Strictly judge Bruno Tonioli put Anton du Beke forward to fill his shoes A no-brainer

Strictly Come Dancing is back on BBC One and fans are looking forward to seeing the professionals and celebrities take to the dancefloor. The glitzy competition series was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic last year, and some of the changes have had to remain in place. Anton du Beke will be taking over as judge, at the request of Bruno Tonioli himself.

Strictly Come Dancing is a staple part of the BBC’s Autumn schedule and it continues to bring joy to fans every year.

This season has welcomed a new batch of eager celebrities who will be matched with their professional partners in the first episode.

There has been a slight change in dynamic this year, as fan-favourite judge Bruno will not be on the panel.

Like last year, he has been stuck over in the US and has been unable to travel between countries.

In 2020, the show’s longest-running professional, Anton, stepped in to help out for a couple of episodes.

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

He will now take on a full-time role as judge whilst Bruno is away, and the show’s executive producer, Sarah James, explained the reason for the choice.

She said: “First of all, we are gutted that Bruno can’t come back this year, but to be honest with you it was a bit of a no-brainer with Anton.

“Obviously he did a couple of weeks last year. He did brilliantly, he’s our longest-standing pro and yeah he’s going to be fantastic.

“I’m looking forward to seeing him on the panel with all three of the others.”

When asked whether it was true that Bruno recommended Anton for the role, the executive producer confirmed.

She said: “Yeah he did, when we spoke about it and we decided obviously he wouldn’t be able to go between [the US and UK] he actually said you should get Anton to fill in.”

Speaking about stepping back as one of the professionals, Anton du Beke said on Instagram: “I’m absolutely thrilled to bits to be joining these wonderful judges!!!

“Cloud nine, seventh heaven, over the moon… there’s nowhere better than a seat at that legendary desk!!

“Thank you @bbcstrictly – just the most tremendous news!!!! Much love, Anton XX”

James also opened up on some of the other changes being made this season, as the series becomes more inclusive than ever.

This year welcomes the first deaf contestant, EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis, and the crew has been learning sign language to assist her.

James said the whole team has been taking part in awareness training as Rose will need an interpreter at all times.

Another welcome change is the second same-sex partnership of the series – this time with two males.

Great British Bake Off star John Waite will compete with one of the male professional dancers and James said it is “definitely something we have always wanted to do”.

She added: “We are really excited about John doing it, he has already proven he is a brilliant spokesperson for it.

“I think Nicola and Katya were amazing last year and I think everyone enjoyed that partnership.

“The research we have done proved everyone appreciated that partnership.”

This year will also welcome four new professional dancers – Kai Widdrington, Nikita Kuzmin, Cameron Lombard and Jowita Przystal.

Speaking about the latest additions, James said: “The four new professionals are amazing, they have already brought brilliant new energy into the group.

“I’m really excited about what they will bring to the group.”

Strictly Come Dancing starts on BBC One on Saturday at 7.45pm.

Source: Read Full Article