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Anton Du Beke takes cheeky swipe at Strictly judges as he joins panel

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Anton Du Beke hasn’t even sat in his new Strictly Come Dancing chair yet and he’s already taking cheeky swipes at his fellow judges.

The 54-year-old is confirmed to replace Bruno Tonioli in the next series of the BBC One competition, joining Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse. 

During his appearance on The One Show, Anton promised that he’ll offer warm feedback to the next batch of celebrity contestants, but also used it as an opportunity to throw a playful jab at Craig, who is notoriously sharp in his commentary. 

‘I think I’m going to be a kinder judge,’ Anton told Alex Jones and Ronan Keating on Thursday. 

‘I’m not going to be gushing about everybody. I shall be expecting them to dance well as they want to dance but I shall be understanding.’ 

Sending an indirect message to Craig, he added: ‘I shall try to show a bit of positivity. 

‘Because there won’t be much coming down from that end of the chairs, will there?’ 

Strictly Come Dancing's Anton Du Beke

Anton Du Beke will be taking a more permanent spot on the Strictly panel (Picture: PA)
He’ll be joining regular judges Motsi Mabuse (l), Shirley Ballas and Craig Revel Horwood (Picture: BBC/Ray Burmiston)

Anton had earlier announced his exciting news, with BBC bosses roping him in for the upcoming series due to Bruno being unable to take part. 

The professional dancer said: ‘My loves, I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to be stepping into Bruno’s brogues for the next series of Strictly. 

‘It’s a dream come true to be judging alongside the best of the best and I promise to be kinder to all the couples than any of them have ever been to me.’

Bruno, 65, added: ‘Whilst I am gutted to not be on the show this year there is one person and one person only that could take my place – it’s just a shame they weren’t available…haha!

‘Darlings I’m kidding, I’m kidding! Seriously though, I have to tell you, Anton IS Mr Strictly and if anybody is filling in for me, it has to be him. 

‘I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way and I am so excited to see him waggle his paddle.’

Anton is a staple of Strictly, having joined the competition in the very first series, in 2004.

He is the only professional dancer to have danced in every series to date, bringing plenty of experience to the panel.

Anton won over viewers last year when he filled in for Motsi for a two-week stint. 

The One Show airs weeknights at 7pm on BBC One. 

Strictly Come Dancing will return to screens this autumn.

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