Strictly's Anton Du Beke happy to be a dancer on show

Albertina Lloyd
Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
Anton Du Beke has been a professional dancer on Strictly since the show began in 2004 (Credit: Invision/AP)

Strictly Come Dancing’s Anton Du Beke is happy to be dancing on the show, not sitting behind the judging panel.

The 53-year-old has been a professional dancer on the BBC One show since it first launched in 2004 and has long been tipped to join the judging panel.

When Motsi Mabuse was announced last week to be the new professional judge to replace Dame Darcey Bussell it sparked rumours that Du Beke was furious to have lost out and even threatened to quit the show.

Read more: Scarlett Moffatt in rumoured line-up for 'Strictly' 2019

But a Strictly insider told Yahoo UK: “Anton is the longest running pro dancer on the show and so very loved by the viewers and Strictly team.

Anton du Beke's Strictly partners have included Ann Widdecombe (Photo by Ferdaus Shamim/WireImage)

“He is really looking forward to getting back in the studio and dancing on the upcoming series.”

The line-up of professional dancers competing in this year’s show was announced back in March, with Du Beke among them.

But a source told The Sun on Sunday: “Anton has gone out of his way to make it known he wanted the job on the judging panel ever since Darcey Bussell left.

“He felt if they recruited within the Strictly family, it should be him. And despite not doing a screen test for the role, he still really thought he had a chance.

“As far as he was concerned, appearing on Strictly for 15 series has been his screen test.

“So when the news broke that Motsi was the new judge, he was livid. And he claimed he would quit unless the Strictly bosses gave him an ‘enhanced’ position.

Read more: Motsi Mabuse is Strictly’s new judge

“It was a real snub to his pride, especially as this is the second time he’s been overlooked.”

Last year Du Beke was partnered with TV stylist Susannah Constantine and was voted off the show after just one week.

The professional dancer is reported to have screen-tested for a judging role back in 2017 when Len Goodman stepped down. But the position of head judge went to Shirley Ballas, 58.

Du Beke was also tipped for a presenting role when Sir Bruce Forsyth announced his retirement in 2014, but Claudia Winkleman joined Tess Daly as co-host of the show.

He has never won the show.