anton, now paired with EastEnder Emma Barton, 42, spoke out after 189 viewers complained to the BBC this month after Strictly pros

Johannes Radebe, 32, and Graziano Di Prima, 25, danced together.

Anton said: “I just think that this is a dance show, it’s a creative show.

“Everything that goes on the screen is a creative process – it reflects whatever you feel at that moment in time and often what is going on in society.

Strictly pros Johannes Radebe and Graziano Di Prima

“Strictly is a bit of a mirror on society, actually. And it should be.

“Stuff like Johannes dancing with Graziano – it’s not such a big deal. As a dancer it isn’t even a thing. It’s quite normal because it’s dance and that’s what dance is. It’s creative.”

Anton, who picked his favourite dances from the 16 series for a BBC DVD, said making changes had been key to Strictly’s success.

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Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly

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He said: “In the first couple of series, we stood in front of each other waiting for the music to start, and when it started we danced. Now every week is a production.”

Anton, the only dancer who has been on the show since it launched in 2004, is delighted with this year’s series. He said: “I got my first 10s. I still absolutely love it.”

  • Anton’s Truly Madly Strictly DVD is out on Monday.





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